If you have lost a significant amount of weight, you probably have gone through the phase of loose or saggy skin, which is very much common among those who go through the weight loss journey.
The saggy skin is caused due to reduced level of collagen in the dermis and can be seen in any part of the body, including the face. Anyone can have saggy skin, but as people age, it’s more likely to happen to them. Additionally, those who have dropped much weight are especially vulnerable.
This blog post discussed everything about saggy skin, its causes, and treatments. If you don’t know what saggy skin looks like, keep reading; this blog post can help you.
Causes of Saggy Skin after Weight Loss
So after working out for long hours in the gym and consuming the appropriate weight-loss diet, you have lost a lot of weight. That’s great, but if you have a visible appearance of saggy skin, it might probably look awful.
No one wants the skin to look saggy or bouncy, especially after the weight loss drill. For some people, it can even affect their self-confidence or make them feel more conscious about their overall appearance.
The skin is the body’s natural protective shield that protects your body from external invasion of harmful elements. The skin comprises various components, including elastin and collagen, which are more likely to reduce as the person ages. Skin enlarges during weight gain to accommodate accelerated growth.
When the skin is expanded for longer than its original limit, this expansion damages some of its essential components. So when you lose much body weight, extra skin may hang off the body. In general, the effect of loose skin is more noticeable if the weight reduction is significantly visible.
There are multiple causes behind the loose skin, which we have penned down to help you know more about these causes.
1. Quick Weight Loss
The significant weight reduction that damages elastin and collagen is the primary reason behind saggy skin. When the person loses weight, it becomes difficult for the skin to retract, making it look bouncy.
Those who undergo bariatric surgery for rapid weight loss are more likely to add sagginess to their skin due to the rapid weight shedding. Your age during weight reduction might also affect how sagging your skin appears because younger skin recovers more quickly.
Skin elasticity shrinks when the fat is removed with a slower weight loss. However, if too much is shed too quickly, the skin’s suppleness can’t keep up with the rapid reduction.
2. Reduced Intake of Nutrients
You risk losing the essential vitamins and minerals from your diet that support the production of hormones like estrogen and testosterone if you do not consume the recommended number of healthy meals. These hormones are crucial for cell regeneration, collagen synthesis, and proper muscle tone.
Skin elasticity alterations may result from this hormone drop. So, it’s crucial to eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support skin health.
3. Skin Conditions
Although this particular reason behind saggy skin is not very common, there are still some chances of skin sagginess due to rare skin conditions such as granulomatous slack skin. People who go through this rare skin disease have the visible appearance of saggy skin regardless of their weight, and also, the sagginess, in this case, is challenging to reduce under treatment.
Another major reason behind saggy or loose skin is after pregnancy. Females carrying twins or triplets are likelier to have skin sagginess around their bellies after giving birth. Females who give birth in their late 30s or early 40s have more chances of developing saggy skin after delivery.
As the person ages, his skin loses two main components: elastin and collagen. While elastin brings elasticity to the skin, collagen makes it firmer and tighter. As people age, their ability to produce elastin and collagen decreases.
Over time, these two vital skin proteins may also degrade over time due to outside influences such as sunlight exposure, environmental pollutants, and poor diet. Inadequate skin care and excessive sun exposure can speed up your skin’s aging process. Your skin may appear sagging and wrinkled earlier than it would otherwise.
How Much Weight Loss Cause Loose Skin?
Generally, people who lose significant weight quickly are more likely to experience loose skin. Weight loss of around 50-100 pounds or more can lead to loose skin.
However, this can vary based on individual factors such as:
- How quickly the weight was lost
How to Tighten the Loose Skin after Weight Loss?
As you are now aware of the main cause behind the saggy or loose skin after weight loss, here is the main point of concern, i.e., how to tighten the loose skin after weight loss.
You probably feel discouraged or question your physical appearance after looking at that skin bulge, even after losing considerable weight. You are not alone in it. While we always encourage our readers to embrace their skin, we also want you to reduce skin sagginess, which may affect your self-confidence.
