Weight Loss
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How does one tighten up the now sagging skin after weight loss?


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I'm in my 60's so expect some wrinkles but this is ridiculous! I have taken off 45 pounds and the skin is sagging and hanging on my belly, thighs, arms, and neck especially. The flab/skin below the belly button is especially annoying to me. 

Do I just have to wait for the skin to shrink up or is there another technique out there I could employ short of surgery---it doesn't bother me THAT much!

 

What have you done that works?

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It gets better on it's own, if the excess weight has been there for a very long time, like 10-20 years, the skin is very distressed and cannot be expected to snap back 100%. Creams don't help but keeping a constant weight does, I already lost the stretch marks on the abdomen, they just faded over the last 2-3 years, arms, face and chest were the first to get back to normal, there are still marks on the back of the thighs and I don't think they'll ever go away since I had been packing a lot of fat in the area for way too long.

No stretch marks just blobs of skin and residual fat that hangs. I guess I'll just have to hang in there til it shrinks up then. 

Thanks for the info. I actually never thought about a cream of any kindSurprised

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I gotta get some of those creams - my skin is not happy these days and i'm dreading wearing shorts - pasty, droopy thigh skin is eeewwwFrown

I am old and broke so any fancy creams are going to be off the table but thanks anyway, perhaps others with this problem will benefit from those helpful suggestions!

I was kinda looking for maybe some different exercises? I still include fats in my diet and get regular exercise on bikes and in the pool.  

Anyone ever try like Yoga or something that helps tighten all that sag up? 

 

Maybe I am just being unrealistic and impatient! 

Essential fatty acids (the kind you get from fish and fortified yogurt) and making sure you're hydrated will help your skin's elastin recover.  Unfortunately exercise won't do much of anything - the skin only has muscles for giving you goosebumps when it's cold, not for tightening.  Though yoga is GREAT for everything else - flexibility, balance, stability, and overall wellness.

Like an earlier poster said, as long as you weren't carrying the weight for 20+ years, your skin should go back to normal in time.  If not, well, I guarantee you still look a hundred times more healthy than before!

Original Post by vbeattie:

Essential fatty acids (the kind you get from fish and fortified yogurt) and making sure you're hydrated will help your skin's elastin recover.  Unfortunately exercise won't do much of anything - the skin only has muscles for giving you goosebumps when it's cold, not for tightening.  Though yoga is GREAT for everything else - flexibility, balance, stability, and overall wellness.

Like an earlier poster said, as long as you weren't carrying the weight for 20+ years, your skin should go back to normal in time.  If not, well, I guarantee you still look a hundred times more healthy than before!

So, maybe I should run out in the cold a lot?  Laughing

 

Seriously--what is fortified yogurt? I just eat plain,store brand  non-fat.

And, luckily, I was not carrying the extra 50 pounds around that long. I guess I will just wait it out. I just didn't want to miss out if there was some help for speeding it along. 

 

 

Mostly, skin elasticity it is an age dependent thing (age is definitiely against you, sorry). And genetics. And how much extra weight you were carrying.

I think you need to be prepared for the fact that your skin may never shrink back entirely. I lost 50lb at ~age 44. Weight loss was slow and controlled, but after 3 years I still have lose skin on my abdomen, inner thights, inner, upper arms. Gaining muscle on my arms and thighs helped to "fill" these areas out to make them look heaps better, but my abdomen, I don't think, will ever be great. Elephant-skin city there.....

Creams will help, only in that moisturisers help to "plump" the skin, disguising wrinkles, but won't "repair" it. You don't need to spend alot of money to get a halfway good moistuiser though.  Just need to use it regularly.

I just had to weigh in here and give my 2 cents...

I don't want to disappoint or discourage anyone here, however this is the question people ask me most often, and I'm always honest about my own experience with this issue. Again, this is my personal experience and everyone's results will vary slightly.

Basically, if you have a great deal of excess skin, then you're stuck with it and no amount of expensive creams or exercises are going to change that. The reason why people are left with excess skin to begin with is because if you get to be that overweight, your body actually has to grow more skin to accomodate the extra fat. Sure everyone's skin has the capacity to stretch somewhat (hence stretchmarks) but if you become 50, 100, 150+ lbs overweight, there's no way that the skin you were born with can stretch THAT much (imagine a teeny tiny person like Natalie Portman putting on 150 lbs over the span of a few years. Can you imagine the skin on her body right now stretching that much all over?) Once you lose weight, your fat cells shrink (although they're still there) leaving the loose saggy extra skin behind. Unfortunately skin doesn't evaporate along with your weight loss. Remember, skin is an organ, not a muscle so there are no exercises that will "tighten" up extra skin. You can build muscle underneath the skin which will plump up the area somewhat because larger muscles will help fill in the deflated areas which will help marginally but honestly, you have to build quite a bit of muscle for the difference to be that noticable.

