Factors Affecting Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Whether you will have loose skin or not after losing weight depends on several things. To avoid loose skin, being aware of the following factors that affect loose skin after weight loss will help you.
Smoking leads to a reduction in collagen production and damages existing collagen. It may not necessarily cause loose skin after weight loss, but it contributes to sagging skin.
Excessive sun exposure
The more youre exposed to the sun, the lower your collagen and elastin production levels, making your skin less elastic and looser after losing weight.
Length of time
The longer you have been obese or overweight, the looser your skin will be after losing weight.
Depending on the quality of your skin and other risk factors, losing 100 pounds or more can result in more loose skin.
When you age, dermal collagen fibrils undergo progressive loss and fragmentation, which leads to thin and structurally weakened skin.
Who Can Have This Surgery
Plastic surgery to remove extra skin is not right for everyone. You will need to meet with a plastic surgeon to see if you’re a good candidate. The doctor will talk with you to make sure you’re ready for this type of surgery. Some things to think about before having this surgery include:
- Your weight. If you are still losing weight, your skin may sag more after the surgery. If you gain the weight back, you could stress the skin where you had the surgery, and compromise the result. The doctor will talk with you about how long after losing weight you should wait before having surgery. In general, your weight should have been stable for at least a year or longer.
- Your overall health. As with any surgery, plastic surgery has risks. If you have a health condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, you may have a higher risk for problems after the surgery. Talk with your doctor about whether you are healthy enough for surgery.
- Your smoking history. Smoking increases your risk of problems during and after surgery and can make you heal more slowly. Your doctor may suggest you quit smoking before having this surgery. Your doctor may not operate on you if you continue to smoke.
- Your expectations. Try to be realistic about how you will look after surgery. It can improve your shape, but it won’t get your body back to how it looked before your weight gain. Skin naturally sags with age and this surgery will not stop that. You may also have some scarring from the surgery.
Q How Do You Keep Skin Tight When Losing Weight
A. One of the best strategies to maintain tight skin both during and after weight loss is to drink enough water. Your skin’s suppleness is greatly impacted by your hydration levels. Avoiding sagging skin can be accomplished with a straightforward skin care regimen. To increase circulation and get rid of dead skin cells, exfoliate every day.
Also Check: The Best Lotion For Dry Skin
Consume Certain Nutrients And Stay Hydrated
Certain nutrients are important for the production of collagen and other components of healthy skin:
- Protein. Adequate protein is vital for healthy skin. The amino acids lysine and proline play a direct role in collagen production.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis and also helps protect skin from sun damage (
Saggy Skin After Weight Loss: My Story With Before And After Photos
When I began my weight loss journey for the final time, I lost 80 pounds in the first year. Then I hit a long plateau and didnt lose any weight during the second year. Then I lost an additional 20 pounds during the third year.
This brought me to a total of 100 pounds lost, which I maintained for over a decade. I had some loose skin on my thighs, tummy and a bit on my arms, but not too much. I still had some extra fat, too.
For the next decade, I maintained my weight loss within a 20 pound range. During this time I weighed 145-165 pounds.
In February of 2021 I started a whole foods, plant based diet and lost an additional 20 pounds. I currently weigh 120 pounds, which is a total of 130 pounds lost from my highest weight of 250 pounds.
The photo below are recent and show what my loose skin looks like now. While I am not in my 50s yet, Im close. Im 48 years old and went through menopause last year. I definitely have more loose skin now with the additional weight loss.
You May Like: What Is Precancerous Skin Cancer
How To Tighten Loose Skin
Because we’re all different, each person will have a different response after losing weight. Some people may bounce back quickly while others may consider body contouring surgery to get rid of extra skin. Body contouring surgery is an expensive and serious procedure requiring a long recovery time.
Plastic surgery experts recommend waiting at least a year after weight loss to allow your weight to stabilize before considering body contouring plastic surgery.
You may be able to make a difference with other options, such as exercise and a healthy diet. A basic cardio and strength training program can help you reduce body fat while building muscle. When you add muscle, you can improve how the skin looks and may be able to reduce some sagging.
Recommended Foods For Better Skin Elasticity
There are many foods which can improve your skin elasticity. The most important ones are fruits and vegetables, which are the main source of vitamin C. These groceries are also a great source of water, which in combination affects positively on skin elasticity and hydration. The most desired ones are blueberries, green leafy vegetables, and yellow- or orange-colored fruits and vegetables.
Nuts, legumes, and beans are an amazing source of protein which replaces dead skin cells. Vitamin E, mostly found in nuts, decreases sagging and wrinkling of your skin and improves elasticity. Nuts are also rich in biotin, which has a role in skin cell production. Cooper also improves the elasticity of the skin, and it is present in peas in beans mostly.
Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds are sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain the flexibility of your skin, provide a better structure for cell membranes, and prevent drying.
Water is also vital for to prevent sagging skin after weight loss. When the skin is hydrated properly, there are fewer chances that your skin will lack in elasticity. Drinking more water plumps up your skin cells.
Also Check: How Do They Remove Skin Cancer
She Does Not Follow The Sirtfood Diet
In January 2020, People reported that Adele has been following a strict diet. Other outlets, including Prevention, picked up the story that the star was following the Sirtfood diet, but the singer shut this down to British Vogue. No. Aint done that, she said.
If anything I eat more than I used to because I work out so hard.
The star also said she didnt try intermittent fastingor any particular diet, for that matter. If anything I eat more than I used to because I work out so hard, she said. That whole thing of like, Gets Revenge Body … Its ridiculous. I think its that people love to portray a divorced woman as spinning out of control.
In fact, Adele isnt fussy about what she eats she told Oprah that she loves to eat Chinese food and stopped by McDonalds the night before their interview. Her favorite order is chicken nuggets, a Big Mac, and fries. Thats my three-course, she told British Vogue. I eat it at least once a week.
How Long Do Results From Excess Skin Removal Surgery Last
The long-term effects of body contouring surgery partly depend on your ability to keep the weight off.
Everyone experiences weight fluctuations throughout life. But if you regain a substantial amount of weight after body contour surgeries, your skin will stretch. If you re-lose those pounds, the skin will sag again.
Also Check: How To Treat Melanoma Cancer
What Are The Potential Risks Or Complications Of Excess Skin Removal Surgery
Its important to have realistic expectations before you get body contouring procedures. Plastic surgery can improve appearance, but it cant give you a perfect body shape. It also cant help you lose more weight beyond the weight of the skin your surgeon removes.
All surgeries have risks. Potential risks of body contouring procedures include:
- Changes in skin sensations or numbness due to nerve damage.
What Causes Loose Skin After Weight Loss
The largest organ in our body is the skin. It is best defined as a protective barrier between us and our surroundings. Our skin’s innermost layer is made up of proteins like collagen and elastin. The skin’s structure is made of 80% of collagen, which gives it firmness and durability. Our skin stays taut and elastic thanks to elastin.
Skin enlargement occurs as we keep gaining more weight. One instance of this expansion is pregnancy. The collagen and elastin fibres in our skin can become damaged over time if we carry extra weight. As a result, it is more difficult for the skin to recover after weight loss. Significant quantities of sagging skin may develop if we lose 100 pounds or more of body weight.
You May Like: Does Sunblock Prevent Skin Cancer
After Huge Weight Loss Sagging Skin Remains
We all carry with us reminders of the person we used to be. Its just a lot more literal for some than others. People who lose a massive amount of weight are often surprised at how unhappy they still are with their bodies. The fat is gone, but all that skin that held it in place? It didnt go anywhere.
It’s a less explored part of extreme weight loss. The body may be lighter, but its now weighed down with folds of sagging skin, causing a wild amount of emotional and physical pain.
More extreme weight-loss patients are choosing to remove the loose skin through cosmetic surgery, and a recent study showed that the bodies and minds of those who do end up faring much better.
What Ive found, its very interesting — they go and get these surgeries, and then they come in and theyre still not happy, says Dr. Steve Wallach, a cosmetic surgeon in Manhattan.I had one patient who specifically said, “Im wearing a fat suit I feel like Im a thin person inside wearing a body thats twice the size of mine.”
Clothes don’t fit because of excess tissue. So they still feel not-whole, and not-happy,” says Wallach.
Will I Have Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery
Are you interested in bariatric surgery, but worried about excess skin afterwards?
After weight loss surgery, many patients lose so much weight that they end up with loose or sagging skin. Because the skin does not go away, most patients are left with extra skin and say that their skin is looser or saggier than it was before surgery. Thats because when you gain weight, your skin expands around the new mass that your bodys adding. Then, when you lose weight, your skin usually doesnt have enough elasticity to shrink back down.
Recommended Reading: What Happens When You Have Melanoma
How Long Does It Take To Tighten Loose Skin
Unfortunately, you have to be patient and give some time to your skin! It gradually tightens up, at least partially, if you follow a regular routine. Maintain your weight loss process for one to two years and follow results. Your time is heavily dependent on your previous level of obesity, persistence, and your training habits.
