How to Manage Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

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Is the thought of loose, saggy skin holding you back from moving forward with bariatric surgery? Loose skin is an unfortunate side effect of losing a significant amount of weight quickly. 

Many people believe that loose skin is a purely cosmetic issue. However, excess skin can have medical implications, especially when it comes to chafing and rashes. 

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to manage loose skin that can improve both your physical appearance and your health. 


Medical Concerns of Loose Skin

Before moving further, it’s essential to understand the medical issues you may encounter when managing excess skin. Chafing and rashes can be a major problem, which can occur when excess skin is moist or when it rubs against other folds of skin. 

The irritation from chafing occurs when the top layer of the skin – the epidermis – tears. As you can very well imagine, this can be irritating and uncomfortable. One way to reduce chafing is to wear loose clothing. 

Excess skin can also be prone to rashes, which occur for a variety of reasons. For one, it can be quite challenging to clean in between folds of loose skin. Also, if chafing should occur, it could cause breaks in the skin that could lead to infections.


How to Manage Loose Skin After Bariatric Surgery

Whether you’re worried about your physical appearance or concerned about your health (or perhaps a bit of both), let’s look at a few ways you can manage loose skin after weight loss surgery. 


Put more effort into taking care of your skin 

You’d be surprised by how many people neglect to take care of their skin after bariatric surgery. Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and must be cared for to remain healthy.  

One great way to care for your skin and improve its appearance is to use a brush with soft bristles to give yourself a massage. Not only does dry brushing feel great, but it also increases circulation and improves elasticity, improving your skin’s ability to shrink and conform to your new post-surgery body. 

Another way you can take care of your skin is to avoid smoking and to wear sunscreen every day (not just when the sun is out, either!). By going the extra mile to care for your skin, you can reduce its looseness and give it a healthier appearance. 

Maintain a balanced diet 

After surgery, every bariatric patient should be advised on how to maintain a proper diet to promote long-term weight loss. Make sure to add in plenty of protein to your diet to help with energy levels, retain lean muscle, and minimize loose or excess skin. 

Building muscle by adding protein to your diet can help you to “fill out” the saggy voids in your skin. While this method may take time and effort, the end result, if done properly, will leave you healthier and stronger than ever before.  


Exercise regularly 

Just like eating a protein-rich diet, exercising is a great way to avoid losing lean muscle mass, which in turn can help to fill out the looseness of your skin. There is a range of bariatric exercise routines that are designed to build muscle, such as weight lifting and pushups. 

Speak with your bariatric surgeon to help you determine when the time is right for you to engage in muscle building exercises. Your body will need a significant amount of time to heal post-surgery. That means learning to take it easy until your body is ready for strenuous activity. 

After the recovery period (and after consulting with your bariatric surgeon), you can begin working on muscle-building exercises to help fill out loose, saggy skin. 


Cosmetic surgery 

By far, the most effective and fastest way to get rid of excess skin is cosmetic surgery. While the above methods have been known to work for some, there’s no guarantee that they will work for you. 

Cellulite laser treatment, performed by Dr. Gina Farinholt at Olde Del Mar Surgical, is a revolutionary cosmetic surgery designed to tighten loose skin. Cellulaze anti-cellulite treatment is the first and only cosmetic surgery option for long-lasting treatment of cellulite, which is the visible dimples and unevenness of the skin. 

This procedure works by altering the structure of cellulite by inserting a laser beneath the skin to release the fibrous bands of tissue, which helps to eliminate the dimpled appearance of excess skin. 

This groundbreaking technique can also thicken the skin and diminish lumpy pockets of fat. Side effects to the procedure include mild discomfort, swelling, and numbness. However, it is incredibly effective at tightening the skin and improving your overall appearance. 

A Word About Self-Esteem

One of the unspoken truths about bariatric surgery is that many patients tend to deal with self-esteem issues, even after losing a significant amount of weight. Not only do you have to acclimate yourself to your new body and a new lifestyle, but you also have to deal with interactions with family, friends, and coworkers (amongst others). 

Loose skin can draw attention, which may make you feel uncomfortable. People often let their curiosity get the best of them, and they may begin asking intrusive questions that you may not feel comfortable answering. 

Before getting bariatric surgery, you should prepare yourself for the mental impact that it may have on your self-esteem. It’s not easy, but with time you can work to improve your appearance by eating right, exercising regularly, taking care of your skin, or undergoing cosmetic surgery. 


Managing Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

Don’t let the fear of loose skin stop you from getting bariatric surgery. By taking the proper steps to manage your loose skin, you can improve your appearance and your overall health. That said, plastic surgery after bariatric surgery may be your best bet to start feeling like yourself.  

Reach out to our friendly team today to get more information about bariatric surgery, and whether or not it’s the right choice for you. We’re always on standby to offer a helping hand. 

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