Skin After Liposuction [Problems, Solutions & Care]

Liposuction is a surgical procedure to remove excess fat from a body area, usually the abdomen. But what happens to your skin after liposuction? Let’s discuss it.

Skin after liposuction

What Happens to the Skin After Liposuction?

The skin may tighten a little after liposuction. The excess skin will depend on the amount of fat removed during liposuction. But generally, it will remain the same, only flabby.

Liposuction does not handle the excess skin that results from the removal of fat. Surgical procedures, generally grouped under body contouring, take care of excess skin after fat removal in any part of the body.

Therefore, after liposuction, you may want to undergo other procedures to tighten your skin. This is especially true if your skin does not snap back to shape easily. For some people, their skin tightens after the surgery, though it may take months. For others, skin tightening is only minimal.

Skin Discoloration After Liposuction – Treatment

Skin discoloration after liposuction, also called Erythema Ab Liporaspiration, has no treatment. The skin discoloration also does not get better with time. It seems to be a permanent complication from liposuction as of today.

The discoloration results from intentional or unintentional rasping of the skin’s undersurface during the procedure. The rasping leads to injuries on the surface vascular network. The discoloration you see is the injury.

How to Treat Skin Necrosis After Liposuction

If skin necrosis is detected early enough after liposuction, an intradermal oxygen injection and hyperbaric oxygen therapy help stop the spread and treat it. But if it is not seen on time, you can use antibiotics and surgical debridement, as well as hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Chronic smoking leaves you prone to skin necrosis after liposuction. Smoke wears the skin out and depletes nutrients, leaving it vulnerable. And if there is excessive superficial liposuction along with using sharp cannulae, the risk increases. This is also true with aggressive abdominal liposuction.

If the skin gets infected after liposuction, or there is thrombosis, flap necrosis, or vasculitis, skin necrosis spreads. Therefore, it is crucial to discuss the advantages and complications that come with liposuction with your doctor before undergoing the surgery.

How to Massage Skin After Liposuction

To massage your skin after liposuction, also called lymphatic drainage massage, do the following:

Place your middle and index fingers in the indented area right above your collarbone. Move your fingers gently until you reach your neck. Then, rub your neck in a clockwise manner as you move towards your chest.

As you do so, you will feel your lymph. Ensure you move it towards the node. The movement encourages the lymph fluid to circulate throughout your body. Next, press the skin in your underarms and pull it firmly in the direction of your neck. Press and drag the skin a few times.

Now, massage your thigh, moving your flat hand towards the inner knee. Don’t use a lot of pressure when massaging the thighs, so you don’t flatten the nodes. Lastly, rub the back of your knee using a scooping and pushing motion.

If the massage process seems a bit too much for a DIY, there are massage therapists trained in lymphatic drainage massages. They know what to do. However, consult your doctor before self-massaging if you are using that method.

Importance of Massaging Skin After Liposuction

After liposuction, there is a pooling of lymphatic fluids in your skin. The fluids lead to the swelling you see in liposuction patients. Over time, if the fluids are not circulated, they cause the skin areas where they are stored to harden. This leaves lumps under the skin.

Therefore, the massage technique focuses on the parts with the lymph nodes and that process the fluids. That way, the fluids circulate and drain. So, start massaging your skin four or five days after liposuction if you want the best result. The massage makes the recovery time quicker. You will need about six treatments before most of the fluid drains.

How Long Does Your Body Hurt After Liposuction?

Your body may hurt intensely for up to four days after liposuction. Some people start feeling better as early as two days post-liposuction. Be aware that people handle pain differently, so there is no general rule that applies here.

After a few days, the intense pain starts to wear out, and you only feel tender and sore for a few weeks. The process is gradual, therefore expect the discomfort to last up to eight weeks.

To ease the process, move around as much as you can. After 24 hours pass following the surgery, take short walks around your house. When you are fit enough, go outside and take a stroll. Don’t engage in intensive exercises, not for several weeks. Your doctor should give you the go-ahead before you can start.

In addition, reduce the amount of salt you take because it can cause the body to retain water. And if the body retains water, it makes the swelling worse. Drink about eleven glasses of water daily, wear comfortable clothing, and don’t sit in the bath with water. Lastly, go for lymphatic drainage massages.

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Will You Have Loose Skin After Liposuction?

You may have loose skin after liposuction. The amount of loose skin will depend on the elasticity of your skin and your lifestyle. These two factors will determine how quickly the skin snaps back into shape after the surgery.

