While it is excellent to lose weight, one vital factor to consider is skin after weight loss. In this article, we discuss different skin after weight loss problems and solutions.
Will You Have Excess Skin After Weight Loss?
Whether or not you have excess skin after weight loss is dependent on how much weight you lose and how long it takes to lose it. If you lose as little as 20 or 30 pounds, you may not see excess skin. That is, even if you lose it within a short time.
But if you lose a lot of weight, say about 80 pounds or more, expect to see excess skin. This is especially true if you lose the extra pounds within a short time.
Another factor to consider is the method of losing weight. If you go on a diet without exercising, you may find you have excess skin, even when the extra weight is small. As your body uses up the excess fat, it creates a vacuum. And if your muscles don’t fill the space, the skin hangs loose.
How Much Loose Skin Remains After Weight Loss
The amount of loose skin you have after losing weight will depend on how much weight you lose. There is also a small chance your skin type plays a role in how your skin turns out. But it is not as significant as the lost weight.
If you lose as much as 80 pounds, the amount of loose skin you have won’t be the same as someone who loses as little as 25 pounds.
Also, the length of time in which the skin remains stretched due to weight can cause a loss of elasticity. And while the skin may return to normal, sometimes, it does not. Smoking, exposure to the sun, and age are other factors that affect how well your skin reacts to weight loss.
How to Tighten Skin After Weight Loss
There are natural and medical ways to tighten loose skin after weight loss.
The following are natural ways to tighten loose skin after weight loss:
1. Use Collagen
Taking collagen hydrolysate is one natural way to increase the skin’s elasticity and improve tightening. You can find the supplement in powdered form in food stores near you or online. Bone broth is another good source of collagen. So, if you are not keen on supplements, try this delicious alternative.
2. Apply Firming Lotions and Creams
There are many reliable skin firming lotions and creams you will find online or in beauty shops close to you. But while these products tend to be effective, they are not as effective as collagen supplements. Moreover, their results are temporary. Once you stop using the products, your skin may have a relapse.
The molecules that make up elastin and collagen are large. So, they may be too hard for the skin to absorb through the pores. Therefore, only a tiny amount seeps in, thereby slowing the healing process. It is usually better to create collagen from the inside.
3. Engage in Strength Training
Strength training helps to build the mass of muscles in your body. It is the same as exercising, but it is an intense type of workout. And when you build muscle mass, you stand a better chance of having the muscle improve the loose skin.
If you are not used to an intense workout, you may start with steady-state cardio. That way, you get your body acclimatized to exercises before switching to strength training. Over time, you can go from intense to steady-state cardio and back to intense workouts.
4. Take Nutrients
Some nutrients boost the production of collagen in your skin. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and protein aid collagen production and improve the skin’s looks. Taking them speeds up the production time and hastens the tightening process over time. That way, the elasticity of the skin improves.
In addition, drinking a good amount of water daily improves the function of the skin and helps hydration. Increase your daily water intake if you are looking to enhance the way your skin looks.
5. Start Moisturizing
While keeping your water intake high, you can help to speed the results up on the outside by moisturizing regularly. Get a collagen-rich moisturizer, and ensure it has natural oils for creating a good barrier. Apart from promoting healthy skin, moisturizers also help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
6. Exfoliate the Skin
Exfoliating your skin a few times a week will improve blood flow and eliminate dead cells from the skin’s surface. It does not have to be tedious; simply brushing the skin before showering encourages blood flow. As a result, oxygen will travel better in your skin.
Note: Apart from exercising, the other methods may not give a significant result if you have a lot of excess skin. They work for those who lost a small or moderate amount of weight.
While medical methods are quite invasive, they deliver faster results. So if you are looking for quick results, consider using any of the following ways:
There are different methods for body contouring. You can have a tummy tuck, which removes excess skin from the abdomen. A body lift procedure also removes excess skin from the thighs, buttocks, hips, back, breast, and belly.
These procedures can be done if you lose a lot of weight through surgery. However, they cannot all be done in one surgery; completing all the procedures may take up to two years. And for each surgical procedure, you may need to stay up to 3 days in the hospital and about three weeks to recover.
2. Radiofrequency Treatment
This treatment is less invasive than a surgical procedure. Due to that fact, it is not as effective as the other procedures. A radiofrequency treatment will only take care of small fat cell areas per time. Overall, it is not a significant result.
