Losing weight to manage overweight or obesity can significantly reduce the risk of various diseases.
However, severe weight loss can sometimes lead to sagging skin . For some people, this can lead to feelings of embarrassment and discomfort that can be significant enough to interfere with quality of life.
This article examines the causes of sagging skin after weight loss . It also provides information on natural and medical solutions that can help tighten and clear loose skin .
What causes sagging skin after weight loss?
The skin is your body's largest organ, forming a protective barrier against the environment.
The innermost layer of your skin is made up of proteins, including collagen and elastin. Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin's structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and helps your skin stay taut.
During weight gain, the skin expands to make room for increased growth. Pregnancy is an example of this expansion. Skin expansion during pregnancy occurs over a few months. The enlarged skin usually retracts a few months after delivery.
On the other hand, when the skin has been stretched considerably and remains stretched for a long time, the collagen and elastin fibers are damaged. As a result, they lose some of their ability to retract.
Therefore, when you lose a lot of weight, excess skin can hang down from the body. In general, the greater the weight loss, the more pronounced the sagging skin effect .
Additionally, researchers report that people who undergo bariatric surgery form less new collagen, and its composition is not as strong as the collagen in young, healthy skin.
What are the factors that influence the loss of elasticity of the skin?
Several factors contribute to sagging skin following weight loss :
- Overweight Time: In general, the longer a person has been overweight or obese, the looser their skin will be after weight loss due to the loss of elastin and collagen.
- Amount of weight lost: A weight loss of 50 kg or more generally results in a greater amount of loose skin than a more moderate weight loss.
- Age: Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to be looser after weight loss.
- Genetics: Genes can affect how your skin reacts to weight gain and weight loss.
- Sun exposure: Chronic sun exposure has been shown to reduce collagen and elastin production in the skin, which can contribute to sagging skin.
- Smoking: Smoking causes reduced collagen production and damage to existing collagen, resulting in loose, saggy skin.
What are the problems with excess loose skin?
For some people, skin loss due to severe weight loss can lead to physical and emotional problems:
- Physical discomfort: Excess skin can be uncomfortable and possibly interfere with normal activity. A longitudinal study revealed a possible increase in self-awareness after weight loss.
- Decreased physical activity: While one study found that weight loss encouraged more people to exercise, excess skin was found to interfere with exercise in some people after bariatric surgery.
- Skin irritation and breakdown. One study found that of 124 people who sought plastic surgery to tighten their skin after weight loss surgery, 44% reported skin pain, ulcers or infections due to loose skin.
- Poor body image. Skin loss due to weight loss can have negative effects on body image and mood.
What are the natural remedies to firm up sagging skin?
The following natural remedies may improve skin strength and elasticity to some extent in people who have had mild to moderate weight loss:
1. Take collagen
The collagen hydrolyzate is no longer to be presented, its anti-aging actions are however not its only strong points.
In a controlled study, skin elasticity, as well as texture and hydration, increased significantly in people after 12 weeks of taking a collagen supplement. The drink also contained vitamins C and E, as well as biotin and zinc.
Another popular source of collagen is bone broth , which also offers other health benefits.
2. Do resistance training
Engaging in regular strength training is one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass in young and older adults .
Although research is not currently available, it is possible that an increase in muscle mass helps improve the appearance of loose skin.
3. Consume certain nutrients and stay hydrated
Certain nutrients are important for the production of collagen and other components of healthy skin:
- Protein: An adequate amount of protein is vital for healthy skin. The amino acids lysine and proline play a direct role in the production of collagen.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis and also helps protect the skin from sun damage.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish may help increase skin elasticity and have anti-aging effects.
- Water: Staying well hydrated can improve the appearance of skin. One study found that women who increased their daily water intake had significant improvements in skin hydration and function.