Techniques to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

5 min read
Jan 19, 2024
Techniques to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Doctors assess what functions best with weight loss.
THE RESULTS OF WEIGHT LOSS are typically very positive: you feel more energized, your physical prowess has increased, and you probably feel overall healthier (not to mention more self-assured).
However, there is one minor side effect of weight loss that is sometimes overlooked and may not be as desirable: loose skin.
The largest organ in the body, skin serves as insulation, the body's first line of defense against infections, and keeps everything in its proper place.
It is an extraordinarily adaptable organ that heals to the changes that occur in our bodies. Your skin extends to accommodate the additional surface area as you put on weight. Regrettably, though, as that mass is eliminated, it is somewhat less likely to shrink.
It can be upsetting if your loose skin is overshadowing the accomplishments you've worked so hard to attain if you've just lost a significant amount of weight. However, there are a few methods to alleviate that issue; some require medical assistance, while others can be done alone.
Regardless of your size, you should feel good about yourself and at ease in your own skin. Here's the lowdown on how to achieve that if you're having trouble with loose skin that comes off after losing weight.

Why Do People Get Loose Skin After Losing Weight?

Loose skin is typically brought on by the following, according to Jordan Jacobs, M.D., an assistant professor of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York:

1. Rapid Weight Loss

Those who have bariatric surgery to lose a significant amount of weight (more than 100 pounds) are typically the ones who experience loose skin as a result of rapid weight loss. After undergoing this treatment, about 70% of patients have extra skin.
After losing weight, who can anticipate having loose skin? Although it varies, minor weight loss—think: 20 pounds or less—usually doesn't result in extra skin, according to Joshua Zuckerman, M.D., surgical director of Zuckerman Plastic Surgery in New York City.
A weight loss of 40 to 50 pounds can appear to be as significant as a weight loss of more than 100 pounds when it comes to issues with loose skin.

2. Gradual Weight Gain

One consequence of weight gain is loose skin after losing weight. "Skin has a finite elasticity, and if pushed beyond the limit of that elasticity upon weight gain, the skin cannot fully contract back down upon subsequent weight loss," explains Dr. Zuckerman.

3. Ageing Skin

The elasticity required for loose skin to "snap" back after most weight loss is lost with age. According to Jaimie DeRosa, M.D., founder and chief facial plastic surgeon at DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Boston and Palm Beach, and double board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon, this results in loose, wrinkled, and sagging skin.
Because of this, having loose skin affects more than simply your weight loss. According to him, whether or not you will have loose skin after losing weight also depends on your age and the condition of your skin.
Both younger people and those with naturally high skin elasticity have a greater chance of avoiding having too much skin than older people do. (As you age, the collagen molecules and elastic fibers that give your skin its firmness weaken.)
According to Jeffrey M. Kenkel, M.D., a professor and the chair of the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, men also often have stronger arms and legs than women.

How Can Loose Skin Be Removed After Losing Weight?

Dr. Jacobs suggests the following solutions if you want to tighten your skin after weight loss:

1. Surgical Removal

According to Dr. DeRosa, it will be quite difficult to remove the quantity of loose skin non-surgically after a considerable weight loss (typically between 70 and 100 pounds).
However, some tightening techniques are effective in removing extra skin so that any scars are hidden in areas like the underarms or pant line.

2. Body Contouring

In order to reduce fat and tighten skin, patients can also undergo contouring techniques like BodyTite and FaceTite, which can be combined with liposuction.
Just keep in mind, says Dr. Zuckerman, that unless you have a severe case of extra skin, these therapies might not be able to completely resolve the issue.

3. Slower Weight Loss

Dr. Jacobs points out that while it's not always possible (particularly for people who have undergone bariatric surgery), losing weight gradually appears to be the greatest strategy to avoid loose skin in the first place.

4. Exercise

It's usually a good idea to build muscle through strength training in conjunction with a regular workout program. Furthermore, according to Holly Wyatt, M.D., a medical professor at the University of Colorado, it may provide the appearance of more taut skin.
According to Dr. Jacobs, surgical excision is still the best option even if it requires a longer recovery time and has "profound" consequences. The outcomes of less intrusive procedures are, predictably, more subdued.

After Losing Weight, Does Loose Skin Go Away on Its Own?

Not much, doctors say. However, keep in mind that a variety of factors, including age, genetics, the amount of weight lost, and the quality of your skin, affect how much extra skin you retain and how well your skin reacts to weight loss in the first place.
Consequently, you may be able to anticipate some modifications based on your own situation.
In addition, Dr. Jacobs advises giving your skin a full year to shrink after you've reached your target weight if you've lost weight gradually. "After this time, you are not going to see any more noticeable tightening."
Next, conduct your research and contact a cosmetic surgeon qualified by the American Board of cosmetic Surgery to find out about your alternatives if you have loose skin that worries you, or if you have loose skin following bariatric surgery.

Which Home Cure Is the Best for Tightening Skin?

Exercise alone won't significantly tighten loose skin following weight reduction; no miracle skin tightening product will. According to Dr. Zuckerman, this is why having additional skin presents a challenge for people with more moderate cases.