Simple skin test reveals if you're dehydrated in seconds

Tiredness and dizziness are signs you might be dehydrated. [Photo: Getty]
Tiredness and dizziness are signs you might be dehydrated. [Photo: Getty]

Feel tired, thirsty or light-headed? It’s likely you’re one of the almost nine in 10 Brits who don’t drink enough water – which can quickly lead to dehydration.

Dehydration is a state where your body has lost more fluids than it has taken in.

It can lead to serious problems if left unchecked, such as urinary tract infections and, in severe cases, E.coli bloodstream infections, according to the NHS.

Thankfully, there is a quick test to see if you are drinking enough water – and it takes seconds.

READ MORE: Could drinking more water help you sleep?

The dehydration test

The “skin turgor” test measures the ability of your skin to change shape and return to normal again.

It’s backed by the National Library of Medicine, a US-based health information site and advises the following steps:

  1. Grasp skin between two fingers. This can be from your lower arm, abdomen or the back of your hand.

  2. Hold for a few seconds, then release.

  3. Observe how long skin takes to go back to its normal position.

While hydrated skin which “snaps” quickly back to its normal position, skin which takes time to return – ie, has poor turgor – is dehydrated.

How to prevent dehyrdation

The NHS recommends drinking six to eight glasses of fluid a day. This can include water, low fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee.

Take small sips of fluids if you feel dehydration symptoms, the health body advises. And make sure you drink enough to keep your urine a pale, clear colour.

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If you think you are at higher risk of dehydration – examples can include if you are vomiting, sweating or have diarrhoea – be sure to increase your water intake.

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