Factors that affect skin elasticity are:

  • Losing too much weight too fast
  • Age
  • Not eating well
  • Exposure to the sun

Your doctor will discuss skin elasticity with you before the surgery. But if you want to improve the elasticity of your skin, do the following:

  • Use sunscreen
  • Stop smoking
  • Take collagen
  • Apply retinol and hyaluronic acid
  • Use vitamins A, C, and E
  • Go for a body contouring procedure

How to Treat Loose Skin After Liposuction

Here are different ways to treat loose skin after liposuction:

1. Exercise

Don’t start immediately after the surgery. Ensure you allow your body a few days of recovery. Then, get clearance from your doctor. When you are free to start exercising, do as much of it as you can. It will help spread nutrients in your skin faster and promote blood flow.

2. Massage

Massages improve blood circulation, thereby increasing oxygen in the skin. Massaging also helps to prevent sagging, but it helps if the surgery is recent. The results will be better that way.

3. Skin-firming Creams

These creams tighten loose skin, but they take a little while to show results. The key here is consistency; make the creams a part of your daily skincare routine for the best results. However, let your doctor clear you and recommend the products to use.

4. Strength Training

It is the same as exercising, only more intense. You build your muscles this way so that the muscles take the place of the removed fat. Over time, you will notice your skin tightening as the muscles grow and make the skin taut.

5. Hydration

You can keep hydrated in two ways. Drink a lot of water to hydrate from the inside out, and use moisturizers to hydrate from the outside. Twelve glasses of water every day rid the body of toxins and promote healthier skin.

6. Surgery

After all else has failed, consider going under the knife…again. For some loose skin types, the only way to handle it is through surgery. The same applies if there is an underlying health condition or if you want quick results and don’t mind the hassles of surgery.

There are invasive surgical procedures to tighten loose skin around the belly, arms, thighs, and back. But there are less invasive procedures such as radiofrequency treatment and infrared pulsed light. If you choose the less invasive procedures, be aware that they are not as effective as the invasive procedures. So, the results may take longer to appear and won’t be as superb.

Red Skin After Liposuction – What It Means

If you have red skin after liposuction, go to your doctor immediately. The doctor should be able to determine whether or not you have an infection or incomplete anesthetic drainage. If it is an infection, the doctor will know what medication with which to treat it.

But if it is incomplete drainage, the redness on your skin is a common postoperative inflammation caused by poor drainage of anesthetic. Your doctor can prevent it by using bimodal compression, open drainage, and adits during the surgery. Post-operation, your doctor may have to open any sutures and drain the anesthetic solution marked with blood.

How to Treat Fibrosis on Skin After Liposuction

Use a combination treatment of lymphatic drainage massage, myofascia, and ultrasound therapy. There is no way to know who can have fibrosis or what can cause it. But certain factors increase the risk:

  • Tight clothing
  • Genetics
  • Scar size
  • No movement

Some people are more likely to produce fibroblast than others. Such people will have thick raised scars even from the tiniest cuts. But the treatment mentioned above usually handles fibrosis, especially in the early stages. This is part of the reason why doctors recommend lymphatic massages a few days post-surgery.

Fibrosis typically appears as hard lumps right under your skin after surgery. You may also notice some sensitivity around the area, pain, tautness when you try to move or stretch, uneven skin, thick skin on the scar tissue, and even numbness. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, visit your doctor.

Yellow Skin After Liposuction – What to Do

If you find that you have yellow skin after liposuction, it means lymphatic fluid is collecting under the skin that was treated. Visit your doctor for drainage options, but lymphatic massages help, especially immediately after the surgery.

The issue is common after liposuction and is not a serious one. If you don’t treat it, the fluid collection is likely to resolve itself in months. But your doctor is in the best position to recommend a treatment or give you preventive measures before you undergo the surgery.

Air Under Skin After Liposuction – Solved

If you feel air under your skin after liposuction, use compression garments to resolve it. Sometimes, you don’t even need to use compression; the issue will resolve itself naturally. Subcutaneous emphysema, or air under your skin, is usually not dangerous, but if you begin to feel any discomfort in the area, call your doctor and let them know immediately.


Liposuction is excellent if you are looking to remove excess fat. But you have to be aware of all the upsides and downsides of the procedure, including skin after liposuction. Thankfully, there are ways to solve complications, and we have listed some of them in this article.

Don’t manage any pain or discomfort that results from liposuction. If you begin to feel off, call your doctor immediately. Better still, go into the doctor’s office for a physical examination.

Skin After Liposuction – FAQs

How to Get Rid of Dents After Liposuction

A minor liposuction procedure can get rid of dents in your skin after liposuction; just a touch-up, nothing significant. These dents occur when there is an uneven and excessive fat removal in different parts of the body.

Why Does Skin Itch After Liposuction?

Your skin itches after liposuction because tiny nerves may have suffered some disruption. The area may feel numb at first, but as the nerves begin to recover, the area starts to itch. Numbness and burning may accompany the itch before full recovery.