Does The Skin Pinch Test Really Work?

- Does The Skin Pinch Test Really Work? - PanAsia Surgery, Singapore May 2022

Does The Skin Pinch Test Really Work?

Know about the skin pinch test? Its meant to tell you if you’re dehydrated. To carry it out, simply pinch the skin on the back of your wrist and hold for a few seconds before releasing. If your skin takes a few seconds to regain its elasticity, it means that your body doesn’t have as much water as it should. But does the test really work?


According to Dr Melvin Look, Director of PanAsia Surgery and a consultant surgeon in gastrointestinal, laparoscopic and obesity surgery, it does  but only to an extent.


Doctors may perform the skin pinch test as a quick bedside test of dehydration. But it isn’t generally useful because it doesn’t detect mild or early dehydration, he says.


And since you probably won’t ever get severely dehydrated unless you, say, become stranded at sea, you probably wouldn’t find this test all too helpful.


Instead, you should look out for symptoms of mild dehydration to tell if you’re dehydrated. They include thirst, decreased urine output and passing of yellow, concentrated urine.


Not sure how much water you should drink daily to not get dehydrated at all?


The daily fluid requirementsof adult females is 1.6 litres even if you’re totally sedentary. More is needed to replace the water lost during exercise and exertion if you’re active, adds Dr Look.


And lest you think that you should only reach for the jug when you’re thirsty, he says that you should actually take regular sips of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. After all, it’s all about consistent effort, right?

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