Pinch (action)
A pinch is a grip
Grip may refer to:* Handle , a part of, or attachment to, an object, allowing it to be moved or used by hand* Grip strength, a measure of hand strength* Grippers, exercise machines used to increase hand strength- In sports :...

 of a flexible object in which a portion is taken between two finger
A finger is a limb of the human body and a type of digit, an organ of manipulation and sensation found in the hands of humans and other primates....

s, until it hurts, or something of resemblance and squeezed so the gripped portion of the object is lifted from its normal level. By extension, that which is taken in the grip is referred to as a "pinch."

When the fingers are used to perform a pinch, the action usually consists of the thumb
The thumb is the first digit of the hand. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position , the thumb is the lateral-most digit...

 and one other finger. The closer to the thumb the other finger is located, the stronger the pinch.

Pinch of the skin

The term "pinch" often refers to the action being taken on the skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

. A pinch of the skin displaces the skin and blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 beneath from its natural position, and may inflict a minor degree of pain, which may increase if the amount of skin being pinched is smaller, but is usually tolerable to most.

Pinching the skin can result in pinch mark
Pinch mark
Pinch marks are a cutaneous condition, and when on the ears or in the genital region of male children may be suggestive of child abuse....

s, a cutaneous condition, and when on the ears or in the genital region of male children may be suggestive of child abuse.

Medical uses

Pinching has the following uses in health care and medicine:
  • The skin is often pinched prior to giving an injection
    Injection (medicine)
    An injection is an infusion method of putting fluid into the body, usually with a hollow needle and a syringe which is pierced through the skin to a sufficient depth for the material to be forced into the body...

     in order to get the needle in the desired location.
  • In neurology
    Neurology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue,...

    , pinching can be used to determine pain sensitivity for a certain area of skin.
  • Can be used to determine resiliency in the skin of an aged person
    Old age
    Old age consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle...

    . When the skin is pinched, the amount of time the pinch remains visible following the pinch is an indicator.
  • When skin has been damaged by the sun
    A sunburn is a burn to living tissue, such as skin, which is produced by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, commonly from the sun's rays. Usual mild symptoms in humans and other animals include red or reddish skin that is hot to the touch, general fatigue, and mild dizziness. An excess of UV...

    , pinching can be used to determine the amount of damage. Examining the appearance with varying amounts of time following the pinch can be used to determine the amount of damage.
  • In determining dehydration
    In physiology and medicine, dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid. It is literally the removal of water from an object; however, in physiological terms, it entails a deficiency of fluid within an organism...

    , pinching the skin can serve as a test. The speed at which the pinch turns back can help determine the level of dehydration. The slower it goes back, the more severe the dehydration.
  • Body fat percentage
    Body fat percentage
    A person's body mass percentage is the total weight of the person's fat divided by the person's weight and consists of essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage of essential body fat for women is greater than...

     can be determined the skinfold test, in which a pinch of skin is precisely measured by calipers at several standardized points on the body to determine the subcutaneous fat layer thickness. These measurements are converted to an estimated body fat percentage by an equation.
  • Pinching is used as part of the diagnosis of schleroderma. In schleroderma patients, the skin between the fingers becomes too difficult to pinch.
  • In veterinary medicine
    Veterinary medicine
    Veterinary Medicine is the branch of science that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in non-human animals...

    , small amounts of animal skin is pinched in order to perform grafting
    Medical grafting
    Grafting refers to a surgical procedure to move tissue from one site to another on the body, or from another person, without bringing its own blood supply with it. Instead, a new blood supply grows in after it is placed. A similar technique where tissue is transferred with the blood supply intact...


Pinch of powder

A pinch can refer to the taking of a small amount of a powdery substance
Powder (substance)
A powder is a dry,thick bulk solid composed of a large number of very fine particles that may flow freely when shaken or tilted. Powders are a special sub-class of granular materials, although the terms powder and granular are sometimes used to distinguish separate classes of material...


In cooking, a "pinch
Pinch (cooking)
A pinch in cooking is a very small amount of an ingredient, typically salt, sugar or spice. Traditionally it was defined as "an amount that can be taken between the thumb and forefinger". Historically the pinch was more precisely defined by some U.S...

" refers to a small amount of an ingredient, such as salt or a spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

, being taken to be placed within a recipe.

Small amounts of street drugs are sometimes referred to as a "pinch."
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