You may dream of having a tighter, more toned figure while working hard to shed a few pounds. But when you end up with sagging skin after a significant weight loss, you’re bound to feel a bit annoyed. Losing weight to manage obesity can significantly reduce your chances of developing various diseases. However, it sometimes leads to sagging skin.
This is a fairly common side effect of weight loss. It can even affect up to 70 percent of those who undergo bariatric surgery, according to a review published by PubMed Central and the National Center for Biotechnology Information. While this may be normal and not an indication of concern, it can still be uncomfortable and can make your skin appear older. So how to tighten skin after weight loss? let’s find out
Health Shots spoke to Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Consulting Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics to suggest some best ways to overcome this skin problem due to weight loss.
dr Kapoor says, “Beyond the cosmetic factors, maintaining a healthy weight also comes with many health benefits, such as a good heart and metabolism and glowing skin. There is only one side effect of losing weight and that is sagging and dull skin.”
What Causes Sagging Skin After Weight Loss?
Those who have experienced significant weight loss through exercise or through bariatric surgery often find loose skin frustrating. dr Kapoor says, “The amount of sagging skin is not proportional to how much weight you lose, but is also affected by many factors such as your eating habits, genetics, smoking and sun exposure.”
The good news is that some simple treatments can help prevent or treat sagging skin. He adds, “Loose skin is caused by loosening of collagen and elastic fibers.” Not only does this make you look aged, but the skin folds can also be a breeding ground for bacteria that cause infection and chafing.
If you want to avoid sagging skin due to weight loss, follow these 5 tips:
Building muscle mass through muscle strengthening and strength training exercises can help plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of sagging skin. As a result, your skin looks tighter and better.
When it comes to nutrition to tone your skin, it’s important that you add collagen. It is found in bone broth, eggs, meat, fish and spirulina. dr Kapoor says, “A high-protein diet with plenty of water also makes your skin elastic and flexible and prevents dehydration.” You should also include foods rich in vitamins C and E to improve collagen and skin health.
3. Non-invasive treatments
Non-invasive treatments such as the use of radio frequency and infrared light deliver energy under the skin, causing cells to contract, shrink and create new collagen and elastin. The result is firm and flexible skin.
4. Skin tightening surgery
This includes a range of procedures such as the popular tummy tuck, arm lift, breast lift, face lift and lower body lift. The surgeon removes excess skin and fat from the body and wraps the skin to create a smoother appearance. However, for this surgery you must have had a stable weight for the past six months and it should be more than two years since the weight loss surgery.
5. Firming creams
This might not be a very effective solution, but it can definitely make a difference. Firming creams help improve skin’s appearance by boosting collagen production and elastin molecules. Always choose one that contains anti-aging ingredients like collagen and retinoids. Use them daily and maintain a healthy skincare routine.
Can compression garments help sagging skin?
You’ve probably seen compression garments on the market that claim to care for sagging skin. Note, however, that they do not improve loose skin, they only minimize the cosmetic side effects of sagging skin. It can help reduce irritation, pain, itching, and the risk of infection, but does not tighten the skin.
Discuss with your cosmetic surgeon the right treatment to maintain weight loss and prevent and treat sagging skin.