Sagging skin is caused by losing too much weight too quickly. Slow, gradual weight loss does not result in excess flab, but rather, gives your skin and other body parts a chance to respond to all the changes that weight loss brings.
Why loose skin?
To begin with, fast weight loss isn’t always recommended. For one, you often end up losing muscle along with fat. Preserving muscle mass is essential for keeping the metabolism going and, of course, keeping the body, bones, and connective tissue strong.
- Rapid weight loss: when you lose weight quickly, especially with dieting or weight loss surgery, extra skin is left hanging that may be difficult to get rid of. Loose or saggy skin can be a common problem after losing a large amount of weight (more than about 50-100 lbs) in a short period of time.
- Age & genetics: Loose skin isn’t just about rapid weight loss, of course. Your age, genes, and skin elasticity also determine how your skin responds, even with slow weight loss.
- Pregnancy can leave some women with extra skin.
- Sun exposure: Your past, present, and future exposure to the sun can damage your skin.
- Nutrition and water intake: Your skin may not be as healthy or firm if you aren’t getting balanced nutrition, vitamins and minerals (especially vitamins C & E), and staying hydrated.
- Smoking: Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin.
Weight loss and your Skin
The condition and elasticity of your skin before and during the weight loss determines how much — if any — loose skin you are left with. Your chances of having excess skin is significantly affected by how much weight you have to lose and how quickly you lose it. How long you have been overweight or obese can also have a bearing on your skin’s ability to rebound from being stretched out. The less time you have spent overweight, the more likely it is that your skin will return to normal.
Also, the older you are when you lose weight, the less likely it is that your skin will “snap back” to its original shape. (This is due to the fact that skin naturally becomes less elastic as it ages.)
It is idle to lose weight as slow and steady as one or two pounds a week. The more quickly you lose weight, the more likely you are to have a problem with excess skin.
One of the best asana in order to tone up and achieve the perfect skin is called Bhujang Asana. Lay down flat on your stomach and raise your face up off of the ground as much as you can.
Finding Solution to Sagging Skin
Drink water: You should drink at least eight glasses of water every day, in order to keep enough moisture in your skin. Apart from this, water helps in flushing out those toxins from your system. It will give your skin that healthy feel and look.
Exercise: When we talk about exercise, we are talking about sit-ups, push-ups, running and anything else you can think of. When you are exercising, you will be building those muscles up. This will plump up your skin from the inside and give it that tighter appearance. When you exercise, you will be making sure you will not gain all the weight back that you just tried so hard to lose.
Strength Training: A great way to get rid of that excess skin would be to lift the weight. When you are losing weight, lifting weights is important. Do resistance training 3 times a week to build new muscle for the skin to adhere to. Lifting weights and doing other exercises such as crunches and lunges help to tighten the muscles underneath the skin, which firm up the area.
Massage: Massaging the skin helps to build that elasticity back up. You should use mustard oil in order to get the best results. A daily massage will also help your muscles develop. In mustard oil, you will find that there are many medicinal properties in it that will help you to have healthy and glowing skin.
Scrub your skin 3 times a week: When you scrub away that surface, you will be causing that skin underneath to generate faster. By using a body scrub or loofah at least twice a day, you will be helping to tighten up that loose skin that is caused by weight loss.
Maintain a good posture throughout the day: As you are driving in your car, standing in lines, watching television, playing video games, and sitting at your desk, you could help tighten up your skin. You can do this by pulling your stomach muscles in and holding them for a couple of minutes.
Try over-the-counter creams: Take in a good vitamin E supplement and apply vitamin E cream or oil twice a day in the problem areas. This will not give you immediate results, but will slowly tighten up the skin and prevent sagging. Skin is elastic and it needs time to settle in. The use of coconut oil, shea butter or glycerin has been shown to restore damaged skin so when you look for soaps, creams or lotions try to find ones that contain these two natural oils.
Eat lean poultry and other proteins with each meal: Choose foods that are high in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, saturated fat, and additives. Include foods high in essential fatty acids such as avocados, olives, oily fish, nuts and seeds, and oils made from these, and also ensure that you have an adequate supply of lean protein. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent skin sagging. Make sure you get enough omega-3 in your diet, by taking fish oil or cod liver oil regularly Omega-3 fats help to normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration in the cells. This keeps skin cells strong and full of moisture. Omega-3 fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to calm irritated skin. When choosing omega 3 oils try to choose oils that come from wild varieties of fish that are less likely to contain dioxin or other types of smoke. The best sources of antioxidants are in raw fruits and vegetables. However, if you cannot find the time to eat your greens and brightly multi-colored fruits you can buy powdered mixes that make a quick fix for people on the run.
Lose weight sooner rather than later: Don’t keep putting off your weight loss program. The older you are and the longer you have been overweight the less elastic and resilient your skin becomes and the more you need to stick stringently to the other guidelines here to prevent skin from becoming too loose. The constant yo-yo dieting stretching and then loosening of the skin will harm your skin’s elasticity too.
Avoid smoking: Cigarette smoke can also go a long way to preventing the kind of collagen breakdown that causes sagging skin. Smoke damages the microcapillaries in the skin as well as its ability to absorb creams with nutrients.
Protect your skin from sun damage: Sunburned skin is much more prone to wrinkling and sagging over the long term. To prevent ultraviolet light from causing free radical damage to your skin stay out of the sun during its most intense time which is from ten am to two pm. If you must go out wear a broad-rimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreens. Remember that your skin needs a bit of sun to stay healthy, the idea is to avoid over-exposure. Ten minutes a day in direct sun on off hours is the right dose to keep your skin healthy.
Consider surgical options to remove sagging skin: Unless your excess skin is causing an actual medical problem (e.g. chafing that leads to skin infections), you need not consider surgery unless you choose to have it for your appearance’s sake. The surgery you are referring to is most likely a body lift, a cosmetic surgery procedure that lifts and tightens skin at various locations on the body. Abdominoplasty lifts and tightens just the stomach area. Botox might also be an option for you if you are specifically looking to address sagging skin around your face. These are all serious operations and like other surgeries, pose a serious risk of complications. Insurance rarely covers these types of procedures.
If you have loose skin now, it’s important that you give your skin time to recover from your weight loss. You may find that in time, as you continue to exercise, your skin will become more firm as you tone up and increase muscle. If it’s been a year or two, you may want to talk to your doctor and a plastic surgeon about the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery.