How Weight Gain and Weight Loss Affect Your Skin

As you gain weight, your skin expands to accommodate your added mass. This happens whether you’re putting on muscle or packing on excess fat. The expansion continues and continues as your weight increases. This is the nature of your skin’s elasticity. For people who are obese, morbidly obese, or women who get pregnant, the stretching of the skin is to be expected. It can cause some issues after losing weight, however.

Dr. Mark A. Deuber has helped many patients in the Dallas, TX by removing excess skin following weight loss. Body contouring after losing a massive amount of weight is extremely effective, yet patients often want to know why their skin stretches out so much. Let’s cover the basics of skin stretching and then consider common body contouring procedures.

If I Lose Weight, Does My Skin Shrink Back?

When you lose a lot of weight after gaining a lot of weight, you body mass changes a great deal. While you may lose that excess fat, your skin mostly stays put. The fact is, your skin may be able to expand to accommodate all the weight you put on, but it doesn’t necessarily shrink back when you’ve lost that weight.

This is why many people experience loose, sagging skin after major weight loss, particularly around the abdominal area, the upper arms, and the thighs. Stretch marks are common as well.

The only way to get rid of this excess skin is cosmetic surgery, and there are many procedures to address this.

Good Candidates for Body Contouring Surgery

Good candidates for body contouring surgery are people who have lost a lot of weight and have loose skin of their stomach, torso, and extremities. They should be in good overall health and able to tolerate a body contouring surgery without any medical risk.

Patients who want to undergo body contouring after weight loss should be as close to their ideal weight as possible. If you still have some weight to lose or intend to have another child, it’s best to delay the surgery until after weight loss or childbirth. This ensures optimal outcomes from body contouring and avoids the need for additional cosmetic surgeries down the road.

Common Body Contouring Surgeries After Weight Loss

After major weight loss, the following surgeries are commonly performed:

  • Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) – A tummy tuck helps remove loose skin around the lower abdominal area, which enhances the appearance of the stomach, love handles, and flanks.
  • Thigh Lift (Thighplasty) – The thigh lift is great for loose skin of the inner and outer thighs as well as parts of the hip area.
  • Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) – Flab and loose skin usually develop around the shoulders and triceps. An arm lift can remove this hanging skin.
  • Neck Lift – Loose neck skin from weight loss can be removed and tightened thanks to the neck lift.

For major weight loss procedures like this, a combination of contouring and sculpting surgeries can be performed. This is known as a total body lift.

Special Body Reshaping Surgeries for Mothers After Childbirth

For women trying to reverse the signs of stretching and drooping caused by childbirth, a different set of surgeries can be used, which includes a breast lift (mastopexy) and a butt lift. This combination of post-pregnancy cosmetic surgery procedures is known as a mommy makeover, and it can make a major difference to how you look and feel.

Learn More About Body Contouring Surgery

For more information about tightening loose skin and getting rid of stretch marks, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Deuber and his team are here to help you look your best.


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