What is a “skin pinch” test? How simple stress can appear if you are dehydratedAugust 6, 2022
In July, temperatures are well above average across much of US – and August is not shaping upto be any better. During bouts of extreme heat, staying hydrated is essential for mental and physical health. To help you determine if you’re getting enough fluids, or if you can stand up for another glass or two of water, a TikTok tip — known as a “skin pinch” test — popped up on the app, and it got a bit of a buzz.
The video, initially shared last summer, was posted by TikTok doctor Karan Rangarajan, MRCS, MBBS, an NHS surgeon in UK. And shows a person pressing the top of their finger to determine how dry (or dehydrated) they are. ) They are.
“This is known as the skin swelling test or pinch skin test,” Dr. Rangarajan said in the video. “The more moisture your skin has, the more elastic your skin will be and it will bounce back immediately. After you pinch it. If you’re dehydrated, the skin loses its elasticity and takes a while to get back to normal, and it’s more likely to hang over.”
A skin pinch test seems like a quick and uncomplicated way to find out if you need more hydration, but is it the best way to tell if you’re dehydrated? Here’s what you need to know.
How does a skin pinch test work?
A skin pinch test is used to measure the elasticity of skin, or its ability to stretch and bounce back. It can also be used as a method for assessing dehydration.
“It’s known as weak skin swelling when the skin doesn’t bounce back within a second or two,” dietitian Katherine Piper, RDN, LD, told Health. “Swelling of weak skin could be an indication of dehydration.”
According to nutrition and wellness expert Samantha Cassetti, MS, RD, the test is often used in healthcare settings to get. A quick assessment of whether a patient might need more fluids, especially when there isn’t enough time to evaluate lab tests or other metrics.
“It’s definitely legitimate and used in health care settings when dehydration is suspected,” Cassetti told Health. ” Practitioners, however, consider the complete clinical picture as well as swelling of the skin.”
How accurate is a skin pinch test?
Health care professionals use the skin pinch along with other medical tests because it is painless and non-invasive. But it is not as accurate as other measurements and there are no clinical standards for how it should be performed.
“There is no gold standard for her exercise,” Cassetti said. “There are practitioners who pinch the back of the hand, and there are practitioners who use other areas; sometimes the pinch lasts two seconds, while some doctors hold the skin for longer.”
The test may not be helpful or effective for everyone, including older adults and people with certain health conditions.
As people age, for example, the elasticity of the skin decreases, regardless of hydration status. “Even if the skin isn’t dehydrated, it may take older skin around 20 seconds to recover,” Piper said.
In patients with hypovolemia, the skin pinch test may also reduce accuracy. “About 70% of those infected with Covid virus for a long time have autonomic nervous system dysfunction and may have low blood volume,” Cassetti said. “This test is not useful for people with hypovolemic or connective tissue disorders.”
Skin pinch test experience
The skin pinch test is very safe and there is no harm in testing yourself, but since it is not. The most accurate method, the results should be taken with a grain of salt and used in conjunction with other dryness determinants.
“I see no harm in using this test as a way to assess hydration,” Piper said. “Watch the color of your urine to ensure you’re staying hydrated,” Piper recommends. The urine should be light yellow or straw-colored; “light lemonade” is also a good color.
Some other key indicators that you’re not getting enough fluids include feeling very thirsty, having dry skin, a dry mouth, or not sweating or urinating as usual.
Rather than analyzing how prone you are to dehydration, Cassetti suggests taking a more proactive approach to hydration. “Staying hydrated is better than responding to potential dehydration,” she advised.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking water with meals and improving the taste of water with. Fruits such as lemon slices or limes to increase your fluid intake.
Cassetti advised. glass of water with each meal.”