During the hotter months, you will use up the water in your body faster than during cooler months. Your body does let you know when it is starting to get dehydrated, and there is a quick test to determine if you should increase how much you are drinking. Dehydration occurs when your body is losing water faster than you are consuming it. When it doesn’t have enough liquids, your body will stop working as it should, and if not addressed, dehydration can cause organ failure and death. It isn’t always obvious when you start to be dehydrated.
To quickly identify if you are becoming dehydrated you can conduct a simple test of pinching your skin. Hold your hand out straight, pinch the skin between any two knuckles on your hand, hold for three seconds, then release it.
- If your skin bounces back into place, you are fine.
- If it remains raised or “tented,” it is a sign that you are losing too much water.
To conduct the test, you can pinch the skin on your lower arm or stomach. Your skin is reacting to the water it retains. If there isn’t enough water, it won’t be as elastic as when you are hydrated.
This test works better on adults than children, who have more elastic skin because of their age. It is possible that your skin not snapping back into place quickly could be a sign of other problems as well, such as dysautonomia.
If your skin is not reacting as it should, it usually means it is in a later stage of dehydration. You need to drink water to start ensuring you have adequate water in your system. If you are more significantly dehydrated, you may want to drink something with more electrolytes to help retain fluids better as that will be more effective than water.
Staying hydrated is essential, especially with the hotter summers. It might be a good idea to bookmark the article at Try the Skin Pinch Test to See If You’re Dehydrated so that you can revisit it every spring and summer to make sure you are properly taking care of yourself and your family.