How to Avoid Having Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Do the following to avoid having loose skin after you lose weight:
1. Don’t Lose Weight too Fast
If you lose a lot of weight within a short period, you will have excess skin. It is better to go gradually and lose a small amount of weight per week. Slowly losing weight does not only affect the skin, but it also affects how successful you are in keeping off the weight.
2. Use Sun Protection
If your exercise routines are outdoors, make sure you use adequate sun protection. Sun rays deplete the skin’s collagen, and over time, you find your skin has lost some of its ability to remain elastic.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and consider wearing protective clothing as exercise gear. Many online stores sell such clothing.
3. Don’t Smoke
And keep away from second-hand smoke. Smoking reduces the level of collagen in your skin and leaves you less able to withstand impurities. Additionally, smoke encourages the emergence of wrinkles, spots, and other aging signs and lowers the skin’s plumpness.
4. Keep Hydrated
Drink lots of water and use a good moisturizer. Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out; you increase the chances of better skin cells production and health.
5. Exercise Regularly
While working to lose weight, it is important to engage in strength training. It helps to build your muscle mass so it can quickly take the place of lost fat. This way, the skin tightens, no matter the amount of weight you lose. Exercising also helps you to lose excess calories that tend to store in the body.
See your doctor while you are losing weight. The doctor is in the best position to recommend other methods and products to prevent excess skin after you lose weight.
Does Collagen Tighten Skin After Weight Loss?
Collagen may help the skin to tighten after you lose weight. Collagen is the naturally occurring protein in the skin that helps it stay elastic. With the right amount of collagen in the skin, it can expand and shrink when necessary. Think pregnancy.
However, depletion of collagen in the skin lowers its ability to shrink after expansion. Fortunately, there are foods and supplements to replenish lost collagen. But they cannot compare to the skin’s natural ability to refill it.
Sun exposure, age, genetics, and poor diet are some factors that deplete collagen. And if the skin remains stretched for too long, it may naturally lose its shrinking capacity. Therefore, consider these factors and how much weight you lose.
Bumps Under Skin After Weight Loss
If you find bumps under your skin after losing weight, they are probably lipomas. Lipomas are fatty tissue growths under the skin. They tend to be soft, without color, slowly grow, and are right under the skin. They also quickly move if you touch them.
A lipoma usually appears on the arms, neck, thighs, and shoulder. It is typically benign, meaning it is not cancerous. But let a doctor look at it to be sure it is harmless.
Weight loss is a journey that may last months or years if you don’t want excess skin after weight loss. Also, exercising while losing weight through other methods helps you build your body muscle. The muscle can take the place of the lost fat and eliminate the appearance of loose skin, including under the chin, abdomen, arms, and thighs.
Try natural methods of tightening loose skin after losing weight. If they don’t give the result you want or seem slow, you can try surgical procedures. However, consult your doctor before you choose a surgical procedure.
Skin After Weight Loss – FAQs
1. After Weight Loss, Does Skin Shrink?
The skin does not shrink automatically after weight loss. For some people, the shrinking process is faster than for other people. But generally, you need some measures to help the skin shrink after weight loss.
Take your time to lose weight, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. And don’t expose yourself to sun rays or smoke; these factors deplete skin collagen fast and shrink the skin. Also, exercise while losing weight; exercising helps you build body muscle.
2. Can You Tighten Skin After Weight Loss without Surgery?
You can tighten skin after weight loss without undergoing surgery. Moisturizing, using collagen supplements, strength training, exfoliating, taking nutrients, and applying firming lotions and creams are some of the ways to tighten your after-weight loss skin.
But there are ways to avoid having loose skin after losing weight. Some of them are keeping hydrated, not smoking, exercising regularly, not losing weight too fast, and using sun protection.
3. Hard Lumps Under Skin After Weight Loss
If you find hard lumps under the skin after weight loss, it is crucial to visit your doctor for a biopsy. They may not be any dangerous growths, but a biopsy will tell you whether or not they are benign.
4. Does Insurance Cover Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss?
While insurance companies tend to cover the cost of weight-loss surgeries, they don’t usually cover the cost of skin removal after weight loss. However, some may cover the cost of the surgery if it is related health of the patient or if the excess skin is around the abdomen.
5. Vitamins for Skin Elasticity After Weight Loss
Vitamins A, C, and E help skin elasticity after you lose weight. Vitamin A promotes your skin’s hydration; Vitamin C provides protection for the elastin and collagen in your skin, and Vitamin E enhances blood flow and protects your skin from sun damage.