Turgor is the normal turgidity of living cells; this word particularly refers to the distension of a plant cell by the water and other fluids inside it.

Turgor refers to a clinical sign during a medical examination.

In a normally hydrated person, the skin on the back of the hand or over the breastbone snaps back elastically if it is pinched up and released. If the person is severely dehydrated, instead of snapping back it will stay tented up. This is an easily assessed, though fairly late, sign of dehydration.

Assessing turgor is, however, unreliable in older individuals. Loss of turgor is one of the normal signs of aging, and it is common to see elderly people with permanently tented skin ridges all over their hands.

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