Toning Excess Skin after a Weight Loss Surgery

How do you tighten skin after weight loss surgery?

A weight loss surgery is a boon for obese and overweight patients looking for a permanent weight loss solution. However, patients have to face several issues, before their bodies accept the transformation. One such issue is the noticeable sagging or loose skin due to postoperative weight loss. Depending on the patient’s age at the time of surgery, their skin may not be elastic enough to reciprocate the weight loss, creating loose skin.

This article takes a look at what causes loose skin after weight loss. It also provides information on natural and medical solutions that can help tighten and get rid of loose skin.

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What causes Loose Skin after Weight Loss?

The skin is the largest organ in your body and forms a protective barrier against the environment.

The innermost layer of your skin consists of proteins, including collagen and elastin. Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin’s structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and helps your skin stay tight.

During weight gain, skin expands to make room for increased growth in the abdomen and other parts of the body. Pregnancy is one example of this expansion.

Skin expansion during pregnancy occurs over a few months’ time, and the expanded skin typically retracts within several months of the baby’s birth.

By contrast, most overweight and obese people carry extra weight for years, often beginning as early as childhood or adolescence.

When skin has been significantly stretched and remains that way for a long period of time, collagen and elastin fibers become damaged. As a result, they lose some of their ability to retract.

Consequently, when someone loses a lot of weight, excess skin hangs from the body. In general, the greater the weight loss, the more pronounced the loose skin effect.

What’s more, researchers report that patients who have weight loss surgery form less new collagen, and the composition is inferior compared with the collagen in young, healthy skin.

Factors that influence the Loss of Skin Elasticity

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Several factors contribute to loose skin following weight loss:

. Length of time overweight: In general, the longer someone has been overweight or obese, the looser their skin will be after weight loss due to elastin and collagen loss.

. Amount of weight lost: Weight loss of 100 pounds (46 kg) or more typically results in a greater amount of hanging skin than more modest weight loss.

. Age: Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to be looser following weight loss.

. Genetics: Genes may affect how your skin responds to weight gain and loss.

. Sun exposure: Chronic sun exposure has been shown to reduce skin’s collagen and elastin production, which may contribute to loose skin.

. Smoking: Smoking leads to a reduction in collagen production and damage to existing collagen, resulting in loose, sagging skin.

Problems Related to Excess Loose Skin

Loose skin due to massive weight loss may cause physical and emotional challenges:

. Physical discomfort: Excess skin can be uncomfortable and interfere with normal activity. A study of 360 adults found this problem occurred most often in people who had lost 110 pounds (50 kg) or more.

. Decreased physical activity: In a study of 26 women, 76% reported that their loose skin limited exercise mobility. What’s more, 45% said they had stopped exercising altogether because their flapping skin caused people to stare.

. Skin irritation and breakdown: One study found that of 124 people who requested plastic surgery to tighten skin after weight loss surgery, 44% had reported skin pain, ulcers or infections due to the loose skin.

. Poor body image: Loose skin from weight loss can have negative effects on body image and mood.

How to prevent loose skin after weight loss surgery

Toning Excess Skin after a Weight Loss Surgery

Natural Remedies to Tighten Loose Skin

The following natural remedies may improve skin strength and elasticity to some degree in people who have lost small to moderate amounts of weight.

  1. Perform Resistance Training (Exercise)

Engaging in regular strength-training exercise is one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass in both young and older adults.

In addition to helping you burn more calories, an increase in muscle mass may also help improve the appearance of loose skin.

  1. Take Collagen

Collagen hydrolysate is very similar to gelatin. It is a processed form of the collagen found in the connective tissue of animals.

Although it hasn’t been tested in people with loose skin related to major weight loss, studies suggest that collagen hydrolysate may have a protective effect on skin’s collagen.

In a controlled study, collagen strength increased significantly after four weeks of supplementation with collagen peptides, and this effect remained for the duration of the 12-week study.

Collagen hydrolysate is also known as hydrolyzed collagen. It comes in powdered form and can be purchased at natural food stores or online.

Another popular source of collagen is bone broth, which provides other health benefits as well.

  1. Consume Certain Nutrients and Stay Hydrated

Certain nutrients are important for the production of collagen and other components of healthy skin:

. Protein: Adequate protein is vital for healthy skin, and the amino acids lysine and proline play a direct role in collagen production.

. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis and also helps protect skin from sun damage.

. Omega-3 fatty acids: A small study found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish may help increase skin elasticity.

. Water: Staying well hydrated may improve your skin’s appearance. One study found that women who increased their daily water intake had significant improvements in skin hydration and function.