I was overweight/obese for a decade and my highest weight was 300 lbs. At 23 years old I started losing weight and in the span of about 2 years, I lost 150-170 lbs. I now weigh around 143 lbs and I've been maintaining a healthy weight for over 2 years. I have A LOT of excess skin all over. During the course of my weight loss I drank plenty of water every day, moisturized with firming creams every day, ate a healthy balanced diet (plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats/omega-3's), lost my weight at a gradual pace (around 0.5-2 lbs a week) and of course I worked out 4-6 days a week, making sure I incorporated plenty of strength training into my routine. I was/am young when I started losing weight and began maintaining so my age still didn't work in my favor in this scenerio. I was significantly overweight and was overweight for basically my whole life so there was no way I could have avoided excess skin. 2 years later, the appearance of my skin hasn't improved. Maybe I'll notice a difference in a few years time, but I doubt it, and even if I did, the difference would most likely be so slight that I wouldnt even notice. I've come to terms with the fact that this is just the way my body is, and the only way I'll be rid of this saggy skin is with surgery (which I could have if I had the money for it)

the excess skin issue is probably on everyone's mind. i already have horrid stretch marks on my belly even without any pregnancies. so the only way seems to be expensive and painful surgery. but you know what, i couldn't care less. if i lose the 100 pounds and don't have the money or courage to go through surgery, i will have a saggy body but will be able to walk without knee pain. which means freedom.  

@borntoblossom : your pictures look like you never were overweight! believe me i looked at them very very carefully to be sure that the two were the same person. you're such an inspiration, as i'm sure you already have been told a million times. talking over your gallery pics, the lack of sagging arms or a thick waist say that you don't really have too much excess skin, or it would have been obvious even when clothed. i suppose your young age, constant skin care and exercise helped a great deal. i'm also having difficulty believing how the biggest loser ali came to shed all those pounds without sagging skin. impressive isn't it!

Original Post by hacibarnabas:

the excess skin issue is probably on everyone's mind. i already have horrid stretch marks on my belly even without any pregnancies. so the only way seems to be expensive and painful surgery. but you know what, i couldn't care less. if i lose the 100 pounds and don't have the money or courage to go through surgery, i will have a saggy body but will be able to walk without knee pain. which means freedom.  

@borntoblossom : your pictures look like you never were overweight! believe me i looked at them very very carefully to be sure that the two were the same person. you're such an inspiration, as i'm sure you already have been told a million times. talking over your gallery pics, the lack of sagging arms or a thick waist say that you don't really have too much excess skin, or it would have been obvious even when clothed. i suppose your young age, constant skin care and exercise helped a great deal. i'm also having difficulty believing how the biggest loser ali came to shed all those pounds without sagging skin. impressive isn't it!

 OK so i had to take a peek. I agree borntoblosson you look fantastick! I see no saggy skin - look at those lovely arms * green with envy*. I'm 56 and let me tell you about the skin issue!!! Feel grateful every day that you changed your life at the age you did.Laughing

Aw thanks so much guys! :-D

Unfortunately though, I assure you I have a great deal of excess skin and A LOT of it. No one believes me (even people who see me in my every day life) but I'm too embarrassed of the sight of it to show people to prove anyone wrong. If I ever do have the surgeries to take care of it, I'll be sure to post hundreds of before and after pictures and videos lol.

It is truly *amazing* to even me how I can appear to look so normal and just like an average girl with clothes on. I see how I look in pictures and my excess skin issues arent obvious in them at all. But look are very deceiving in my case. All of the areas I have excess skin are covered by clothes. My stomach, my thighs, my arms (my outer arms are toned, but underneath I have big "batwings") my chest. the list goes on. I'm sure it seems like I'm exaggerating my issues but they're there and they're significant. I've seen before and after pics/videos of women twice my age who underwent gastric bypass surgery, and my body looks just like theirs, if not worse in some cases. The only person I showed my stomach to was my cousin because she kept pestering me to see it because she thought I was basically making up how bad it was. You know what she did? She screamed! lol. She was just shocked that I was able to hide it so well and had no idea it was possible for me to look one way in clothes, and then completely different when I wasnt covered up. Even recently I was in sweatpants and my friends house and while I was sitting down I grabbed a big chunk of my outer thigh to show my friend how much loose unsightly stuff is hanging off me. She said "Oh wow I didn't even know that was part of your body. I thought it was extra fabric from your sweatpants because they're so big"

The reason why I look "normal" in pictures is because I got my weight low enough where I look comparable to most other girls my age. My measurements are very similar to my friends also. The extra layers of girth I have with the excess skin are kind of held up nicely and camoflauged with flattering clothes. The excess skin I have isnt particularly heavy. It's just empty drapey looking stuff that literally just hangs off me. If you were to poke me in the stomach, your finger indent would remain lol. I can grab handfuls of my stomach, hips, thighs, you name it and pull it far away from my body. I'm not talking about a little bit of squishiness either. I'm telling you, I look completely deflated without my clothes on. My bellybutton is barely visable now! (it looks like a frownie face lol)

