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Definition of Turgor

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Turgor: The degree of elasticity of skin, sometimes referred to as skin turgor. The assessment of skin turgor is used clinically to determine the extent of dehydration, or fluid loss, in the body. The measurement is done by pinching up a portion of skin (often on the back of the hand) between two fingers so that it is raised for a few seconds. The skin is then released to observe how fast it returns to its normal (flat) position. If no dehydration is present, the skin returns quickly to the normal position. With moderate to severe dehydration, decreased skin turgor causes the pinched-up skin to remain elevated and only slowly return to its flat position.

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