Losing lots of weight is great – you’ll have more energy, smaller clothes, and your confidence may well see a boost. But many people experience an unexpected side effect when they shed weight quickly, and that’s excess skin.
As well as being unsightly, loose skin can be uncomfortable, affect your day to day life, and leave you feeling extremely frustrated. Making changes to a healthier and fitter lifestyle can help with toning and muscle definition, but exercise and a better diet can't completely counter excess skin that’s lost its elasticity.
Several factors can contribute to loose or sagging skin after weight loss, including:
- How long you’ve been overweight
- The amount of weight you’ve lost
- Exposure to direct sunlight
- Lifestyle habits, such as smoking
The science bit
Collagen and elastin make up a big part of the structure of the skin. Collagen helps with the firmness and texture, while elastin is responsible for its elasticity, helping it stay tight.
When we gain weight, our skin expands, and when it’s stretched over a long period of time, the collagen and elastin fibres can become damaged.
As skin ages, its collagen levels reduce, too, and habits like smoking can cause the collagen levels in your skin to drop. Genetics can also play a part in how your body and skin respond to weight gain and loss, and the sun can break down the collagen and elastin production in your skin.
All these factors can make it difficult for your skin to 'snap back' after losing a significant amount of weight – instead, it hangs from your body.
What can I do?
Fortunately, there are surgical and body contouring procedures that can help combat the issue of sagging skin. These include tummy tucks, lift procedures, and microneedling.
A tummy tuck (also called an abdominoplasty) is a procedure that results in a firmer and smoother stomach. Loose or excess skin that you’ve been unable to shift through exercise is removed and stretch-marked skin smoothed, with muscles and tendons in the stomach repaired or tightened. A tummy tuck helps target that loose or sagging skin after weight loss, contouring the shape of the stomach.
The skin on the arms, thighs, chest, and stomach can be looser or sag after significant weight loss. Lifts can help tighten these areas to achieve a smoother, more streamlined shape. Lift procedures reduce areas of extra skin, tighten the skin, and remove any excess fat.
Microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment designed to enhance skin tone and texture. This procedure helps stimulate collagen and elastin production to help tighten and rejuvenate loose or ageing skin. This treatment can be used on the face across areas such as the forehead, cheeks, chin, nose, and under-eye area.
Sagging skin doesn’t need to be a lasting but unwanted reminder of your amazing weight loss – it can be treated, and Transform Hospital Group can help. Get in touch to find out more.