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Significant weight loss, which can be defined as shedding 100 pounds or more of excess weight, is a life-changing experience. There are major benefits for your health and self-image—such as improving sleep quality at night, being in a better mood, experiencing less depression, lowering anger, addressing fatigue, and improving brain function. However, one of the less desirable aspects of massive weight loss (which few people talk about) is the sagging skin and stretch marks that can be left behind. Our skin is a strong protective barrier, but it’s still susceptible to being weakened and stretched due to being pushed beyond the limits of its elasticity by rapid weight loss, gradual weight gain, aging, or any combination of the above. Patients may still be unhappy with the way their bodies look after losing the fat and may consider having body contouring after massive weight loss from our St. Louis-based West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University to restore a firmer body shape. There are also other strategies that can be employed when losing weight to reduce the risk of excess skin.
1. Lose Weight Slowly
Gradual weight loss may be the best way of stopping a loss of elasticity in the first place. Try to lose one to five pounds per week through a healthy lifestyle instead of a lot all at once through fad diets or cleanses.
2. Do Strength Training
Building lean muscle with dumbbells, machines, or body weight exercises is one way of keeping your skin looking tight as you shed pounds. Although muscle doesn’t replace fat, it does fill the area beneath the skin and makes you look more toned.
3. Protect Your Skin
Sun damage doesn’t just cause wrinkles and spots on your face. It also damages the collagen and elastin fibers in other parts of the skin, causing them to be more prone to sagging. This is especially important to note if you exercise outdoors. Re-apply sunscreen every day, go out when the sun’s rays are less intense, and wear protective clothing.
Cosmetic surgery is often used to remove excess skin, no matter the case. Learn more about body contouring after massive weight loss from the team at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. To set up an appointment to discuss different forms of plastic surgery with us, call us at (314) 996-8800 or submit a contact form online to get started.