Losing a significant amount of weight can feel awesome, but it sometimes comes with an unexpected side effect. Unfortunately, saggy skin after weight loss is common and, for many people, unpleasant and frustrating to deal with.
Besides disliking the appearance of saggy skin, you may find that it makes well-fitting clothing elusive and hard to find. Folds of skin can be irritated by sweat and result in rashes or yeast infections.
That being said, if you’re dealing with stretched-out skin which hasn’t regained elasticity, there are several options to weigh – from the more drastic, like cosmetic surgery, to the more affordable, like maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are the top 5 ways to get right of loose skin after weight loss.
The Best Ways to Get Rid of Saggy Skin After Weight Loss
#1. Tummy Tuck & Other Surgical Methods
While skin is fairly elastic, it does better at expanding than it does at shrinking. If you have an extensive amount of saggy skin after weight loss, then going under the knife may be the best choice. In addition to tummy tucks, it’s possible to get your skin lifted in other areas as well, by targeting the problem zones where your skin is sagging.
Unfortunately, there are downsides to choosing surgery for saggy skin after weight loss. First off, the cost can be prohibitive. Your insurance may consider certain types of procedures to be cosmetic, which can make it harder for you to get the necessary help.
Furthermore, the recovery time after surgery can also have negative consequences, as setting aside your fitness regime to heal may prove detrimental in the long run. Gaining weight after your skin has been surgically tightened can also result in more stretch marks and saggy skin than before. Not to mention the fact that surgery leaves scars, regardless how non-intrusive the procedure may seem.
But if you’re dealing with excessive amounts of extra skin, then the possible downsides can be worth it. Surgery is one of the most reliable methods known for fixing excess skin and is the go-to treatment for a reason.
#2. Non-Invasive Laser Treatments
If the concept of surgery sounds daunting, laser or infrared treatments may be a better choice. They aren’t a perfect option, but technology is improving at an impressive rate.
Non-invasive treatments aren’t going to solve major sagging. However, if your skin is only somewhat stretched, they are definitely worth considering. The treatments work to stimulate collagen development in your skin. You’ll need several sessions, but results can be fairly noticeable after only a couple treatments.
Like surgery, however, non-invasive laser treatments tend to be pricey. They don’t come with the other drawbacks of surgery, but they also won’t repair your skin as extensively either.
#3. Give Yourself Time
If your weight loss was recent, it’s wise to wait a while before doing anything drastic. Your skin needs time to recover, and it can sometimes take months for you to see it regain elasticity.
When weight gain and loss are pregnancy-related or otherwise fairly moderate, don’t panic at the first sight of loose skin. Give your body time to adjust.
Even if your weight loss was extreme, you’d have to maintain your current weight for at least six months before most surgeons will be willing to help. In the meantime, the skin can improve on its own. Our bodies are remarkably adaptable.
#4. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
While there is no magic pill to make your skin shrink (at least not yet), taking care of your body is important. Stay hydrated to help your skin remain elastic, as being dehydrated will only make things worse. Eat healthy foods to give your body the nutrition it craves. If you aren’t already, work out and help your skin out by developing muscle mass to help support it.
At the end of the day, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial no matter which option you choose. You’ve worked hard to get this far. While you may have saggy skin after weight loss, it’s important to avoid gaining back the weight and re-stretching your skin. It’s also paramount to nourish your body so that you’re able to undergo any surgical procedures if you end up choosing them and recover is a healthy fashion.
#5. Supplements and Massages
Besides surgery, there are no quick solutions to get rid of saggy skin. You need to give yourself time and do everything you can to help your skin retain its elasticity is a more natural way. Some supplements may help with this, although their effects are often subtle.
Collagen hydrolysate, genlatin, and vitamin C supplements all have a positive effect on skin and can help with the saggy appearance, as well as prevent other negative effects of skin aging.
Massaging the affected area on a regular basis is also a good idea, as it increases blood flow and helps the skin regain its elasticity faster. Pick an effective firming cream and apply it at least twice every day. You can massage your skin with your bare hands or get a massage tool for convenience.
Which Method for Treating Saggy Skin Is Best?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of which option is best. The decision of what to do with saggy skin after weight loss varies greatly depending on your age, your preferences, the extent of skin which is sagging, and your overall health.
If the amount of saggy skin you have after losing weight is extensive, then surgery is definitely the most successful option. It can get rid of folds which cause rashes and other problems and it has a far larger impact than non-invasive treatments.
For those who have minor or moderately stretched-out skin, there are even more options available. Sometimes a minor tummy tuck is in order, but other times your skin may recover by itself or with no drastic procedures.
Regardless of your situation, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor or dermatologist. They’ll be able to assess your specific situation and offer their expertise and knowledge. More importantly, they will help you avoid options which wouldn’t work well, saving you both effort and money.
On the same note, avoid gimmicks and “miracle” fixes, as most of them are based on sloppy or nonexistent science. Creams and moisturizers may keep your skin from feeling dry and itchy. They can even lend some temporary tightening. Still, they won’t do anything long-term, unless you’re diligent about massaging your skin on a regular basis.
No option available is perfect, and all of them come with drawbacks. It’s encouraging to realize that new methods are being developed and improved every day. In the meantime, weighing the possible choices and comparing the benefits and disadvantages can help you make the most optimal choice for your amazing body.
Finally, keep in mind that eliminating stretched skin isn’t mandatory, as it in no way affects your overall health. Doing so can help you feel more comfortable in your daily life – but if saggy skin doesn’t bother you, don’t stress about getting rid of it. You’ve worked hard to get here and your body is beautiful either way. That’s what matters most.