If you have had gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve, you probably lost a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. If the surgeries were successful, you may have loose skin.
Loose or saggy skin is a common problem after losing more than 50 to 100 pounds in a short period of time. In time, you may see improvements, but some people may not. Below, you will learn what you can do to manage loose skin after weight loss.
Why Won’t My Skin Snap Back?
When you are obese, your skin stretches out. The longer you are obese, the less elasticity your skin has. This means that even if you lost pounds slowly, your skin may not bounce back.
The longer it was stretched out, the less likely it is to just snap back. Additionally, there are risk factors that could cause you to have loose skin.
Will I Have Loose Skin If I Loose Weight Fast?
As stated above, different factors can contribute to loose skin and it not being able to snap back as quickly as you would like it to. These factors include:
Age: The older you get, the less elastic your skin becomes.
Genetics: Your genetics play a huge roll in the firmness of your skin. If you have family with loose skin problems, you may have it too.
Weight that was Lost: When you lose a large amount of weight in a short time, such as with a weight loss surgery, your skin doesn’t have time to shrink with your body. It could be permanently stretched.
The sun: If you were exposed to a lot of sun in the past or in the present, that can damage the elasticity of your skin.
Nutrition: Proper nutrition is just as important to your body as it is to your skin. Vitamin C and E are crucial to healthy skin.
Water Intake: Your body is made up of 70% water, and if you aren’t getting enough, it will come out of your skin. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Smoking: Smoking speeds up your normal aging process. This means your skin could lose elasticity quicker if you are a smoker.
How to Avoid Loose Skin after Weight Loss
If you want to avoid loose skin, it is important to lose weight slowly. You want to try and lose only about 1-2 pounds per week.
Slower weight loss allows you to maintain your muscle mass while losing fat to allow your skin to adjust as you lose weight.
However, if you have had bariatric surgery, you may not have control over this. So, you will need to work on tightening your loose skin.
5 Tips for Managing Loose Skin After Weight Loss
If you have had bariatric surgery, you will most likely lose weight faster than recommended. Because of this, you will need to work on tightening your loose skin. Here are some tips you can use to tighten loose skin after weight loss:
Building muscle mass helps decrease the appearance of loose skin. It also helps with the elasticity. Ask your doctor about exercises that would be helpful for you.
#2 Use Firming Creams
Firming creams will be subtle. You should use firming creams that contain a product called retinoid. Retinoids help prevent free radical damage in the skin that affects collagen. Collagen is what helps tissues to maintain their elasticity which prevents loose skin.
As stated above, your skin needs certain nutrients to keep its elasticity. You could try the following supplements:
- Vitamin C or Vitamin E
- Collagen Hydrolysate
- Lysine and proline
- Gelatin or Glycine
#4 Massage the Skin
Did you know that massaging your skin increases blood flow? This evokes an anti-aging response. You can use a salt or sugar scrub to increase the blood flow as well.
#5 Cosmetic Surgery
If all else fails, you may need to get cosmetic surgery to remove and tighten the skin. Some surgeries to consider include:
- Chemical Peels
- Ablative Laser Resurfacing
- Ultrasound Skin Tightening
- Radiofrequency Treatments
- Tummy tuck
Do you have loose or saggy skin? What steps are you taking to reverse it? Share them in the comments below!