One of the biggest problems people face after drastic weight loss is loose skin. When they were overweight/obese, there was a lot of fatty tissue beneath their skin. But now that they’ve lost the fat, there is nothing to hold the skin upright. The result is sagging, loose skin–a serious problem when it comes to your appearance.
But what can you do about it? Is there any way to get rid of loose skin after drastic weight loss?
Well, in many cases, the answer is no. For those who have been overweight/obese for many years, their skin has stretched out beyond its ability to return to “normal”. The skin has stayed in that stretched out position for so long that it simply can’t heal itself or snap back to where it was before you got heavy. Even your abdominal muscles stretch as a result of excessive weight, and the connective tissues in your abdominal muscles remain in their “inflated” position.
Of course, the quality of your skin also effects just how much you will be able to “return to normal shape” after drastic weight loss. If you have very healthy skin, there will be enough collagen and elastin to tighten the skin at least somewhat. However, for those without sufficient elastin or collagen, their skin will never fully recover. Other factors that contribute to the problem involve smoking habits, the amount of weight you gained then lost, exposure to the sun, your age, genetics, and even your skin tone.
The truth is that loose skin can be more than just unpleasant-looking. It can be uncomfortable, even painful, and can trap sweat and promote chafing. For people with large quantities of loose skin, rashes and irritation are a fairly normal part of life, and no amount of rash cream will get rid of it. They may have to wear uncomfortable, unpleasant clothes just to cope with the excessive amounts of skin.
So what can you do about it? Well, first off, don’t be fooled by all the “skin tightening” creams, wraps, and DIY products around. They may work to tighten a small amount of loose skin, but when it comes to the large quantities that are left after drastic weight loss, they won’t really do a thing. You’ll waste your money on these expensive products and ingredients without seeing results.
No, the best option is to go the route recommended by your reconstructive surgeon or dermatologist:
Non-invasive skin tightening devices –– These work for modest amounts of loose skin, as they use ultrasound or radiofrequency energy to tighten up your skin. It’s not a solution if you have lost hundreds of pounds, but it’s good for those who have loose skin after weight loss between 30 and 75 pounds.
Plastic surgery —Sometimes, reconstructive surgery is the best option. A reconstructive surgeon will remove the excess skin from around your body, but it may take multiple surgeries to get the best results. This is recommended for people who have lost more than 100 pounds, and only available for those who can KEEP the weight off once they’ve lost it. Like all surgeries, it carries certain health risks, so it’s wise to consider the option carefully.
The truth is that these are the only two ways to get rid of loose skin after drastic weight loss. All the other “skin tightening” products and creams on the market are designed for small amounts of skin, such as sagging cheeks or jowls. They won’t work for the large quantities of loose skin resulting from drastic weight loss.