Losing a bunch of weight—whether it"s v diet and also exercise, surgery, or a combination of different approaches—isn"t every glitter and also smiling "after" photos. If you melted a significant number that pounds, having loosened skin is normal—and very common. Additionally normal? feeling a small bummed around it.

“This is a legitimate worry that patients have actually when seeking obesity surgery,” claims Vivek Prachand, M.D., a bariatric surgeon and also associate professor of surgical treatment at The college of Chicago Medicine.

Why does loose skin after major weight ns happen? The maybe-a -little-downer (but real talk) truth: If you to be in a larger body previously, overabundance fat most likely stretched the end your skin. Couple that through the fact that collagen and elastin (an elastic protein) in the skin naturally decrease together you age, and you"ve gained a recipe for excess skin, defines Manish Shah, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in Denver.

You are watching: Excess skin after 100 pound weight loss

“There might not be adequate elasticity for the skin to contract ago down to your new, smaller sized body size,” states Constance Chen, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon in new York City.

Stretch marks space one authorize of skin being, well, stretched previous the suggest of no return: once you watch them, “it’s much more likely that significant weight lose will an outcome in loose, hanging skin,” says Dr. Chen.

Does everyone have loosened skin after significant weight loss?

Nope—it’s not inevitable, states Dr. Prachand. Yet it’s likewise not simple to predict who is going to suffer it, that says. He’s had actually some patient who have lost 200 pounds in a year after obesity surgery and have very tiny excess skin. On the various other hand, some have actually lost as tiny as 60 pounds and have more.

“The magnitude of load loss doesn’t predict just how much overabundance skin you might have,” that says. Various other factors, choose genetics, cigarette smoking (which degradation collagen and also elastin), and also sun exposure likewise play a duty in her skin’s springiness.

It’s likewise normal to assume that losing weight easily could cause sagging skin, but that’s no necessarily the case, either. “Sometimes, patients will take into consideration doing surgical procedure that doesn’t permit them to shed weight as quickly due to the fact that of the fear of overfill skin," claims Dr. Prachand. "I know these concerns, yet there’s no solid evidence the how easily you shed plays a role."

Will loosened skin ever before go far on that own?

It might, however that have the right to take a lengthy time.

“In general, it deserve to take anywhere from weeks come months—even years,” claims Dr. Chen. If after one to two years skin is quiet loose, it may not get any type of tighter, she says.

Is it possible to tighten loose skin without surgery?

Sadly, probably not. “Nonsurgical approaches that assist tighten the skin will generally not be reliable enough come tighten the lot of loosened skin the occurs with huge weight loss,” says Dr. Chen.

For instance, abdominal muscle binders can aid relieve back pain yet do nada for skin. Compression apparel can be worn to organize in excess skin, yet they also won’t do anything come effect an ext long-term change.

Dr. Shah states that if you have little amounts of loose skin, then tools like Bodytite and also Renuvion, both that which are minimally invasive body-contouring technologies, may help. “The finest results come from surgical treatment by far,” that says.

What is surgical procedure for loose skin like?

Body-contouring surgery often entails a “tummy tuck” v arm, breast, face, reduced body, or thigh lifts, every the American culture of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Prachand and Dr. Chen say there are specific indicators lock look for prior to recommending loose skin-removal surgery to patients:

Their weight needs to have stayed stable because that at the very least six months.Their BMI must ideally be under 30.Patients can"t smoke.Patients v diabetes require stable blood-glucose levels.

Oh, and also if you’ve had actually bariatric surgery to shed the weight, here’s a surprise: surgery to eliminate excess skin is tougher to recuperate from.

“Body contouring requires more overall body healing than weight problems surgery itself, which is a minimally invasive procedure,” says Dr. Prachand. It’s important not to brush off the seriousness of the surgery thinking the it’s “cosmetic,” due to the fact that it’s much much more than that.

Indeed, you’ll most likely need two to 4 weeks to recover, with full recovery taking as lengthy as 6 months after ~ surgery, says Dr. Shah. (That method you can not view the results you"re looking for aesthetically till that point, either.)


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“The ache for surgical procedure is relative and only middle in intensity,” the adds. Still, you more than likely will it is in too exhausted to walk to work: throughout the first couple of weeks, a less complicated daily regimen is a must, says Dr. Shah.

You should also know walking in that you may need touch-up surgery. “Scars should be finessed, part skin loosens and needs to be retightened, and also there might be asymmetries come perfect,” that says.

Long-term, this surgery might actually aid you keep the weight off. Research study in Plastic and also Reconstructive surgical treatment found that patients who received body-contouring surgical treatment were much more likely to keep their weight loss, contrasted to those who had bariatric surgery alone.

“After human body contouring, the improvements in physical and also social functioning help reinforce healthy lifestyle changes,” claims Dr. Prachand.

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Jessica MigalaJessica Migala is a health and wellness writer specializing in general wellness, fitness, nutrition, and also skincare, with occupational published in Women’s Health, Glamour, Health, Men’s Health, and more.
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