There are a number of methods that people have developed to deal with the condition of loose skin following weight loss, including the wearing of compression clothes, surgical procedures, nutrient supplements and the topical application of creams to minimize chafing and discomfort.
Compression clothes are, as the name implies, meant to keep your skin in place and prevent movement of the skin folds, which can cause chafing, redness and pain. These clothes are available for both men and women, and can help to improve your physical appearance and boost confidence, which can take a major hit when loose skin becomes a problem. That being said, compression clothing can sometimes lower circulation and cause dehydration in the skin, which can have other negative effects.
Under the flaps of loose skin, body oils, moisture and dirt can accumulate, making it an ideal place for infections to develop and thrive. For this reason, regularly washing and cleaning under those skin folds is essential. You can also apply firming creams to the folds of skin, particularly if they are relatively small. Collagen and elastin creams can provide temporary tightness to the skin, but it is far more effective if you take collagen supplements.
Collagen hydrolysate has become more popular in recent years for its proven effects in protecting collagen integrity in the body. By consuming these supplements, which are widely available in health foods stores, you may be able to improve your body’s ability to create and utilize collagen in a helpful way. Some other useful supplements that can affect skin elasticity include protein pills, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C. Staying hydrated is also an important element of skin health, so be sure to drink enough water following weight loss to boost the overall health and wellness of your skin.
As mentioned earlier, moderate amounts of exercise, particularly workouts that build muscle mass, can help to tighten up loose skin folds. Such an increase in muscle mass can fill out those areas that were once occupied by fat, and can increase the appearance of taut skin.
Finally, for those people who have serious problems with skin folds, for example, after rapidly losing more than 1/4 of your body weight, cosmetic procedures may be the only true solution. Generally speaking, a large incision is made, the excess skin is removed, and the opening is then stitched closed.
Following significant weight loss, multiple surgeries on different parts of the body may be required. Some of the most popular procedures to eliminate loose folds of skin include “tummy tucks”, more formally known as abdominoplasty, as well as brachioplasty (arm lift), upper body lift and lower body lifts. These types of contouring surgeries are relatively low risk, but any medical procedure does come with some potential hazards, and most insurance carriers won’t cover these types of “cosmetic” procedures.