Exercising To Strengthen Your Stomach
Is Loose Skin Something To Worry About
I think this is an important questionis loose skin really worth worrying about?
If your loose skin is causing pain or discomfort, and especially if you are getting chafing during activity, you may want to do something about it, like wearing compression garments. Exercisers that carry larger amounts of weight are often more susceptible to repetitive-use injuries like strains, shin splints, sprains, and other joint issues. But simply wearing some compression gear can help compress loose skin against the skeleton and minimize the tiny tissue tears that can be caused by skin vibration and oscillation.
Dont let the stigma of loose skin stop you from living your best life.
But if your loose skin isnt causing pain or injury, please dont let the stigma of loose skin stop you from living your best life. I’m a fan of the attitude expressed in an article from SELF magazine called “17 Women Share Pics of Loose Skin After Weight Loss to Prove How Common and Normal It Is.”
As one woman quoted in the article said, “Don’t you dare hold your potential hostage because you’re worried what someone might say or think.”
That said, even if you are ready to be as bold as the people in that SELF article, there are still some steps you can take to give your skin a little help.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Patrick Briggs
Skin reduction and body contouring specialist surgeon is a FRCS qualified Specialist Surgeon, who specialises in Body Contouring and Skin Reduction Surgery procedures. He performs: Body Contouring and Excess Skin Removal procedures, including Circumferential Abdominoplasty , Thigh Lift, Liposuction, Back Lift, Arm Lift , Breast Lift , Breast Reduction, Facelift and Neck Lift. With over 30 years of surgical experience, is highly trained and qualified in the intricate surgical skill required when performing highly complex Skin Reduction procedures.
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How To Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
Q & A With Tom Venuto,Author of Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle
Q: Hi Tom. I started a fat loss program using your Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle system, and it worked so well I dropped down from 19 stones to 15 stones. Unfortunately, this created a problem – excess skin on my abdominals.
I didn’t go on any crash diet – I followed your program – and I dropped the weight at a rate of about 2 pounds per week. I do know I still have some more fat to lose, but at this point, I’m not sure if I should keep going because the amount of loose skin on my stomach really is a lot – I feel like I’ve turned into a bloody Shar-Pei!
Here’s what I’m wondering: Does this happen to everyone who loses a large amount of weight? Is it possible that the skin will tighten up? Can loose skin tighten up even if you were overweight for a long time? . Will I end up having to get the skin removed surgically? By the way, I’m a med student in the UK, and my colleagues seem to think that surgery will be the only option. What do you think?
A: Loose skin after weight loss is not uncommon after large weight losses, and I understand how frustrating it must be. Over the years I’ve received hundreds of emails and messages like this one about tightening loose skin after weight loss or preventing loose skin in the first place.
There are answers and solutions, though you have to start out by accepting that not everything is in your control when it comes to loose skin.
How To Avoid Loose Skin
While you won’t be able to completely prevent loose skin if you’re losing large amounts of weight, losing weight slowly is the best way to avoid excessive sagging.
Most experts recommend aiming for 1 to 2 pounds a week, which translates to 4 to 8 pounds per month. This will help you lose more fat than muscle and will allow your skin to adjust as you lose weight.
Read Also: What Foods Help Reduce Stomach Fat
Can Loose Skin After Weight Loss Go Away On Its Own
Not really, docs saythough remember, how much excess skin youre left with and how well your skin responds to weight loss in the first place depends on everything from age and genetics to how much weight you lost and your skin quality. So, depending on your circumstance, you might be able to expect some changes.
“Patients who may see improvement in their loose skin are those who do not have stretch marks and younger patients who still have reasonable skin quality despite weight gain,” says Kenkel. “The quality of the skin is the key to improvement.”
Jacobs also suggests that if youve lost weight gradually to give your skin a full year to contract once youve reached your goal weight. “After this time, you are not going to see any more noticeable tightening.”
Then, if you have loose skin youre concerned aboutor if you have loose skin after bariatric surgerydo your homework and get in touch with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to learn about your options, suggests Jacobs. “There are a lot of physicians that label themselves as ‘plastic surgeons’ and, as long as they have a valid medical license, they can legally perform any procedure,” he says. “But the American Board of Plastic Surgery denotes the proper training.”