  1. Use Firming Creams

Many “firming” creams contain collagen and elastin.

Although these creams may temporarily give a slight boost to skin tightness, collagen and elastin molecules are too large to be absorbed through your skin. In general, collagen must be created from the inside out.

  1. Use salt scrubs

Salt scrubs are effective in improving skin elasticity post weight loss surgery. Indulge in sea salts or any other salt scrub while taking a bath, at least twice every day, to push the transformation. According to scientists, the use of salt scrubs improves blood flow, which aids in tightening the skin.

  1. Practice Yoga

Focus on strengthening your core by adding yoga into your fitness regime at least on a daily basis, or thrice a week. Yoga helps negate stress and improve your body’s flexibility, which, in turn, improves the skin’s appearance.

  1. Go for Massage Therapy

Nothing invigorates the skin and muscles more than a stimulating massage therapy session. Massages tighten the skin and relax and destress your body after a long day at work. In the event the sagging skin does not improve after 6 months or longer, can consult your doctor to discuss a Tummy Tuck and other corrective surgery options.

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Medical Treatments to Tighten Loose Skin

Medical or surgical treatments are usually necessary to tighten loose skin after major weight loss.

. Body-Contouring Surgery

Those who have lost a significant amount of weight via bariatric surgery or other weight loss methods often request surgery to remove excess skin.

In body-contouring surgery, a large incision is made, and excess skin and fat are removed. The incision is sutured with fine stitches in order to minimize scarring.

Specific body-contouring surgeries include:

. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): Removal of skin from the abdomen.

. Lower-body lift: Removal of skin from the belly, buttocks, hips and thighs.

. Upper-body lift: Removal of skin from the breasts and back.

. Medial thigh lift: Removal of skin from the inner and outer thighs.

. Brachioplasty (arm lift): Removal of skin from the upper arms.

Multiple surgeries are usually performed on different body parts over the span of one to two years after major weight loss.

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Can you lift weights after gastric bypass?

During the first six weeks after surgery, do not lift any more than 15 lbs; otherwise, exercise up to pain threshold. Avoid abdominal exercises for the first eight to 12 weeks (allow the incision to heal). This helps alleviate abdominal hernias near or around the incision

What is the best exercise after gastric bypass?

The best types of activities to choose from include low impact exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking. Yoga, dancing, jogging, aerobics classes and light weights are also popular after bariatric surgery. It is recommended that adults should aim to be active daily.

Does loose skin ever go away?

For people who have lost small to moderate amounts of weight, skin will likely retract on its own eventually and may be helped by natural remedies. However, individuals who have achieved major weight loss may need body-contouring surgery or other medical procedures to tighten or get rid of loose skin

Can you tighten loose skin without surgery?

For many people who have been successful at weight loss, surgery is the best option. But going under the knife is not the only way to tighten loose skin. There are new medically-approved methods that are safe and effective for some patients

How much weight do you lose the first month after gastric bypass?

Gastric Bypass patients lose weight rapidly in the first 12-24 months after surgery. The rapid weight loss is due to a variety of factors, including: Your stomach size (pouch) is small, it holds about 1 ounce of food

How much weight do you lose the first month after gastric sleeve?

The amount of weight loss will depend on the person and the procedure. But it tends to be rapid in the first few months. During the first 30 days after bariatric surgery, the average weight loss is 5 to 15 pounds per week.

What can you eat after bariatric sleeve surgery?

It’s a strict diet that reduces calories as well as carbohydrates, such as sweets, potatoes, and pasta. You will eat primarily lean protein, vegetables, and low- or no-calorie fluids. Your doctor may give you a caloric goal to stick to daily. Two days prior to surgery, you will switch to a clear, liquid diet

Can you stretch your pouch after gastric bypass?

How Can You Stretch Your Stomach After Gastric Sleeve Surgery? Due to the way your stomach works, you can stretch it following the procedure. … Since your stomach had likely already stretched some prior to surgery, you could eat a large amount of food before your brain told your body that you were full

When can you start exercising after gastric bypass?

You should resume an exercise regimen two to three weeks after bariatric surgery. The goal is to increase range of motion so you can take off your shoes, for example, and pick things up off the ground. Strength-training exercises are also important because as you lose weight you will lose muscle.

How long does it take for your stomach to heal after gastric bypass?

Most gastric bypass surgery is laparoscopic, which means the surgeon makes small cuts. That makes for shorter recovery time. Most people stay in the hospital 2 to 3 days, and get back to normal activities in 3 to 5 weeks. If the surgery must be “open,” meaning the surgeon has to make a larger cut, healing takes longer.

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