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Popular 'skin pinch' test could potentially detect dehydration: 'The principle is correct'

If one needs to determine if their body needs more hydration, doctors recommend this simple hack that can reportedly identify it in a few seconds.

Popular 'skin pinch' test could potentially detect dehydration: 'The principle is correct'
Cover Image Source: TikTok | (L) @remus.bujor, Right: Pexels | Maurício Mascaro

Amidst running the never-ending race of life, many people fail to take care of their physical and mental health. One of the foremost requirements that several doctors, nutritionists and even fitness instructors insist on is keeping the body well-hydrated. But, in today's time, our forgetful minds need constant reminders to keep our hydration in check. In 2020, a comedy content creator on TikTok, Remus Bujor demonstrated a quick and simple hack to find how dehydrated we are. Medical experts found this video quite relevant and backed up the "skin pinch" test.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

In Bujor's 13-second video, he showed how one can know if one needs more hydration by simply pinching the skin on the back of one's hand. When the comedian pinched the wrinkled part on the back of his knuckles and released it, the skin went back to its normal form. He pointed out that this meant that he was well-hydrated. However, when he did it the second time, the ridge on the knuckle stayed up and the skin did not return to its original flat form. This would indicate that the person is dehydrated. 


2L per day - recommended by NASA💦


Bujor's demonstration blew up on the internet when Dr. Karan Rajan, a popular surgeon who often shares health advice on TikTok, backed it up in 2021. Stitching his with Bujor's "dehydration check" video, the surgeon added that the "skin pinch" or "skin turgor" test was valid. The science behind this test is the relationship between hydration and our skin's elasticity. The more hydrated we are, the more elastic our skin becomes, according to the doctor. So, as per the medical expert, the skin rebounding to its old state after the pinch indicates good hydration and the ridge staying on for a while before returning to normal indicates a dehydrated body. 

The surgeon's video garnered over 13 million views and people were quite baffled to find that they were dehydrated. "This is true. I thought it was an old wife's tale. My gran told me this years ago," said @pamcoulter1. "I’m definitely dehydrated. Mine haven’t gone down," noted @driplash__. However, a few doubted the authenticity of this test. People pointed out how Bujor did the test twice in the same hand and got different results. But the doctor responded, "I think the guy just moved his fingers less/more but the principle is correct." The way Bujor demonstrated the test might be disputable but the test could be considered an accurate way to determine if we are dehydrated, as per the surgeon.

Image Source: TikTok  | @6ftlovesdogs
Image Source: TikTok | @6ftlovesdogs


Image Source: TikTok | @tiktok.toma
Image Source: TikTok | @tiktok.toma

The "skin pinch" or "skin turgor" test was further backed by Doctor Dana recently. "When you're well hydrated, your skin has greater elasticity, and it quickly returns to its original shape after you pinch it," the foot surgeon explained. "On the other hand, dehydration leads to decreased skin elasticity and a slower return to normal," she added. 

Validating the skin turgor test, the National Library of Medicine's informative platform MedlinePlus emphasized that people whose turgor doesn't go down for a long time after pinching need to act on rehydration. The loss of fluids in the body needs to be compensated and it can be done by drinking enough water every day, avoiding drinks with sugar or caffeine and extra hydration during hotter days, when one is excessively sweating or when one is sick.

You can follow Remus Bujor (@remus.bujor) for funny content, Dr. Karan Raj (@dr.karanr) and Doctor Dana (@footdocdana) for more health-related content on TikTok.

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