The summer is in full swing, and rising temperatures mean that we’re sweating a little more than usual. The season’s heat can bring with it dehydration, which can come with headaches, fatigue, and more serious health consequences. Luckily, we stumbled upon a simple at-home test you can perform on your own that can tell you if you need to consume more fluids.
We found this at-home dehydration test on TikTok thanks to Dr. Karan Raj MR, CS, who goes by the username @dr.karanr. According to Dr. Raj, this quick and simple “skin pinch test” (also called the skin turgor test), is a reliable way to find out right away if your body is dehydrated.
To do it, extend your fingers and pinch the wrinkly skin at the midway point, where your finger can bend in half, for one to two seconds. Dr. Raj says that if your skin returns to normal right after pinching it, you’re well-hydrated. If it retains the pinched, tented shape for a few seconds or longer, you’re probably dehydrated. Check out his video tutorial below.
This test assesses for skin turgor, which describes the skins elasticity. Poor skin turgor, which is reflected when the skin takes longer to go back to normal after pinching, indicates fluid loss.
“When you are dehydrated there is less fluid in the skin and so it takes longer for the skin to return to its normal position (snap back in place) after pinching for one to two seconds,” Dr. Alicia Shelly, MD, FACP told Shape. “If you are hydrated, your skin has no problem returning to normal after the skin pinching.”
There are a few other ways to tell if you’re dehydrated, too. For example, you’ve probably heard that the color of your pee can indicate whether or not you need to drink more water, and according to the CDC, this holds true. If your urine is light yellow or straw colored, you’re well-hydrated. On the flip side, dark yellow or orange colored urine means you need to consume some fluids ASAP.
As for ways to stay hydrated, it’s not all about drinking water, either. Drinking an adequate amount of water is important, but you can also increase hydration by eating water-rich foods and consuming more electrolytes. Try making your own electrolyte water at home!
Here’s to a safe, healthy summer!