There are various remedies, exercises, and medical procedures which you can go through to reduce loose skin. The treatment plans are designed to treat minor to major skin sagginess to promote tightened skin effectively.
If you have minor skin sagginess, you can easily get rid of it by performing a few exercises, including Pilates, weight lifting, or resistance training to increase muscle mass, tighten the body’s core, and strengthen the muscle mass. There are various facial exercises as well, which reduce saggy skin around the face, especially below the chin and around the throat.
2. Skin Products
While most of us don’t know, various creams, serums, and lotions help considerably reduce the loose skin below the eyes and around the face. These products are enriched with retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, which boosts skin rejuvenation and encourages collagen production to make skin look younger and tighter.
3. Laser Therapies
Certain laser therapies, such as Laser Resurfacing and Microfocused Ultrasound, effectively reduce moderate skin sagginess. These therapies make skin look firmer by boosting elastin and collagen production.
If you have loose skin around your belly or on the upper arms, laser treatments can be great to get rid of it. Laser Peeling, or Laser Resurfacing, transfers heat into the deep skin layers and removes the upper layers of loose skin.
Get more information about laser resurfacing in this blog post.
4. Surgical Treatments
Moving to the most stubborn or major type of skin sagginess in which nothing else works, the person must undergo surgical procedures to reduce the skin sagginess. Cosmetic procedures such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty, facelift, neck lift, and other body contouring procedures greatly reduce loose skin from various body areas.
You can read here about abdominoplasty for detailed information.
Tips to Firm Loose Skin
Although minimally invasive surgeries effectively reduce the appearance of loose skin, not everyone agrees to undergo these cosmetic procedures. You may try specific remedies to make your skin look firm if you want to avoid medical procedures.
- Massage your skin with cocoa butter, argan oil, almond oil, or avocado oil, as these oils have exceptional soothing properties which make your skin look smooth and prevent it from any damage.
- Invest in skin-firming creams, including retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin A, as these promote the shedding of dead skin cells and increase the production of more matured skin cells.
- Mix some coffee into water and make a paste of thick consistency. Apply this paste on your saggy skin in a circular motion. Caffeine helps in improving the appearance of the skin.
- Use a hydrating moisturizer that locks the moisture inside your skin and hydrates it deeply to make it look smooth.
- Do not go out without applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
There is no magic skin-tightening formula or exercise that will tighten loose skin following weight loss on its own. The only non-invasive and minimally invasive alternatives available are somewhat helpful in removing moderate to more visible skin sagginess.
It is recommended to go slow on your body and allow it time to retract after losing a huge amount of weight. Take care of your skin, prevent excessive sun exposure, adopt a healthy lifestyle routine, and reduce the consumption of alcohol, smoking, and anything that impact your body in any way.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS, is a connective tissue syndrome in which collagen production is affected, which results in skin sagginess or an unpleasant bouncy appearance.
How can I lose 50 pounds without loose skin?
By opting appropriate diet and practicing strength and muscle-gaining exercises, it is possible to make skin look tighter after rapidly losing 50 pounds of weight.
How do you keep your skin tight when losing weight?
To keep your skin tight while losing weight: lose weight gradually, stay hydrated, build muscle, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, use moisturizer, and consider skin-tightening treatments if needed.
Are surgical procedures safe to reduce saggy skin?
If performed by expert doctors, the surgical procedures are 100% safe and effectively reduce loose skin from any body part. There is less downtime following the loose skin surgery. Still, it is recommended to take a week or two off from work and limit yourself from performing heavy workouts or getting into intense physical activities.
Which surgeries are best and most recommended to treat loose skin?
Surgeries such as Tummy Tuck, Brachioplasty, face life, and panniculectomy are effective in getting rid of excess skin from the body.
Will losing 40 lbs cause loose skin?
The skin may start looking saggy if the person has lost 40 to 50 pounds within less time.