This skin pinch tests is an important tool for testing dehydration.
When a child is dehydrated, the skin loses elasticity.
To assess dehydration using the skin pinch:
1. ASK the mother to place the child on the examining table so that the child is flat on his back with his arms at his sides (not over his head) and his legs straight. Or, ask the mother to hold the child so he is lying flat on her lap.
2. USE YOUR THUMB AND FIRST FINGER to locate the area on the child’s abdomen halfway between the umbilicus and the side of the abdomen. Do not use your fingertips because this will cause pain. The fold of the skin should be in a line up and down the child’s body.
3. PICK UP all the layers of skin and the tissue underneath them.
4. HOLD the pinch for one second.
5.Then release it
6. LOOK to see if the skin pinch goes back
• Very slowly (more than 2 seconds),
• slowly, (less than 2 seconds, but not immediately), or
If the skin stays up for even a brief time after you release it, decide that the skin pinch goes back slowly.
NOTE: The skin pinch test is not always an accurate sign.
• In a child with severe malnutrition, the skin may go back slowly even if the child is not dehydrated.
• In a child is overweight or has oedema, the skin may go back immediately even if the child is dehydrated.
However you should still use it to classify the child’s dehydration.
Ref: WHO, 2014: Diarrhoea; IMCI INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF CHILDHOOD ILLNESS: Module 4, Distance Learning Course;
Clinical features suggestive of dehydration: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/clinical-features-suggestive-dehydration
ORAL REHYDRATION SALT (ORS): http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/oral-rehydration-salt-ors
Management of Acute Diarrhoea in Children: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/management-acute-diarrhoea-children
4 Rules of Home Treatment for Diarrhea in Children: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/4-rules-home-treatment-diarrhea-children
Sugar Salt Solution for Rehydration: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/sugar-salt-solution-rehydration
6 Steps of ‘Skin Pinch’ Test for Assessing Dehydration: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/6-steps-%E2%80%98skin-pinch%E2%80%99-test-a...
Some Clinical features of diarrhea due to common causative organisms: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/some-clinical-features-diarrhea-due-common-...
Principles of management of diarrhea: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/principles-management-diarrhea
Control of diarrheal diseases: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/control-diarrheal-diseases
Indicators of Diarrhea Control: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/indicators-diarrhea-control
Vaccines for prevention of diarrhea: http://www.ihatepsm.com/blog/vaccines-prevention-diarrhea
Lecture on acute diarrheal disaeses-1 (epidemiology): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VMSn7mJgm8&t=215s
Lecture on acute diarrheal disaeses-2 (control): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85iOg3GNevU&t=41s
Lecture (HINDI) on acute diarrheal disaeses-1 (epidemiology): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-bOaC55u-g&t=5s
Lecture (HINDI) on acute diarrheal disaeses-2 (control): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acc-nqkjar4&t=1s