Different areas of the body – such as the face, the stomach, and underneath the arms – may suddenly take on a saggier texture, which is clear evidence that you’ve lost fat but are stuck with the extra skin.
In moderate weight loss, the skin can often “bounce back” and regain its firmness over time, especially in the face.
Yet when you’ve lost a lot of weight, the flaps and folds – however small or large – could be more permanent.
We at GreenLite believe that cosmetic procedures are a completely personal decision, and everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own skin. So while we embrace finding ways to eat, move, and live naturally, we also know that many of our clients have concerns about what they’ll look like after they lose the weight.
Here’s a basic overview of your options:
Invasive procedures may be appealing to you if you have lost a lot of weight and have both the resources and time to undergo surgery. Like all surgical procedures, however, there are always risks involved and results may vary:
- Tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a procedure many people opt for after extreme weight loss or pregnancy. Unfortunately, the stomach skin isn’t as resilient as the face, for example, so this procedure can address loose flaps or folds that can’t be fixed otherwise.
- Under-arm lift. While patients can build muscle mass in the arms, many find it difficult to tighten the area underneath the arms. An under-arm lift, or brachioplasty, removes excess skin and some fat in order to tighten this area and give the arms a more firm appearance.
- Facelift. Weight loss can also affect the face, leaving droopy or saggy areas around the cheeks or under the eyes. A facelift procedure can address this problem, which involves pulling back the skin near the scalp to “lift” the face and make it more taut.
- Skin removal surgery. For people with a lot of excess skin, individualized skin removal surgery can address the areas on your body where the extra skin is getting in the way of movement or quality of life.
Non-invasive procedures are another option for less dramatic skin changes after weight loss. Good results, however, may require multiple treatments or regular maintenance.
- Laser therapy: Medical treatments that use light to resurface and restructure skin fall into the laser therapy category. Different wave lengths of light can be focused into intense beams, enabling the surface skin to be smoothed out. Some therapies might include a non-surgical tummy tuck or the removal of cellulite.
- Injectables: Injectibles and fillers, like Restylane, can help plump up loose or saggy skin in the face.
Mitigating the effects of loose skin after weight loss can also be somewhat accomplished with more natural remedies. You won’t achieve dramatic results, but you may find that some of these work for you:
- Creams: For the face, certain firming creams can be effective in tightening up skin.
- Wraps: For the body, wraps are often promoted as a remedy for cellulite, loose or sagging skin. Evidence that they actually work is mostly just anecdotal, however.
- Exercise: For individuals that don’t have extreme issues with excess skin, exercise can be one of the best ways to tighten up. Weight-bearing exercises that build muscle (or body weight exercises that strengthen and tone, like yoga) can often reduce the appearance of cellulite, flabby underarms, or a loose tummy.
- Hydration: Getting adequate water is also an important factor in skin elasticity and appearance. Chronic dehydration can make skin look more wrinkled, sallow, and saggy.
*Actual results may vary