Skin turgor is the skin’s ability to change shape and return to normal (elasticity). Skin turgor is a sign commonly used by health care workers to assess the degree of fluid loss or dehydration.
To determine skin turgor, the health care provider grasps the skin on the back of the hand, lower arm, or abdomen between two fingers so that it is tented up. The skin is held for a few seconds then released.
Skin with normal turgor snaps rapidly back to its normal position. Skin with decreased turgor remains elevated and returns slowly to its normal position.
Documentation regarding skin turgor should be qualified as an examination of Skin under 1995 DGs, or specifically for the bullet for “palpation of skin and subcutaneous tissue” for Skin examination under 1997 DGs.