Losing a lot of weight is a notable accomplishment, not to mention, it translates to a healthier lifestyle. However, it often results in loose or saggy skin, which can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating. So what causes loose skin after weight loss? How do you get rid of the excess skin? Read on to find out.
Why you get loose skin after weight loss
Loose skin following weight loss can occur due to various factors, including:
- Amount of weight you lose: losing a considerable amount of weight (more than 100 pounds) within a short period results in more loose skin compared to modest weight loss.
- How long you’ve been overweight: the longer you’ve been overweight or obese, the looser your skin will be after weight loss due to collagen and elastin damage. Collagen and elastin are responsible for your skin’s firmness and elasticity.
- Age: your skin becomes less elastic as you age. Therefore, older skin tends to be looser following weight loss.
- Genetics: your genes determine your skin’s firmness and elasticity.
- Sun exposure: chronic sun exposure reduces elastin and collagen production in your skin.
- Smoking: damages collagen and reduces its production, resulting in loose skin.
- Nutrition: your skin needs the right balance of nutrients to remain healthy.
Does loose skin after weight loss go away on its own?
Not really. But remember, factors like age, genetics, and how much weight you lost determine how much excess skin you’re left with and how well your skin responds to weight loss.
Therefore, while some patients may see improvements in their loose skin over time, some will require surgery to remove the excess skin.
How to avoid having loose skin after weight loss
The biggest fear for anyone with a lot of weight to lose is how to tighten the sagging skin after weight loss.
Our skin is elastic like a rubber band and it has the ability to move and stretch without breaking. Unfortunately, losing weight too first is one of the factors that lead to sagging skin.
The best way to avoid loose skin is to lose weight slowly, ideally one or two pounds a week.
“Losing weight rapidly doesn’t give our skin adequate time to gradually contract and this results in loose, hanging skin,” says Jordan Jacobs, M.D., an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Another great way to avoid having sagging skin during weight loss is to enroll with a weight loss program that builds your muscle.
During weight loss, your skin needs a tissue to lie to. If you lose weight while gaining muscle, your skin can shrink to fit your new muscle.
How to get rid of loose skin after weight loss
Depending on the amount of weight you’ve lost, loose skin can be tightened or removed through natural remedies or medical procedures.
Natural home remedies for skin tightening
There are different ways you can tighten loose skin after weight loss without necessarily undergoing surgery.
- Resistance training exercises: they help build muscle, which improves your skin’s appearance
- Consuming certain nutrients: protein and vitamin C increase collagen production. And omega-3 fatty acids boost skin health.
- Staying hydrated: water improves your skin’s appearance and function.
- Firming creams: although they only have subtle results.
Medical treatment for loose skin
- Body contouring surgery: involves cutting away excess skin and lifting or reshaping the remaining tissue. Body contouring surgeries include lower body lift, arm lift, and tummy tuck.
- Liposuction: uses a suction technique to remove excess fat deposits.
- Ultrasound therapy: lifts and tightens skin and promotes collagen production.
- Radiofrequency technology: uses heat to stimulate the production of collagen, tightening the skin. Devices used include Velashape and Thermage.
Remember, reducing loose skin using natural home remedies can take a bit of time. You will need to be patient and persistence for you to achieve your goal.References ⌵
- How to Tighten Loose Skin After Losing Weight(2016) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/loose-skin-after-weight-loss
- What to Do About All That Loose Skin After Weight Loss(2019) https://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/a26424334/loose-skin-after-weight-loss/
- What to Do About Loose Skin After Weight Loss(2019) https://www.verywellfit.com/excess-skin-after-weight-loss-3496273
- Treatments may help tighten your loose skin(2017). https://www.miamiherald.com/living/health-fitness/skin-deep/article168518017.html