Simple test of moderate dehydration

Background: Skin “turgor” or degree of elasticity is a sign commonly used to assess the degree of hydration, fluid loss or dehydration. Fluid loss can occur due to common conditions like diarrhea or vomiting. Excessive fluid loss is also associated with like diabetes. Also during a cold or flu, a patient may experience dehydration due to a fever.

The skin pinch test is a simple test of dehydration that can be performed easily by almost anyone.


Step 1: Gently pull up about 1/2 inch on the skin on the back of the wrist with the hand extended out (not flexed either up or down)

Step 2: Evaluation: If the skin maintains a little ‘tent’ i.e., stays pinched and then slowly goes back to normal (over 5-10 seconds) it is usually a sign of moderate dehydration.

For additional discussion visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003281.htm