For moderate amounts of weight loss, your skin will most likely return to its normal shape; however, these 6 tips can help tighten loose skin.
With increasing weight, more fat is deposited below the skin, and eventually, your skin stretches. If you lose weight drastically either with exercise and diet or by surgical procedures, the skin gets saggy and forms stretch marks due to the loss of fat underneath it. It takes time to adapt to the new shape.
Usually, minimal saggy skin may return to normal shape after weight loss. However, the skin that has been stretched excessively for longer periods becomes saggy with weight loss and requires toning exercises or plastic surgery to remove the excess saggy skin.
To avoid skin sagging, it is advisable to lose weight slowly and consistently with proper nutrition and exercises, including strength-training workouts.
Why does weight loss cause extra skin?
Skin is the largest organ that covers most of the surface of the body. It forms a barrier between your body and the environment to keep anything hazardous at bay and prevent infections.
Your skin is mostly composed of proteins, the most significant of which are collagen and elastin. These two make up your skin’s underlying layer.
- Collagen, which makes about 80 percent of your skin’s structure, offers firmness and strength. Collagen is typically white in color.
- Elastin is a yellow tissue that provides your skin elasticity and helps maintain its tightness.
Usually, when skin is stretched or pulled, it bounces back to its original shape when released. This is due to collagen and elastin in the skin. However, when the skin is stretched significantly for a lengthy period, collagen and elastin fibers are damaged. As a result, your skin loses part of its capacity to retract.
When you lose a lot of weight, extra skin may hang off your body.
6 tips to help tighten loose skin after weight loss
- If you do not lose weight properly, it leads to skin loosening, particularly around the waist, thighs, and arms, which is undesirable. Some people may have aesthetic concerns because of it. This is a common issue for women after giving birth.
- Regular exercise can help tone and tighten the extra skin and keeps you in good shape.
- Build muscle
- The first step is to gain muscle to target extra skin. Rapid weight loss is usually induced by a high amount of cardio and a calorie-deficient diet. Muscle is lost along with fat in this case, which can cause the skin to seem sagging.
- Compound resistance workouts are a wonderful way to burn fat and develop muscle at the same time. To tone your body, try a variety of workouts, such as deadlifts and squats, which help you prevent weight gain.
- Proper diet to boost skin elasticity
- Certain foods and beverages can help increase skin suppleness. Consume enough antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Include nuts, beans, and legumes, which help the body replace dead skin cells.
- Include oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon, in your diet at least one time a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to maintain your skin’s moisture and elasticity. According to research, people who took a gelatin supplement daily were able to increase the flexibility of their skin.
- Exfoliation of the skin
- If you are bothered with sagging skin after losing weight, you should consider exfoliating your body. This is because it will aid in the promotion of blood circulation and the removal of dead skin cells from the surface.
- You might use a dry skin brush before showering; massage it in circular strokes from your feet to your heart. If you do not want to do this, you might try bathing with an exfoliating body scrub. It will help reduce cellulite.
- Massaging does wonders for your skin in the same way that exfoliating does. It improves blood circulation to the skin’s surface, stimulating the creation of new skin cells. It reduces muscular tension.
- Massage loose skin with a thick cream containing shea butter. If the skin seems excessively greasy, blot it down with a cloth and massage with dry hands.
- Hydration is crucial not just on the inside but also on the outside. So, with drinking enough water, you need to moisturize your skin often to keep it healthy.
- To seal in moisture, use a good moisturizer that contains collagen or natural oils, such as coconut, almond, or olive oil. Moisturizing well reduces stretch marks. Hence, making this a daily habit can give your skin a healthy appearance.
6 types of extra skin removal procedures
Excess skin can be removed using a variety of methods. Most people require a combination of surgeries to get the desired appearance. Your doctor can advise you on which operations will be most beneficial to you.
The procedures for extra skin removal include:
- Brachioplasty: Brachioplasty, also called an arm lift, is a surgical technique that removes extra and typically sagging upper arm skin. By eliminating localized pockets of fat in the upper arm area, the operation results in tightening and smoothing of the underlying supporting tissues that determine the contour of the upper arm. If your upper arms are drooping and seem loose owing to extra fat and skin, arm lift surgery may be correct for you.
- Mastopexy: Mastopexy surgery, often called breast uplift, is a procedure that removes excess skin from the breasts and lifts and reshapes them to make them appear younger.
- Abdominoplasty: Abdominoplasty, sometimes called “tummy tuck,” is a type of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. It is used to tighten muscles that have become loosened or divided as a result of pregnancy and remove fat and excess skin from the abdomen following major weight reduction.
- Panniculectomy: A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure that eliminates a pannus. Pannus is an excess of skin and fat tissue that hangs down over the genitals and thighs.
- Lower body lifts: The procedure lifts your lower body if you have various lower-body contour defects. This procedure involves a circumferential bikini-line incision to elevate relaxed trunk and thigh tissues at the same time.
- Thigh lift: Thigh lift surgery reshapes the thighs by removing extra skin and fat, resulting in smoother skin and more proportionate thighs and lower body contours.
Surgical procedures are the best options to remove extra skin and give you a youthful look if your fitness and weight-control efforts do not provide you with better results.
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Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
Connecticut Children’s. How Do I Get Rid of Extra Skin After Weight Loss? https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/health-library/en/teens/extra-skin/
Premier Vein & Vascular. Tightening Loose Skin After Losing Weight. https://www.premierveinandvascular.org/blog/tightening-loose-skin-after-losing-weight
Cleveland Clinic. Excess Skin Removal. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22017-excess-skin-removal