So, you lost 100 pounds! That is amazing! Well, now you are stuck with a new problem. Loose skin. Yes, the dreaded loose skin. It is something most of us must deal with after weight loss surgery. Due to the quick weight loss, our skin cannot keep up and therefore we are left with loose skin. The amount of loose skin varies by the person and how quickly the weight was lost. Generally, the longer the person was overweight, the more loose skin there will be. Also, those who have lost 100 pounds or more have a greater chance of having loose skin.
There are some steps that you can take to help with loose skin, but more than likely you will still have some sort of hanging skin. One thing to remember is to always discuss these things with your doctors so you can ensure you are staying as healthy as possible after surgery. The first thing you can do that has been shown to help is weight training. Building muscle mass through weight training can help decrease the appearance of loose skin because you are replacing the lost fat with muscle mass. Many people think that cardio is the only exercise bariatric patients need, when in fact weight training can help tremendously with loose skin.
Another thing that many bariatric patients do to prevent loose skin is by using firming creams. There is a lot of debate on whether this is effective, but I believe that it is important to moisturize your skin even if it does not do anything to prevent loose skin. If you are interested in trying a firming cream, make sure you find one that has retinoid as an ingredient. Retinoids help with collagen production and when you have an increase in collagen, you are more likely to have a decrease of stretch marks and prevent more from forming. Some people also use grapeseed oil to help with tightening skin and improving the elasticity. Even if these creams do not help with loose skin, I would still recommend using them to keep your skin moisturized.
Lastly, supplements are also used by weight loss surgery patients. Collagen is necessary to have healthy skin. Collagen hydrolysate has been shown to help prevent negative effects on skin aging. In addition, protein is critical for your body and is an essential building block for collagen production. Making sure you have enough protein after bariatric surgery is crucial for so many different reasons. Anther vitamin that might help is Vitamin C. Vitamin C and Gelatin have also been shown to help with collagen production so making sure you are getting enough can help with skin issues.
Unfortunately, loose skin is something most of us deal with after surgery. However, this should not scare you away. I would much rather have loose skin than be almost 400 pounds. Remember that there are procedures after surgery that can remove loose skin if you choose to go that route. You might not want to have plastic surgery and that is completely fine. I like to look at my stretch marks and loose skin as battle wounds. We have been through a lot on this weight loss surgery journey, so be proud of your body at all stages through this process. Look in that mirror and smile at the person you have become and rock those stretch marks and loose skin!