Understanding Skin Turgor

What Is Skin Turgor?

Skin turgor is a common condition in which there are changes in the skin’s surface texture due to irritation or inflammation. These changes may include redness, swelling, itching, pain and tenderness. Skin turgor usually occurs when there is an infection such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or other viral infections. The skin becomes irritated because of these infections. There are different types of skin conditions called dermatoses. Dermatoses are characterized by their symptoms, signs and causes. Some dermatoses have no known cause, while others are caused by diseases like cancer or trauma. Skin turgor is one type of dermatosis that is associated with herpes simplex virus (HSV).

The term “skin” refers to all layers of the human body except the epidermis (the outermost layer). The epidermis consists of dead cells that cover the rest of the body. When these dead cells become inflamed they release inflammatory substances into surrounding tissues causing them to swell up.

The swelling causes pain and tenderness. Sometimes, skin turgor is not accompanied by any other symptoms. Other times it results in severe pain and/or tissue damage leading to death.

There are two main categories of HSV: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is the usual cause of cold sores, which are small blisters that appear on the mouth. Type 2 is the usual cause of genital herpes, which is an inflammatory skin condition in the genital region.

Both types can infect your skin and cause tingling, itching, pain, burning sensations and various other sensations. When you have an infection caused by one of these viruses, it often goes into a dormant phase without showing any symptoms. This phase can last anywhere from several days to several years. Once awakened, the virus causes skin turgor by infecting the skin cells.

The virus is typically spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. It is not known exactly how the virus is spread but it may involve tiny breaks in the skin or mucous membranes such as the mouth and genital region. These tiny breaks allow the virus to infect the skin cells.

Skin turgor is most common in children because it is easily spread among them through casual contact such as hugging, kissing and playing. The virus can be spread to adults who have not been infected with herpes in the past because their immune systems are not yet developed enough to fight off the virus. It is also more likely that an adult will experience severe symptoms of skin turgor, develop blisters and suffer permanent scarring.

The virus cannot be killed by conventional antibacterial soaps and antibiotics. Antiviral medications such as acyclovir can be used to treat the infection. These drugs must be taken as prescribed by a doctor and must be continued for a certain length of time in order to completely eliminate the virus.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common cause of skin turgor. It can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or even through contact with infected saliva, mucus or genital secretions. The virus enters the body through tiny breaks in the skin or mucous membranes such as the mouth and genital region.

It then travels into the nerve cells and goes into a dormant phase. This phase can last for a few days to several years.

In the case of skin turgor, the virus is most likely to be spread through direct contact with an infected person’s skin. The virus enters the bloodstream through tiny breaks in the skin and goes into the nerve cells where it causes a burning sensation. The victim feels severe pain in the infected region followed by a loss of feeling and extreme tenderness.

Blisters may form but usually they become flaccid (deflated). The skin in this area may also turn red and develop tiny blood spots.

The virus can be spread even when no symptoms are present. This is because the infected person may not realize that he or she is infected since the virus goes into a dormant phase that doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms.

Skin turgor (inflammation due to Herpes simplex) only effects the skin. It is not known to cause any other complications.

A doctor can usually diagnose skin turgor by inspecting the skin in question. If they suspect that you have the condition, they may recommend various tests to rule out other potential causes such as Lyme disease or a fungal infection.

The herpes simplex virus cannot be killed by antibacterial soaps and antibiotics. Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir can be used to treat the condition. It must be taken as prescribed for at least five days.

Retinoid cream (such as tretinoin) can also be used to treat skin turgor. It works by unclogging skin pores and clearing dead skin cells which may clog the pores.

The most important way of preventing skin turgor is to avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It is also important to avoid sharing towels, washcloths, bedsheets and clothing.

It is best to consult a doctor if you have any concerns about your condition as they will be able to give you the correct diagnosis and treatment.

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8. Jock Itch

Jock itch (also known as tinea cruris, ringworm of the groin or athlete’s foot) is a common fungal skin disorder that effect the groin region and inner aspects of the thighs. In men, it often appears as red patches with well-defined borders on the skin around the base of the genitals. In women, it most commonly appears as red, scaly patches that may be itchy inside the thighs and around the labia.

Jock itch is caused by a particular kind of fungi known as dermatophytes. These fungi can invade any region of the skin that has a weak immune system. This makes the knees, elbows, hands, feet and groin regions more prone to infection.

People who are diabetic, obese, elderly, or suffer from a lowered immune system are more prone to developing jock itch. People who wear damp clothes for long periods of time or people who have a habit of scratching the skin in the groin area are also at a higher risk of developing jock itch.

The infection is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person’s skin or clothing. It can also be contracted by using infected towels or bedding.

If you notice a red rash in the groin region that itches, you probably have jock itch. If not treated immediately, the area may start to feel painful and if left for too long, small pimples may appear.

The easiest way to treat jock itch is by going to your doctor to get it diagnosed. A doctor may recommend an antifungal cream or lotion that can get rid of the rash within a few days.

In some severe cases, patients are prescribed pills or injections to boost their body’s immune system.

The most important way of preventing jock itch is by keeping the skin clean and dry. It is best to wear singlets and pants rather than shorts in humid conditions because damp clothing provides the ideal condition for fungi and bacteria to grow.

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9. Acne

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by pimples and blackheads. It mostly affects people in their teens and early adulthood but it can also affect children as young as five.

The main cause of acne is a rise in the amount of sebum (oily secretions) that is released by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Hormone changes that occur during the teenage years are thought to be a major factor.

Genes may also be a contributing factor as it tends to run in families.

A build up of sebum clogs up the openings of the hair follicles (or pores) and this provides a perfect environment for the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes to thrive in. This bacterial infection then causes inflammation and results in the redness and swelling of pimples.

Common symptoms of acne include whiteheads, blackheads, swelling, pain, and tenderness.

Acne can appear anywhere on the body but it often occurs on the face, chest, and back.

Some people suffer from severe acne that results in permanent skin scars. If you suffer from severe acne that is not responding to conventional treatments such as antibiotics or hormonal therapy, your dermatologist may suggest isotretinoin (a.k.a.

accutane). This is a stronger form of antibiotic that has seriousside effects and must be taken for at least five months for it to be effective.

A healthy diet can help improve acne because certain foods cause the skin to overproduce sebum. Eating a diet high in sugar, dairy, and processed grains has this effect and therefore eating a balanced, nutritious diet low in sugar and carbohydrates can help.

Some studies suggest that milk and other dairy products contribute to acne. This is because, similar to the effect that sugar has on skin, dairy causes an increase in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) which stimulates the overproduction of sebum.

It is also a good idea to adjust your vitamin intake according to your physician’s advice. Some vitamins like A and B5 help to calm the skin while vitamins E and C help to prevent scarring.

If you struggle with acne, it is a good idea to wash your face on a regular basis. It helps to prevent the buildup of dirt and oils that clog the skin and cause infection.

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10. Herpes

Herpes is an extremely common viral disease that most people acquire in childhood from non-sexual skin contact or from kissing.

In most cases, the virus lies dormant in the nervous system for life but may become active during times of extreme stress or physical trauma. Once active, herpes outbreaks recur at intervals of 2-20 days. The virus is contagious from the moment that the first symptoms appear.

When a herpes outbreak occurs it causes small fluid-filled blisters to form on or near the site of the infection. These are extremely contagious and can easily be spread by skin contact or through secretions from the blisters.

Once inside the body, the virus begins to multiply in the cells of the mucous membranes. The mouth and genital region are most commonly affected but outbreaks can also occur near the eyes, nose, and elsewhere on the body.

Once the sores heal, the virus retreats back into the nervous system and can become active again at a later point in time.

Common symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle aches. The infected person may also experience an inability to concentrate, nausea, and sensitivity to light. A tingling or burning sensation at the infection site often precedes the outbreak of sores.

There is no cure for herpes, but outbreaks can be treated with antiviral medication that reduces the duration and severity of symptoms.

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first discovered in the early 1980’s. It is a type of virus called a retrovirus. (Meaning it is genetically made up of RNA and DNA) It attacks and impairs the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.

Infection occurs through contact with blood, vaginal secretions, or bodily fluids from an infected person. These bodily fluids contain high concentrations of the virus and can easily infect a person if it comes in contact with a break in the skin or if it is ingested or inhaled.

The life cycle of the virus within the human body is as follows: First, it makes its way to the CD4 cells (T-Cells). These are the type of cells that the virus targets and destroys. The virus then mutates (or changes) so that it can reproduce itself.

The infected person may experience no symptoms at all for 10-13 years after infection or they may experience a short illness lasting a couple of weeks that is usually ignored. This short illness is known as Acute Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Syndrome and is often misdiagnosed as some other common illness.

Following the short illness, the person’s immune system is severely weakened and open to opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of a weakened immune system). These opportunistic infections are what cause the majority of the damage and eventually lead to death.

The three stages of HIV infection are:

Acute HIV Infection: As mentioned above, the acute phase of infection can occur anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years after being infected with HIV. The symptoms are the same as the common cold and many people experience all of the following symptoms:



Muscle Aches

Sore Throat

Swollen Glands




After these symptoms subside there may be a period (lasting anywhere from weeks to years) where the infected person may feel perfectly normal. This is call the “Asymptomatic Period”

Sources & references used in this article:

Skin turgor: do we understand the clinical sign? by KL Dorrington – The Lancet, 1981 – Elsevier

Waterworld, part 2: Understanding diabetes insipidus in adults by A Crawford, H Harris – Nursing2020 Critical Care, 2012 – journals.lww.com

Understanding clinical dehydration and its treatment by DR Thomas, TR Cote, L Lawhorne… – Journal of the American …, 2008 – Elsevier

Evaluation of skin turgor and capillary refill time as predictors of dehydration in exercising dogs by TK Goucher, AM Hartzell, TS Seales… – American journal of …, 2019 – Am Vet Med Assoc

Understanding adult intraosseous infusion by EN Austin – Nursing made Incredibly Easy, 2009 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Is this child dehydrated? by MJ Steiner, DA DeWalt, JS Byerley – Jama, 2004 – jamanetwork.com

Understanding chronic renal failure by D Sprauve – Nursing, 2000 – search.proquest.com

Method and apparatus for determining hydration levels from skin turgor by E Cohen-Solal, YS Shi, BI Raju – US Patent App. 12/294,640, 2010 – Google Patents

Caretaker’s perceptions, attitudes and practices regarding childhood febrile illness and diarrhoeal diseases among riparian communities of Lake Victoria … by GM Kaatano, AIS Muro, M Medard – Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 2006 – ajol.info