I was blessed to be left with an hourglass shape even after my weight loss so I'm happy with how I look in clothes more or less, and my waist is very small in comparison to the rest of me, but even on my waist I can grab quite a bit of the skin and pull it away from my body. At my highest weight I was around 62" around the widest part of my hips/stomach (I didn't know the exact measurement because I ran out of numbers on the tape measure!) but it was definitely larger than 60" around. I'm now at around 39"-40" which is thicker than I'd like, but there's God only knows how many inches of skin skewing that measurement. I lost over 10" on each thigh and over 20" around my stomach/hips so believe me, my body is pretty "damaged" after that kind of weight loss!

Not complaining though. Although it's frustrating for me to know that I can't change it without surgery, I'd never go back to the way things were. It's the price I had to pay for neglecting my health for so long, and I'm grateful every day to have been able to turn it around when I did. I'm trying to accept my vanity issues with my body now but I'm not quite there yet. I'm very self-conscious of how it looks BUT hopefully in time, it will bother me a little less than it does now.

Thanks everyone else for the info! I've been curious over this. My friend recommended anti-wrinkle cream, which I plan to pick up with other tightening creams.

I'm 19 and have been either overweight, obese or morbidly obese all my life except for infancy. I'm 5'7 and my highest weight was last year at 280 lbs, 298 lbs if you count the water weight and bloating I lost in the first week of dieting. I personally have always upheld (there's a better synonym for it I'm sure ha) a sedentary lifestyle. I'm 178 lbs atm so we have similar backgrounds, born2blossom, which is why I really appreciate your candour because I don't have much info on this.

The only excess skin I have is on my inner thighs - serious wrinkling. Fortunately it only appears in certain positions, like kneeling at certain angles or running. Otherwise they look normal - standing, sitting, cross-legged, lying down, stretched out. I can't see signs of wrinkles appearing anywhere else at all, and I don't use creams, I've always been sedentary, my weight loss was gradual, the nutrition of my diet is terrible but I drink an (unhealthy) 14L/473 oz of water a day since 2009 (the last 2 related and out of my control). As blossom mentioned, everyone's results vary.

In regard to stretchmarks, have any creams or oils worked for anyone on aged stretchmarks? The majority of mine are at least 5 years old, half over a decade. I've researched it quite a bit and most say they work as preventative means or on new, reddish marks.

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Thanks so much for sharing that info!! ♥ I'm glad it worked for you. I've added rosehip oil to the shopping list, even if it doesn't work for me at least I'll smell pretty! Did you apply it once a day?

.

Original Post by stellarseeker:

I'm in my 60's so expect some wrinkles but this is ridiculous! I have taken off 45 pounds and the skin is sagging and hanging on my belly, thighs, arms, and neck especially. The flab/skin below the belly button is especially annoying to me. 

Do I just have to wait for the skin to shrink up or is there another technique out there I could employ short of surgery---it doesn't bother me THAT much!

 

What have you done that works?

As far as the excess skin and fat around the mid section after weight loss goes, it was my experience after losing 150 pounds that there was no way that skin and fat was going anywhere. Born2blossom is correct. I recently had a full abdominoplasty extended thanks to my insurance company picking up all but 3,300.00 of the 30,000.00 cost, the spare tire around my abdomen, and my love handles are gone. I wish everyone who has lost their weight could be rewarded with the ability to have this surgery. I'm very blessed.

The skin and fat below the belt sometimes referred to as an apron is medically referred to as a pannus and it can be removed surgically by a procedure called a panniculectomy. Unfortunately both panniculectomy and abdominoplasty surgeries are very expensive but in some cases can be covered by insurance companies if there are other medical issues that accompany the pannus such as rash, bruising, or discomfort that can often accompany this excess skin and fat. Here are a couple links that talk about both procedures.

http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/tummy- tuck/panniculectomy.htm

http://www.plasticsurgeryforme.com/m_procedur es_extended_abdominoplasty.html

 

Whew! I'm counting my blessings my friend and I didn't need it since I'm considering laser skin surgery in a couple of years. $2.3k.

Thank you again mariecarm!! I purchased a bottle and it smells like lavender haaha. ♥

#19  
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I think for 50 pounds you should be able to get some elasticity back. Try Glycolic Acid peels. There are some good ones on Amazon. The point is to help rebuild the collagen and Glycolic Acid does that. Its not too pricey and its definitely effective. Dont give up hope!

I dont mean to be rude as I know everyone had their body hangups and you may feel you do have excess skin, but I have just looked through your gallery and I am totally amazed at how well you have done ! and you most definitely do NOT have any lose skin from what I can see from them photos !! You look stunning, and I hope to be able to look like what you do eventually ! Well done :D

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