If you’ve recently reached your goal weight after months or even years of hard work: congratulations!
You’re likely feeling elated, proud, and even a little shocked at having attained your goal.
If you’re like many people who have lost a large amount of weight, you may also be surprised to find that your skin isn’t bouncing back the way you might have hoped.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ
When we are young, our skin is much more elastic. As we age and lose that elasticity, stretch marks, sagging skin, and wrinkles become the norm.
For those who have lost a large amount of weight, the degree to which the skin was stretched after months or years of being an at increased weight is such that the skin may never tighten or reform to the body in a seamless fashion.
However, it is important to note that- for many people- skin will recover to some degree after spending a period of months at goal weight.
Exercise can also help increase muscle tone
Exercise will improve the appearance of excess skin as it lies over a firm surface (rather than a soft one).
For those with large amounts of skin, however, skin reductive procedures may be helpful to improve the appearance of the skin or reduce the risk of friction and infection that comes with having large skin folds.
The type of procedure (or procedures) used to remove excess skin will ultimately depend on the individual and their intention for the procedure: certain skin removal procedures focus largely on function (removing larger amounts of skin to reduce friction), while others are more focused on appearance (typically for smaller amounts of skin).
For those with a large amount of excess skin, procedures like panniculectomies (to remove skin from the abdominal area), and upper and lower body lift procedures (to remove skin from the arms, back, buttocks, or legs) are common.
For those with less skin to remove, procedures like abdominoplasties (aka tummy tuck) are common and focus primarily on the cosmetic implications of excess skin.
If you plan to have skin reduction procedures, always vet the opinion of your personal physician as well as a board certified cosmetic surgeon.
While many skin removal procedures are cosmetic in nature, they are also invasive and potentially life threatening surgeries and should be treated seriously.