Will I Have Loose Skin after Losing Weight?

Excess skin is very common after losing a significant amount of weight.  But there are a lot of conflicting opinions out there on what exactly causes the extra skin, and what you can do about it.

courtesy of shutterstock.com

courtesy of shutterstock.com

Today I’m giving you my top 5 facts about weight loss and extra skin:

  1. “Losing weight quickly makes it more likely you’ll have loose skin.”  I’ve seen this stated all over the internet.  Heck- I’ve even said it myself.  And it is true… sort of.  Skin takes quite awhile (i.e. months) to tighten up after weight loss.  So if you lose weight very quickly, you will initially notice more loose skin than if you lose weight slowly.  But at a year out after losing the weight, the amount of excess skin you have will be about the same either way.  The skin just takes some time to rebound.
  2. Skin elasticity varies from person to person.  We’ve all seen those pictures of moms with fabulous abs after having three children.  No loose skin to be seen, and they swear no surgery was involved.  The truth is those individuals are blessed with great genes, and have skin that rebounds well.
  3. Skin elasticity varies with age.  So losing 100 lbs in your twenties is less likely to leave you with extra skin compared to losing the same amount of weight in your fifties.
  4. Surgery is really the only effective way to remove excess skin.  There are some non-invasive treatments out there.  But most of these are geared toward smaller surface area (e.g. along the jawline), and show minimal improvement at best.  Surgery is the only way to treat large amounts of excess skin.  This is often done over the abdomen, the lower back, the upper arms, and the thighs. The scars are pretty significant, especially over the upper arms.  But there really is no other way to get rid of the extra.
  5. Insurance plans may cover removal of excess skin, in some instances.  Extra skin over the abdomen is the only area that is ever covered, and only then if it is causing problems such as rashes or difficulty moving around.  Removal of skin in other areas is virtually never covered by insurance.

Do you have any experience with skin removal surgery?  If so, do you have any words of advice or wisdom to share?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

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