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Treating loose skin after weight loss

Aesthetic results can be thwarted by the appearance of stretched skin

The list of physical benefits to getting your body into physical shape and maintaining a healthy diet can be nearly endless. Between extended lifespan, improved heart health, and reduced physical pain of joints, it can also lower risks of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Loose skin can appear when the skin is stretched, either by weight or pregnancy, but remains stretched after the baby is born or after excessive weight loss has occurred.

Losing weight can often come with a confidence boost, and even losing a few pounds is enough to help boost a person’s self-esteem. However, for many people who lose copious amounts of weight, these aesthetic results can be hindered by the appearance of loose skin.

Loose skin can appear when the skin is stretched, either by weight or pregnancy, but remains stretched after the baby is born or after excessive weight loss has occurred. This has led many Canadians to travel to get a tummy tuck in Toronto or other Canadian cities to help correct the appearance of loose skin.

Is loose skin temporary?

In more moderate cases of weight loss or stretching from pregnancy, loose skin can often be temporary and can be both prevented and corrected by using oils and lotions to keep the skin hydrated and supple.

‘Loose skin can be permanent in more extreme stretching or dramatic weight loss cases and can require surgical removal.’

With weight loss specifically, if the weight loss is slow and gradual, meaning no more than two pounds per week, the skin will often retract with the body during its weight loss journey. However, loose skin can be permanent in more extreme stretching or dramatic weight loss cases and can require surgical removal.

Issues that occur with loose skin

Those with loose, sagging skin on their stomach often report having confidence issues and embarrassment about their appearance. It can be especially frustrating to those who have achieved dramatic weight loss, as it can hide away their results under the loose layer of drooping skin.

In more severe cases of loose skin, physical problems can occur, causing issues such as chafing and inflammation due to moisture getting trapped between the folds of skin and rubbing together. In these cases, especially, skin removal surgeries such as abdominoplasty are often required to provide relief.

‘If the weight loss is slow and gradual, meaning no more than two pounds per week, the skin will often retract with the body during its weight loss journey.’

What Is a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic procedure in which a cosmetic plastic surgeon removes excess skin from the stomach region. This is done by creating incisions into the abdominal region, usually in a discreet location along the hipbones, and lifting the skin to be more tight, smooth, and contoured along the body. In some cases, this also means reconstructing the belly button to be re-centred to the stomach. Excess skin is then removed, resulting in a stomach that is more toned and flatter.

Abdominoplasty is often confused for liposuction, though it is a different procedure altogether. Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery where stubborn and unwanted underlying fat cells are removed from the body to help smooth out the appearance under the skin through suction. Skin tightness can be left untouched during liposuction, and likewise, underlying fat can be left untouched during a tummy tuck.

However, these two procedures can and often are performed together for an optimal end result.

Feature image: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

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