What Causes Loose Skin
Loose skin after weight loss is a result of several contributing factors. Our skin is partially made up of proteins called collagen and elastin fibers. These proteins give skin its firmness and allow it to snap back in place after being stretched. When the skin is stretched for an extended period of time, the collagen and elastin fibers become damaged. After weight loss, your skin may lack the necessary proteins to return to its original shape. The skin loses its firmness and tends to just hang on the body.
In addition to losing elastin and collagen, the makeup of the collagen left in the skin changes as well. After losing weight, our skin contains less collagen and its composition is different than the collagen in young, healthy skin. The makeup of your skin is also determined by other factors like age, history of smoking, general health, and family history.
Will I Have Loose Skin After Losing 20 Pounds
The first thing you should keep in mind in such situations is that it all depends on your body size.
Whether you have a big or small body shape, and what are your skins conditions.
Having a large body shape doesnt make much impact after losing 20 pounds, as the skin will not show up in this case.
However, a considerable amount of weight loss tends to produce loose skin, and there is no doubt about that.
Also, mothers who give birth tend to gain weight, and they ended up trying different methods to get rid of it.
So, will I have loose skin after losing X amounts of pounds?
To summarize, it all depends on your starting weight, activity, gender, and age.
In case you want to decrease your chances of being hunted by loose skin, you can slowly but gradually drop some extra pounds, and the results would go ideally in your way.
Foods That Tighten Skin After Weight Loss
Believe it or not, your dinner plate can make a significant difference in the way your skin looks, especially after weight loss.
Apart from the fatty acids and the micronutrients that I mentioned earlier, there are some food items that you can add to your diet to improve the collagen and elastin levels of your skin.
Read Also: Face Cleansers That Don’t Dry Out Skin
Above Alland Perhaps Most Importantlybe Proud Of Yourself
If this piece applies to you at all, be it from long-standing weight you carried or from losing weight gained from pregnancy or anywhere in between, that means one thing: Youve taken major steps toward better physical health, and that should be applauded. Everyones weight loss story is different, and some days are harder than others, Engelman says. I say, try to be kind to yourself. Youve just reached a huge accomplishment and should be proud of that.
Devgan agrees. Accomplishing a personal health goal like major weight loss is an incredible achievement that anyone should be proud of, she says. While excess skin can feel like a burden or source of self-consciousness, it is also a reminder of the metaphorical and literal shedding of the weight of a prior version of oneself. You cannot have a couture gown without a seam, and you cannot have a surgery without a scar. Life has limitations, but that does not make it less beautiful. It makes it more real.
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.
You May Like: What Are Signs Of Skin Cancer From The Sun
All Colors Of The Rainbow
Experts suggest adding as many colored foods to your diet as possible.
- Dark greens such as Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Pok choy, Brussels sprouts
- Purples such as cauliflower, eggplant, turnips, cabbage
- Oranges and yellows such as bell pepper, carrots, Bananas, Squash, Pumpkin
- Reds such as tomatoes, red peppers, radishes
- Whites such as garlic, Turnips, Fennel, Celery and radishes
Each one of these is loaded with beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants that help improve skin tone and may improve the elasticity of your skin.
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
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.
Likely Outcomes Of Excess Sagging Skin
Expanded skin due to fast weight loss might cause physical and emotional problems for certain people. Here are some of the potential effects of hanging skin:
- Poor self-esteem. The weight reduction that causes loose skin can harm body image and mood. Your overall mood is sad and shameful to be around people since you are self-conscious of your saggy skin.
- Physical activity will decrease. One study showed that excess skin obstructs activity in some people after bariatric surgery, even though weight loss encouraged more people to exercise. This is primarily because you do not want to be seen working out with flabby skin.
- Irritation and disintegration of the skin. According to one study, 44 percent of 124 persons who sought plastic surgery to tighten skin after weight loss surgery reported skin pain, infections, or ulcers because of the loose skin.
- Distress on the physical level. Excess skin can be uncomfortable and might interfere with daily tasks. One longitudinal investigation revealed a possible increase in self-consciousness after weight loss.
