This is a guest post courtesy of Dr. Christopher Pavlou, the Founder, Owner, and practicing medical and aesthetics doctor at Skin Technique in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
When you commit to losing weight, one issue that you might not realize is common during the process is loose skin. It can be disheartening to lose all that weight only for your boost in self-confidence to be ruined by this loose skin, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways you can get rid of your loose skin and stubborn fat deposits so you look as thin and confident as you dreamed of. Here’s how you can do it.
Put on More Muscle
As you lose fat and shed weight, whether it’s due to diet or exercise or a combination of both, your skin gets loose because the surface area your skin had to cover is shrinking. You still have the same amount of skin as before you lost any weight, and that’s why it looks and feels loose in the immediate aftermath of losing the weight.
That’s why the simplest way you can get rid of this loose skin is by gaining muscle. Those muscles will replace the space that the fat used to take up, which helps your skin look more taut and smooth over your body’s frame. This is a good idea for people losing weight anyways because as you start shedding fat it’s common to lose muscle too, unless you do muscle-building exercises to prevent it. Most of the time, building muscle is all you’ll need to do to get rid of sagging skin.
Wait a Year After Losing Weight
If you do your workouts and put on some muscle and still have loose skin, don’t worry. Odds are that you’ve just lost a lot of fat and weight faster than your skin could keep up with, even with muscle building. You can try to moderate your weight loss to a slower pace, which will help your skin adjust at the same rate to avoid looking as loose.
That’s because for most people, skin is naturally elastic enough that it will eventually adjust to the lost weight at least to some extent. Building muscle helps too, but once you reach your target weight you should wait at least a year for your skin to re-tighten itself before resorting to any treatments or surgeries. Time and muscle building will fix your loose skin a lot of the time.
For people who still have to deal with loose skin, it might be because what you think is skin is actually deposits of stubborn fat. You’ll find these in your belly, your hips and thighs, your back, and your neck. The fat in these areas is usually a different type than what you can more easily lose through diet and exercise, and for some people it can actually be impossible to get rid of. That’s where a non-invasive treatment such as CoolSculpting can help.
CoolSculpting uses special pads to freeze only those fat cells below the surface of your skin. This kills those fat cells so your body can naturally absorb them, and it gets rid of that fat forever — but it does not prevent you from gaining more fat and weight back. CoolSculpting can be a highly effective treatment for people who cannot get rid of surface fat.
Radio Frequency Body Contouring Treatments
If the problem is not stubborn surface fat and actually is loose skin, there are other treatments that can help tighten your skin to follow your normal contours. Radio Frequency body contouring uses the energy and heat from radio waves to trigger the production of collagen, the natural protein your body produces to make new skin cells.
In this treatment, an applicator is held to the target area and gently issues the radio frequency waves no deeper than the epidermal layers of your skin. It is an FDA-approved treatment and safe for all skin types, and usually follows a standard routine of a few treatments over a period of several months for the best results. In the end, your skin will tighten itself faster and more completely than it would otherwise.
Ultrasound skin tightening
A similar but alternative treatment to tighten your skin uses ultrasound energy instead of radio waves. It targets your skin at different depths, depending on the results you want, and helps increase collagen production to firm up your skin. Like with Radio Frequency treatments, a small applicator is held to the area you want tightened, but is mostly used on the chin, neck, and brow areas of your body.
It is a highly safe and FDA-approved treatment for loose skin, and usually takes less than an hour to complete. It is painless, though the area that the applicator was held against might feel a bit tender for a day or two.
About the Author:
Dr. Christopher Pavlou is medical doctor and board certified in aesthetic medicine. He is the owner and founder of Skin Technique, a medical aesthetic clinic in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. He has brought his philosophy of Honour Your Beauty to Skin Technique by offering a variety of specialized services including dermal fillers, anti wrinkle treatments, lasers and coolsculpting. When he isn’t performing naturally rejuvenating treatments and procedures, he loves to share his expertise and knowledge on aesthetic artistry with others who are looking to educate themselves in the evolving field of aesthetic medicine.