Sagging 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 likely find.

Skin 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.

Here's 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.

Can redundant 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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