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How Does Weight Loss Affect the Skin?

Posted January 2020 by Biodermis
Losing weight is a challenge that many people face today in the modern world. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), more than one-third of adults and nearly one-fifth of adolescents in America are obese. This number has increased steadily over the last few decades. Obesity is the cause of numerous diseases, including cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. For this reason, weight loss is a global health concern and a goal commonly pursued by many people. While weight loss can be good for one’s health, there are some side effects that often get overlooked. Saggy and loose skin is one of the effects that can occur as a result of dramatic weight loss.

In this article, we will explore what happens to a person’s skin as a result of weight gain and weight loss and what options a person has for avoiding unwanted bodily changes that occur as a result.

Weight loss can affect the skin in many different ways

Skin-related problems from weight loss

All of us experience changes in our bodies throughout our lifetimes. During adolescence and the onset of puberty, many changes in the body occur that can affect the skin in various ways. Other dramatic changes in the skin can be brought on by pregnancy in women, bodybuilding, and weight gain. When the body grows larger in any of the aforementioned ways, the skin must adapt to these changes by expanding. The expansion of the skin is made possible by the way it’s structured biologically. The skin is made up of collagen and elastin proteins. Collagen makes up roughly 80% of the skin’s structure and gives it its firmness and strength. Elastin gives the skin its elasticity and helps it stay tight. For the most part, these proteins do a great job keeping the integrity of your skin intact and firm. However, when certain events such as aging and dramatic weight loss occur, the skin may be unable to regain its former shape.

For a large number of people who are overweight, they’ve been carrying around the extra pounds for many years. Over time, if the problem of being overweight isn’t addressed quickly, the collagen and elastic fibers can become damaged and cease to function the way they used to. This is why when a person loses a lot of weight, usually around 100 pounds or more, they are left with a bunch of extra, sagging skin. Generally, the more weight a person loses the more excess skin they will have. Because the skin is the largest organ in the body and what people notice first, those with skin-related problems from weight loss can experience a range of emotional and physical distress.

Ways to deal with loose skin

Loose skin after weight loss may not be entirely associated with losing weight. Certain genetic components, age, and environmental factors such as smoking and heavy drinking can have a negative impact on the skin. So what can be done? Many people who have recently lost a lot of weight want to know how to tighten their loose skin. A good starting point is diet and exercise. Engaging in resistance and strength training is an effective way of building muscle and toning your body. Another popular method for dealing with loose skin is to take collagen supplements. Although collagen supplements haven’t been tested thoroughly on people after major weight loss, there is reason to believe that they can strengthen the skin’s natural collagen. This can be particularly useful when combined with diet and exercise.

Unfortunately, natural methods for tightening skin may sometimes not be enough to achieve the firmness and tightness a person desires. If this is the case, you may want to consult with a plastic or reconstructive surgeon to talk about procedures for removing excess skin. Typically, surgery is considered as a last-resort solution and is not designed as a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.




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