With the boiling summer temperatures continuously rising, staying on top of your hydration levels is more critical than ever. While most of us were under the impression that as long as we're not craving a drink of water, it means we're in the clear, experts have emphasized that this is not an accurate test at all. Thanks to this doctor with a strong TikTok presence, a video showing people how to conduct a quick skin pinch dehydration test has gone viral. The findings can indicate if you are releasing more fluids than you are taking in, which can have dangerous consequences. Here's everything you need to know...
Many states across the United States are being issued heat warnings, with the heat index expected to hit highs of 100 degrees. Temperatures like these can cause people to lose body fluids at a rapid speed, even without their knowledge. It is of paramount importance, therefore, to keep a constant eye on water levels and drink plenty. For anyone still concerned they may be close to dehydration, i.e., not having enough fluids for the body to fully function, Dr. Karan Raj has a simple test to check.
The UK-based doctor demonstrates how to squeeze the skin of one finger knuckle for three seconds and then let it go. Appearing in the clip, he explains the test. "Known as the skin pinch or skin tugger test, the more hydrated you are, the more elastic your skin will be, and it will bounce back immediately after pinching it. If you're dehydrated, the skin loses elasticity, and it takes a while to return to normal, and it's more likely to tent up."
Talking to TODAY, dietitian Samantha Cassetty explained that because skin retains water, this can have an impact on its turgor and flexibility. That being said, she recognizes that it isn't an effective test for everyone. "One issue with this test is that older people have less elastic skin, so when pinched, it remains tented for a more extended period of time. This doesn't necessarily indicate dehydration," she explained. It also may not be conclusive for children and those with conditions causing poor skin turgor. If in doubt, get drinking!