For anyone who tries to get in shape, getting into an old pair of jeans and finding two sizes too large is the greatest reward and the last testament of their hard work, discipline and determination. Suddenly, all those months of misery, flipping tires in the gym (and blocking all Instagram food bills) are worth it. However, if you have lost a significant amount of weight, you may find that clothing is not the only thing that now hangs and sinks into your body. We are talking about loose skin and in excess.
Protein collagen is responsible for the elasticity of the skin, allowing it to expand to accommodate extra mass when it gains weight. However, it does not have the ability to contract or shorten, causing your skin to tilt and twitch after a significant weight loss, explains Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC, of Neinstein Plastic Surgery. Factors such as age, genetics, sun exposure and smoking also affect the skin’s ability to counteract and strain.
“In general, the longer someone is overweight, the looser their skin will be after weight loss,” adds Karen Whitney, assistant physician at the Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center. “Weight loss of 50 pounds or more generally results in a greater amount of hanging skin, especially for those with older or mature skin.”
For some, loose, sagging skin can become a source of shame that cast a shadow over an achievement that would otherwise change life: achieve a healthy weight and transform your body. But as a result, this does not have to be the case. From skin toning creams and nonsurgical devices to actual surgery, there are steps you can take to help your body regain firmer, firmer skin. Below, we list expert tips and advice from medical professionals on how to tighten loose skin after weight loss. It is time to boast of that new body that you have worked so hard to achieve!
1. Build muscle through exercise.
The fact that you have already achieved your goal does not mean that you can get rid of gym membership. Shock diets and too much time on the treadmill not only melt fat, but can also make you lose muscle. By increasing mass through resistance training, it not only prevents your muscle from being wasted, it also helps your body regain definition and get rid of sagging.
“Strength training will expand the muscles and tighten the skin in that area.” We also know that high-impact exercises such as aerobics can rejuvenate the skin, helping to create elasticity, giving the skin a more youthful appearance, says cosmetic physician Stanley Kovak, MD, of Kovak Dermatology and Laser Institute.
2. Increase the production of collagen with topical creams.
On their own, body firming topical creams may not be able to produce the same results as they would from internal procedures, but experts agree that a skin care regimen that focuses on ingredients with Collagen can help improve the skin. appearance. “Firming and toning products are made up of multiple growth factors, peptides and antioxidants, which are used for their ability to increase collagen levels by targeting the biochemical processes involved in the production and degradation of collagen,” Dr Neinstein. “It has been proven that these help after pregnancy and in the early stages of loosening of the skin.”
Try: Coconut Firming Body Lotion Eminence Organics
Laurie Casas, MD, FACS, a clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Chicago, also recommends using physicians dispensed with vitamin C, glycolic acid, peptides and SPF to help “reverse thinning and damage solar and improve texture and tone and color. ”
3. Ask your doctor about nonsurgical procedures.
Non-invasive in-office procedures are on the rise and for good reason: they deliver remarkable results without having to be overlooked. But when it comes to hardening the skin, Dr. Kovak says that it is important to have realistic expectations. “Patients will not get the same results they would get with surgery, which removes excess skin, but the body can contract the skin with non-surgical devices in a couple of millimeters, so if they need a small amount of tightening, they will get an answer “.
For the most common types of non-surgical procedures that address loose skin, read below:
- Laser: A minimally invasive procedure, this treatment uses an infrared light source “to tighten by heating the collagen beneath the surface of the skin,” Whitney explains. Laser treatments often require two or three sessions, with little or no recovery, making it an increasingly popular choice.
- Ultrasound: This ultrasound-guided treatment allows precise targeting of the skin layer that needs to be treated and is best for raising drooping eyes and restoring skin on neck and décolleté, says Dr. Casas. “The body responds to controlled thermal injury by increasing the production of collagen, resulting in a tightening of the skin.”
- Microneedling: This procedure uses a roller or electrical device with pulsating needles to create small holes in the skin. The body’s repair mechanism begins, creating new collagen to fill in the holes, creating firmer skin with improved texture, explains Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, clinical instructor at the University of Southern California. Topical anesthesia is applied to numb the target area. This procedure is best used in necklines and generally requires six sessions to produce remarkable results, adds Dr. Shainhouse.
Try: ORA micronaedula body roller system
4. For more advanced cases, consider surgery.
Whether for purely aesthetic or health reasons, it is difficult to get excited about the idea of being punctured and cut at the surgery table, but in cases where “the skin has warped enough to justify a more invasive intervention, we resort to classic plastic surgery procedures such as facial stretching and abdominoplasty, “says Dr. Neinstein.
“The surgery gives the effect of definitive hardening because it is actually removing excess skin. The disadvantage of this is the downtime, the bruises associated with it, the discomfort and the possible scars,” adds Dr. Kovak. “It’s also possible that you do not like the end result and when you strip the skin that way, you’re diluting it, making it more susceptible to sun damage.”
5. And finally, stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet.
Take it from French girls: keeping your skin healthy and nourished is best achieved with hydration and the easiest way to do it is by taking eight glasses of water daily. Aside from preventing dryness and maintaining its natural shine, a study shows that water can also help improve skin elasticity.
When it comes to nutrition, Whitney says that including certain nutrients in your diet can help with the production of collagen. “Adequate protein is vital for healthy skin and amino acids. Lysine and proline play a direct role in the production of collagen. Similarly, vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and also helps protect the skin of solar damage. ”