There’s no denying that we deal with extreme heat here in the South. And that can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. There’s currently a dehydration check with TikTok going around. It was started by Dr. Karan Raj, who is a surgical doctor with the National Health Service in the UK. Of course, extreme dehydration can cause a lot of problems, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Some people may not even feel thirsty until they are already dehydrated, which is why it’s important to focus on increased water even if we don’t feel thirsty.
The Skin Turgor Test
You may have actually heard of this skin test before. It’s simply pinching your skin to see how quickly it snaps back. This is the skin turgor test. You pinch the skin on one of your knuckles for a moment, and then let go. If you’re dehydrated, your skin loses elasticity and will stay pinched for a moment. If you’re well-hydrated, the skin returns to its original position.
Of course, we don’t encourage you to get your medical advice from TikTok, but this simple test could be helpful. The Today Show talked with Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietician in New York. She agrees this can test for dehydration, but it’s not always the best indicator.
It’s Not Foolproof
Cassetty says, “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.” It’s also not incredibly reliable for children or people with dysautonomia where patients have low blood volume that affects skin elasticity.
Most importantly, with this “test” can detect dehydration, but usually at a later stage. Another way to note dehydration is the color of your urine. If it’s a darker yellow, this could be a sign you need to drink more water.
Dehydration Check with TikTok
Dehydration can be extremely dangerous, even life-threatening. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of dehydration in adults can include extreme thirst, less frequent urination, dark-colored urine, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. For babies and young children, you may notice a dry mouth and tongue, no tears, no wet diapers for 3 hours, sunken eyes or cheeks, sunken soft spot on top of skull, and listlessness or irritability.
You should see a doctor immediately if you have had diarrhea for 24 hours or more, are irritable or disoriented, sleepier or less active than usual, can’t keep fluids down, or have bloody or black stool.