Skin After Weight Loss
I'm commonly asked by
people who have lost significant amounts of weight, or by
individuals who lost weight extremely quickly, whether the
redundant skin, which is left with a saggy appearance, can
be "toned." Sellers of creams, lotions, and potions
will promise it can. I've even heard "gurus" promising
that working muscle in an area will "tone" saggy
skin. If you have what you consider to be excess skin, you
may not like my answer, but it's the most honest answer you'll
is a more complex organ than it may appear. It is, in fact,
the largest organ in the human body. The skin of a 150 pound
man might actually cover 2 square yards and can weigh upwards
of 10 pounds. The skin is made up of three layers, the epidermis,
the dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. One square inch of skin
can actually contain more than 30 million cells! Add in fat
glands, sweat glands, and nerve endings and you have a pretty
complex organ, one that is subject to cellular damage both
from internal and external concerns. When those concerns cause
excess laxity, people seek "toning" options.
the bad news. Skin doesn't "tone up." Muscle tones
up. If you add muscle, healthy, resilient, well nourished
skin will form
a tight layer shaped by the muscle underneath, however, if
years of dieting, if carrying more than 50 pounds of excess
weight, or if less than healthful lifestyle choices have caused
a loss of skin elasticity, you can crunch, run, and twist
to your hearts content. It's not likely to result in an elimination
of the sagginess.
skin regain some of its elasticity? Possibly, and it's certainly
worth exploring natural options before considering surgery.
By natural options I'm referring to clean living, avoidance
of toxins, healthful nutrition, ingestion of essential fatty
acids, antioxidants, and amino acids, regular use of skin
moisturizing creams, and the consumption of lots of water.
If in an 8-12 month period you don't see significant improvement,
you have two choices. You can be happy with your weight loss
results and realize that a little skin laxity is your medal
of achievement, or, you can visit with a qualified cosmetic
surgeon and explore the surgical options.
There are many
cosmetic surgeons who have mastery of various methods of reducing
redundant skin and this type of surgery is becoming more and
more commonplace. Many procedures are performed on an outpatient
basis. I'd encourage anyone considering the surgical route
to discuss the options with several surgeons and to speak
with other individuals who had a similar cosmetic issue and
achieved satisfactory results.
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