Recommended Reading: Keratosis Pilaris On Black Skin
Skin Elasticity Is Dependent On Two Primary Factors: Age And Genetics But Lifestyle Choices Matter Too
Typically, younger patients with thicker and more sebaceous skin will have more skin contraction during weight loss due to better elasticity, Devgan says. Starting in the 20s, tissue elasticity begins to decline. Even in the absence of weight fluctuation, loss of tissue turgor and decreased firmness can be seen in midface descent in the late 20s, breast laxity in the 30s, abdominal laxity in the 40s, and extremity laxity in the 50s.
However, everyones body is different, Devgan says. There is a tremendous amount of variability in the human experience, so some patients may lose 50 pounds with minimal change in their body, while others can lose as few as 10 and see tissue laxity. If you are genetically blessed with unusually superb tissue elasticity, Devgan says, it can be less dramatic.
Also, lifestyle choices can factor in, as well, Boston-based dermatologist Ranella Hirsch says. How long were you at the weight you started losing from? Are you a smoker? Do you spend a lot of unprotected time in the sun? All these factors play into skin elasticity.
Read Also: What Does Skin Cancer Look Like On The Skin
Side Effects From Loose Skin
Many people who have achieved massive weight loss are not bothered by their excess skin and never require treatment. However, it is also possible for this extra skin to become irritated and even infected.
When excess skin folds over onto itself, it rubs together and chafing can occur. This can lead to a painful, itchy rash. Loose skin can also lead to infections. When loose skin folds over itself, it can be difficult to thoroughly clean each fold. Bacteria can accumulate and overgrow, causing an infection. If your skin chafes and tears slightly, the infection can enter the body.
Having excess loose skin on your body can cause pain and discomfort, especially when you try to exercise. This is especially problematic for individuals who have just lost weight since exercise is a key component of helping them maintain their weight loss. A 2013 study found that women who had loose skin after bariatric surgery cited their skin as a barrier to physical activity. This was due to the fact that the excess skin made exercise uncomfortable, on top of the emotional discomfort of unwelcome stares and attention during activity. The embarrassment of going for a run or to the gym because of their loose skin prevented many from working out.
Even if your loose skin has not caused any health problems, you may be bothered by the way it looks. Studies have found that having excess skin can negatively impact your quality of life, self-esteem, and body image.
How To Minimize Excess Skin After Significant Weight Loss
The great news is that you met your goal and lost all the weight you wanted. Congratulations are in order!
The not so great news is that you may be left with excess skin that is sagging and looks just awful. Now that youve gotten rid of the fat you are confronted with another challenge: how to get rid of this excess skin.
When you lose a significant amount of weight your skin can sag just about everywhere from your face and neck to your buttocks, arms, legs, and stomach. The amount of weight you lost and the length of time that you were overweight both contribute heavily to this result. Unless you are prepared to cover yourself up from head to toe for the rest of your life, other options should be considered.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Tell If I Have Skin Cancer
Who Does Excess Skin Affect
People with obesity may lose weight with bariatric surgery or diet and exercise. Significant weight loss can leave you with excess, sagging skin.
When you carry extra weight, skin and tissue stretch to accommodate the bodys larger size. This stretching causes skin and tissue to lose elasticity. When you lose weight, the stretched skin cant conform to your new shape and may be saggy and hang loosely from your body.
You May Like: How Serious Is Melanoma Cancer
Is 50 Lbs A Lot Of Weight To Lose
Healthy Weight Loss Per Week As mentioned earlier, CDC recommends a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week for the best results . People who lose weight at this rate are more successful than others at keeping it off. Losing 50 lb in two months is almost three times the recommended weight loss per week.
Recommended Reading: How Do Know If You Have Skin Cancer
How Can You Avoid Loose Skin While Losing Weight
Here is what you should do before, during, and after your weight loss journey to ensure your skin retracts as you lose weight:
1. Lose weight gradually
Although it may not always be an option, losing weight slowly is the best way to prevent loose skin. According to Princeton University Health Services¹, dieting affects the skin because weight loss and weight gain both cause the skin to stretch and lose elasticity. As a result, skin becomes vulnerable to wrinkling and sagging under the forces of gravity.
Stay away from extreme weight loss tactics, such as skipping meals, if you don’t want your skin to sag. Instead, focus on substituting your diet with more nutritious food and smaller portions to lose weight gradually. You should lose two pounds per week, at most.
2. Lose weight by building muscle
Holly Wyatt, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Colorado says² that losing weight by building muscle makes your skin appear tauter. Your skin begins to sag because the space that was filled by fat is left empty. To prevent this, replace it with muscle.
Building muscle also benefits weight loss because it keeps burning calories long after you finish your fitness routine.
3. Eat a balanced diet
For your skin to regain its elasticity and retract as you lose weight, you should eat fruits and vegetables and foods rich in Vitamins A, C, and E on a regular basis.
4. Quit smoking
5. Stay hydrated
6. Protect your skin