What Causes Saggy Skin
Normally, your skin has natural elastic properties which allow it to stretch and shrink when you gain and lose a few pounds or recover after pregnancy. As you get older you start to lose this elasticity which makes it more difficult for your skin to shrink.
Collagen and elastin are the cells that help your skin to stay flexible, strong and tight, providing its elasticity. But as you age your collagen levels start to decline by 1% per year from your mid 20s and elastin reduces. This causes your skin to become thinner and more fragile. The ageing process also sees a reduction in natural moisturising factors and oil production which can lead to your skin being dehydrated. This affects your skins function which can lead to premature ageing skin.
Its not just ageing that can cause loose or saggy skin. Your skin can also lose its elasticity if it is overstretched. For instance, from a very large pregnancy or a large amount of weight gain. During this time the skin expands to accommodate the pregnancy or weight gain. This can damage the collagen and elastin fibres which results in the skin losing its elastic ability to retract.
For some people, their skin might slowly recover and shrink back over time, but in many cases, the excess skin remains. Leaving you with saggy, loose skin and low body confidence.
Other Reasons Your Skin Losses its Firmness
- Poor lifestyle choices
Can You Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss
If you have loose skin after weight loss, first celebrate your weight loss victory! Then, learn more about the factors that affect skin elasticity and what you can do to help your body snap back.
- Loose skin is usually a byproduct of losing a lot of weight quickly.
- Because skin is a living organ, it can tighten up some over time.
- Age, the length of time excess weight was present, and genetics all play a role in how much your skin can tighten.
- Eating well, staying hydrated, and looking after your skin health can help.
- If you think of your skin as a wrapper, putting on some muscle mass can help “refill” the wrapper.
If youve lost a lot of weight recently, then you may have noticed that you have a bit of loose skin hanging around. Common areas for extra skin after weight loss include under the arms, under the chin or a pouch around the stomach. But loose skin can appear almost anywhere on the body, especially if you have lost weight rapidly.
Before we go on, lets start with a brief anatomy overview, from the outside in. First you have your skin, a nice protective layer and the largest organ of the integumentary systemthink of it as the wrapper that holds your body. Then you have a layer of body fat. Under that is where your muscles live. So when you lose a substantial amount of body fat, along with some muscle , you are literally removing the mass that has previously been stretching your skin. When that mass is gone, you’re left with a partially empty wrapper.
Knee Tucks For Lower Abs
Knee tucks are easy to perform, and they work the abs and lower body massively.
You lie on your stomach and spread your arms apart with the shin resting on the ball. Slowly but steadily, push yourself up, roll the ball towards the head.
As you do this, tuck the knees in your chest and hold this position for several seconds.
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How To Tighten Loose Skin
Because we’re all different, each person will have a different response after losing weight. Some people may bounce back quickly while others may consider body contouring surgery to get rid of extra skin. Body contouring surgery is an expensive and serious procedure requiring a long recovery time.
Plastic surgery experts recommend waiting at least a year after weight loss to allow your weight to stabilize before considering body contouring plastic surgery.
You may be able to make a difference with other options, such as exercise and a healthy diet. A basic cardio and strength training program can help you reduce body fat while building muscle. When you add muscle, you can improve how the skin looks and may be able to reduce some sagging.
My Experience With Dermarolling For Loose Skin
Keep in mind, my results are only one month old. I will continue to update this post with before and after pictures and details as time progresses.
I have had my belly ring since I was 15 years old. And now Im 29, so its been with me for a long time. But, because I didnt take it out until around my 37th week of pregnancy with my first-born, that part of my stomach never bounced back and continued to be saggy.
In this photo, you can see the severity of the sagging skin around my belly button. You can also see that I have light stretch marks running up to around where my belly button is.
The leaner I am, the more noticeable the loose skin is around my belly button. To get the most out of this treatment, I did remove my belly ring. I figure the less weight pulling down on that area, the easier it will be for my skin to tighten back up. However, I do plan to put my belly ring back in after a couple of months.
This is approximately one month after my first treatment with my belly button ring removed.
The results are not staggering or shocking at this point, but Im happy with the progress since nothing else seems to work.
Some Things I Noticed Personally:
Have you tried dermarolling before? Im curious about your experience. And if you havent tried it, is it something you would consider, given the information? Fire off in the comments below or on or .
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Will Strengthening My Abdominal Muscles Help Tighten My Loose Skin
Unfortunately, doing targeted abdominal exercises will not help you tighten loose skin. You should instead focus on eating a well-balanced & healthy diet while developing more muscle tissue.
With that said, it is still important to develop core strength in the postpartum period. Check out my post on 100 abdominal exercises you can do even with diastasis recti.
Contact Innovations Medical For Skin Tightening Treatments
If youre suffering from loose and sagging skin, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. Weve been helping our patients look and feel their best since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.
To find out if skin tightening treatments are right for you, and to learn how Innovations Medical can improve your life, call us at or schedule an appointment.
Recommended Reading: How Do Probiotics Work In The Stomach
Common Reasons For Wanting Skin Reduction
Some of the reasons you may be exploring your surgical options for excess skin removal:
- Loose sagging skin that is uncomfortable and embarrassing
- Recurring skin infections
- Chaffing due to skin folds
- Feeling off balance during exercise
- Feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious wearing revealing clothing or swimming
- Prone to unpleasant body odour due to moisture trapped in excess skin folds
- Other discomforts including fear of intimacy due to current body contours
- Inability to see your natural body curves or shape due to excess skin
- Difficulty finding clothing that flatters you
How To Tighten Loose Belly Skin Without Surgery
How to tighten loose belly skin? In the past, surgery probably was the only way to fix it. Fortunately there are now many non-invasive procedures to choose from. But its not always easy to choose one that meets your requirement most. Also, its important to ask yourself whether treatment is really necessary since sometimes lifestyle measures are enough to deal with.
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Keep Your Cortisol In Check
Cortisol is the stress hormone. It primarily gets released whenever we are in a fight or flight situation.
Thankfully, we dont have to do much fighting or running away from predators these days, but we do experience other forms of stress.
You dont need any scientific data to prove to you that your body experiences interesting changes whenever you are highly stressed.
We also have direct evidence that high levels of cortisol can cause a thinning/weakening of the skin.
While it may be difficult to control the amount of stress you experience, you do have control over how you manage it.
And I have one great tip to help you manage.
Sleep is a great way to keep stress hormones in check while refreshing your body and mind.
As simple as this tip is please do not underestimate the importance of it. Sleep deprivation has been clinically proven to result in high cortisol levels throughout the day.
I know that this is easier said than done.
But try your best to improve the quantity AND/OR the quality of your sleep.
A few things you can try are:
- make your bedroom as dark as you possibly can
- keep your room cool
- avoid large meals within 2 hours of your bedtime
- dont ever use your phone while lying in bed
Ask About Laser Therapy
Laser therapy, such as the Fraxel Restore & Dual treatment, is a great non-invasive option for moderately loose skin. Laser therapy treatments boost collagen production and improve your overall skin tone. While results are more immediate and longer-lasting than home remedies, laser therapy may require multiple treatments. The laser can be used to tighten the skin in a number of body areas, including:
- And more
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How Long Will It Take To See Results
This is entirely dependent on the severity of your loose skin and how effectively you are dermarolling.
For example, if you use your dermaroller with a quality Vitamin C serum, you are more likely to see results faster. If you are using longer needles on your stomach, this will also speed up the time in which you will see progress.
However, science tells us that most of the collagen in our skin is located in the dermis, below the epidermis. Hence why the longer needles are often more effective. So, in order for the collagen to reproduce and then have a visible impact on the epidermis can take weeks.
Most estheticians agree that it takes around six weeks to notice a difference in the skin after dermarolling. The continued improvement of the skin can be seen for around six months to a year with continued treatments.
Another thing to consider is your diet. Drinking plenty of water helps your skin stay hydrated and youthful. Also consider adding some nutrient-dense smoothies or meals to your day to ensure you are getting proper vitamins and minerals.
And lastly, dermarolling is sadly not the cure-all. If the severity of your loose or saggy skin is a lot, this likely wont give you a models stomach. But, if you are looking for a way to tighten up some of your loose skin, this is an effective and scientifically proven method to help do so.