Sometimes people ask us about the best way to get rid of loose skin. Time, healthy habits, and consistently good skin care may do the trick in cases where someone has a little loose skin from pregnancy or weight loss. Other times, the loose skin is permanent without plastic surgery.
While this article discusses surgical procedures, it isn’t a substitute for a consultation with a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon. It provides a simplified overview to help you start your journey to restore comfort and confidence.
What Causes Loose Skin?
Young skin’s tight; the smooth texture is mainly due to the body’s production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. With age, collagen and elastin production slow. Also, sun damage, smoking, and other lifestyle factors diminish skin elasticity.
The skin has trouble keeping up when you lose weight rapidly through diet, recovering from pregnancy, or even the best non invasive weight loss surgery. The skin may tighten naturally in time, but that doesn’t always happen depending on your collagen and elastin production. As we age, the skin is less likely to tighten as much as it would in our youth. However, even young people who lost around 100 pounds find their skin is never the same again.
For some people, this is cosmetic, but for others, the loose skin conceals the results of their hard work and makes them feel self-conscious.
For others, excessive loose skin is uncomfortable, and they must always wear supportive undergarments. Either way, the different types of plastic surgery can offer a permanent solution to loose skin that doesn’t tighten naturally.
While no magic cream can tighten the skin, caring for yourself can help boost the natural process. Some lifestyle habits that may help include:
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein like fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and fish oil
- An active lifestyle includes strength training and aerobic exercise
- Staying hydrated by drinking enough water
- Take care of your skin using a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, a mild cleanser, an antioxidant skin serum recommended for your skin type, and other professional quality products
- Avoid tobacco, recreational drugs, and excessive drinking.
- Some non-surgical skin rejuvenation procedures may help tighten the skin, but the degree may not be enough if you lose 50, 60, 100, or more pounds.
Some non-surgical treatments recognized by the American Board of Plastic Surgery include the following, which generally stimulate collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production in the skin:
- Radiofrequency (RF) treatments
- Combining intense pulsed light (IPL) with radiofrequency (RF)
Some of these treatments are also used for anti-aging skin rejuvenation.
Results vary by person and the amount of loose skin involved. If these methods don’t solve the problem, please don’t blame yourself. Skin healing is highly individual, and sometimes the only solution is plastic surgery. You can save time figuring this out by seeking a consultation with a cosmetic skin care professional at a medispa like The Skin Center or a plastic surgeon like a team member at Charlotte Plastic Surgery.
Body contouring surgery is a highly effective solution for loose skin. During these procedures, a plastic surgeon removes excess skin and possibly fat and then tightens the skin. Examples of body contouring procedures include:
- Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty for the belly and abdomen
- Lower-body lift for the hips, buttocks, and thighs
- Breast lift or upper-body lift for the breasts and back
- Thigh lift for the inner and outer thighs
- Arm lift or Brachioplasty for the upper arms
Your plastic surgeon may treat one or more of the areas. Talk with a qualified plastic surgeon to better understand what is possible for you. Your doctor may show you real-world before and after photos of prior patients who are in some ways similar to you. They may also use imaging tools to simulate the results you will likely have with each option.
For some people, the boost in confidence and comfort from body contouring surgery is life-changing. Excess loose skin can be uncomfortable and vulnerable to skin fungus, irritation, and injury risk. Some can’t comfortably wear fitted clothing, work out in the gym, swim, or undress without being physically and emotionally uncomfortable.
Successful plastic surgery results in restored confidence and the ability to live an active lifestyle, wear whatever you want, and feel proud of the results you worked so hard to achieve. This is why so many opt for it after a significant weight loss or after they finish nursing their child.
Deciding Whether to Opt for Surgery
Since these are elective operations, your plastic surgeon will need to consult with you and review your medical history. You will need a full anesthetic and possibly a hospital stay. One of the first things your doctor will want to do is better understand your goals and whether you are healthy enough for the elective surgery. Plan for weeks or possibly months of downtime as you recover and for follow-up visits to your plastic surgeon to monitor your recovery.
Maintain your results by maintaining a stable body weight and caring for your skin. If you plan to expand your family, it may be better to wait until after your baby.
A Consultation is Your First Step Towards Tighter Skin
It all starts with a consultation. Charlotte Plastic Surgery has a decades-long proven track record in the Charlotte, NC, area. We have had the privilege of transforming our patients’ appearances and helping them move toward living their best lives. If you want to explore the best way to get rid of loose skin, contact a skilled plastic surgeon to learn more.
Our team combines technical skill, compassion, and knowledge of today’s best treatments and techniques.
Let us know if you liked this post!