Don’t Miss: What Is Metastatic Ductal Carcinoma
What Are The Surgical Risks
In addition to general surgery risks, the main risks of body contouring include wound-healing difficulties, scarring, fluid accumulation, asymmetry and persistent contour deformities. Results and surgical risks for body contouring procedures vary according to the individual. Talk to your doctor about which approach is right for you.
Visit the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or call 443-997-9466 to schedule a consultation.
Is Loose Skin Permanent
Unfortunately, no one could answer this question for you because it all depends upon the circumstances you have experienced.
And, from that experience, you can analyze whether your skin loose issue remains with you or not.
If you have recently dropped some pounds, then your skin should naturally go back to its ideal place without applying any remedies.
However, if excess fat distends the skin for a long time, the skin can lose some of its ability to shrink with weight loss.
Thus, replacing that lost fat with muscle mass can lessen the appearance of loose skin.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Stages Of Melanoma
How Can You Tighten Loose Skin After Losing Weight
Before you start tightening your skin, you first need to identify whether you really have loose skin or just a thin layer of fat. To find out, pinch your skin.
If there are more than a few millimeters of skin, it is subcutaneous fat making your skin appear loose. Once you lose the subcutaneous fat, you might not even need to tighten your skin.
If that is not the case, here is what you can do to tighten your skin after losing weight:
1. Eat well
For your skin to bounce back, there are two components it needs: collagen and elastin. These components can be increased by ensuring you eat a diet full of Vitamins A, C, and E. Some of these foods include:
Vitamin A: Cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk and yogurt, fortified low-fat spreads, etc.
Vitamin C: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes, oranges, strawberries, etc.
Vitamin E: Vegetable oils such as sunflower or olive oil, almonds, peanuts, margarine, fruit juices, spinach, etc.
2. Lifestyle changes
Certain habits such as smoking make your skin appear more saggy and loose.
3. Hydrate and moisturize
Just as staying hydrated is important for your weight loss journey, its just as important in keeping your skin elastic and tight.
According to a study³, increasing your daily intake of water improves your skin’s hydration and function. That means not only will your skin become more elastic, it will also look better.
A good moisturizer that has natural oils such as olive oil or collagen will keep your skin elastic and healthy.
Excess Skin After Weight Loss Options Causes Problems And Solutions:
You may try to tighten skin after weight loss or you can remove it via surgery. We are sure you dont want to let it hang and look like a scarecrow.
If you choose to try tightening it up, there are four principles you need to follow:
- Stay hydrated try to drink at least 8-9 cups of water per day
- Lose your weight gradually applying regular strength training sessions all the time
- Eat proper food
- Improve the maintenance of your skin daily exfoliation, hot bath with sea salts, skin tightening creams are good solutions, while we recommend you to stay away from harsh detergents, shampoos, dishwashing liquids, prolonged exposure to the sun, and chlorinated water.
If you were losing weight on a healthy basis, you can try to tighten it up and improve its elasticity, leaving surgery as a final solution. It is possible when your levels of loose skin are small or moderate.
Fat cells can adjust to width changes a lot faster than skin cells. When you lose fat quickly, your skin wont shrink at the same rate of speed as your fat cells, and the imbalance will lead to loose skin. The loss that could be tolerated without an occurrence of sagging skin after weight loss is 1-3 lbs per week.
The loose skin is caused by a sudden weight loss, and it is more a problem to the patients who lose their weight suddenly via surgery, without including exercises into their daily routine.
Read Also: What To Do When You Get Skin Cancer
Tightening Skin: Potential Solutions To Loose Skin
Fortunately, there are solutions to the problem, ranging from natural remedies to surgical options.
While having loose skin after weight loss can be distressing, there are many options to reduced its prominence. Sometimes it retracts on its own, other times further procedures are required. But it is not something that needs to be lived with.
Body Contouring After Weight Loss: What You Need To Know
Reaching your goal weight is a significant achievement, whether through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery. But after losing 100 pounds, you may notice some excess skin left behind.
Body contouring procedures, including tummy tuck, breast lift or lower body lift, may help improve your body shape and tone. Body contouring can also help with skin hygiene by reducing the incidence of skin rash and infection that can form between the folds of excess skin in some patients.
If youre wondering if body contouring is right for you, consider these answers to some commonly asked questions, provided by plastic surgeon Kristen Parker Broderick.
You May Like: Best Moisturizer For Combination Skin With Spf
Can Loose Skin Be Tightened Without Surgery
Yes, different cases support that loose skin can be firmed without any need for surgery.
Although, surgery is the most prominent reason for people to have a successful weight loss.
There are new methods introduced in the market that also provide the same results without any need to go for excess skin removal surgery.
Medical experts say that some patients are not ideal to perform surgeries for having quick response, as it would also comes with side effects.
Skin tightening procedure is another method that allows people to fulfill their needs and desires for keeping their skin tight after weight loss.
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
How To Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
There are a few things you can do to help tighten saggy skin after weight loss, and each of these options has its own set of benefits and risks, so its important to consult your doctor or dermatologist to see which option is best for you.
1. Customized Exercises
When you experience weight loss skin sag, one way to help tighten it is to introduce customized exercises into your workout regime. This means doing exercises specifically designed to target the areas of your body where you have loose skin. There are a number of different exercises you can do, and your doctor or dermatologist can help you create a custom exercise routine thats right for you.
2. Compression Garments
Another way to help tighten loose skin is to wear garments specially designed to compress and support the areas of your body with loose skin. Wearing a compression garment can help reduce the appearance of extra skin after weight loss, while also protecting the area.
3. Radiofrequency Treatment
Radiofrequency treatment is a non-invasive procedure that uses radio waves to heat the skin, which stimulates collagen production and can help tighten the skin. Radiofrequency treatment is safe and effective and has very few side effects.
5. Firming Creams
Take Care Of Your Skin
Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, be sure to moisturize regularly to keep your skin hydrated and prevent sagging skin, and exfoliate often to help improve the appearance of your skin. Be sure to keep your skin clean, and add firming creams to your skin routine as well.
|DID YOU KNOW: You can eat healthy without cooking, as there are some healthy food delivery companies that can offer you a well-balanced meal.
Also Check: Serum For Uneven Skin Tone
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.
Factors That Influence The Loss Of Skin Elasticity
Several factors contribute to loose skin following weight loss:
- Length of time. In general, the longer someone has had overweight or obesity, the looser their skin will be after weight loss due to elastin and collagen loss.
- Amount of weight lost. Weight loss of 100 pounds or more typically results in a greater amount of loose skin than more moderate weight loss.
- Age. Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to be looser following weight loss (
In a controlled study, skin elasticity, along with texture and hydration, increased significantly after 12 weeks of taking a liquid collagen supplement. The drink also contained vitamins C and E, as well as biotin and zinc .
Collagen hydrolysate is also known as hydrolyzed collagen. It comes in powdered form and can be purchased at natural food stores or online.
Another popular source of collagen is bone broth, which provides other health benefits as well.
Also Check: How Common Is Basal Cell Carcinoma
This Woman’s Photo Shows What Happens To Your Skin When You Lose 90 Pounds
The lady deserves a freaking slow clap.
Reaching your weight-loss goal is definitely a serious feat, but it’s not all rainbows and skinny jeans once you get thereit can come with a lot of excess skin.
And that’s a fact Instagrammer Rachel Graham, who lost 90 pounds, is getting real about in her latest post.
Sign up for Women’s Health’s new newsletter, So This Happened, to get the days trending stories and health studies.
More From Women’s Health
In the Insta, Rachel poses in a sports bra with her loose skin on full display from the front and side. Rachel writes that the photos were taken minutes apart and are her way of addressing questions about how she lost all the weight without loose skinor stretch marks. “I didn’t! Its all there, she wrote in the caption, adding that, high-waisted bottoms have become my BFF. Check out the photos here: