Overview: Loose skin
The skin is an organ comprised of up to seven layers of ectodermal tissue and covers the surface of the body. Its designed to protect the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs, while at the same time giving shape and form to the body.
The durability and elasticity of skin makes it, to a certain extent, ideal to protect the body. Weight fluctuation and ageing are two major factors that cause the body to change. Therefore, it’s the duty of the skin to adapt and accommodate these changes.
One of the most common side effects of extreme weight lose is the development of loose skin. For many people trying to lose weight or gain a toned body, it may not always be clear that they may be left with excess, loose skin.
What causes loose skin?
Skin is flexible as you will have noticed, however the elasticity of skin depends on how long the skin has been stretched for before weight loss took place. The longer the stretch the less likely it’s to regain its original form, and the more likely you’re to be left with loose skin.
As you grow older the daily wear and tear, and exposure to the elements, can change the structure of the skin making it dry and slack. The breakdown of proteins like elastin and collagen reduce the elasticity and youthful appearance of skin and is a major contributing factor to the development of loose skin in older people.
What are the side effects of loose skin
Having loose skin can be uncomfortable for many reasons. Some people get frustrated that their excess skin hangs on them like their clothes did before the weight loss, and the clothes they wear still doesn’t fit as they would like.
Apart from looks, loose skin can cause rashes, infections, and pain. It can also limit mobility.
Can loose skin be prevented?
Ageing is a natural process that everyone goes through from the moment they’re born. It isn’t possible to stop the ageing process however there are many cosmetic treatments that can hide or delay the signs of ageing.
If you’re able to maintain a healthy life style and prevent excessive weight gain it will be possible to prevent the type of loose skin that develops because of weight loss. Youthful skin is elastic, but the elasticity can’t be maintained over long periods of stretching.
Popular treatments for loose skin
Arm and thigh lift – This is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves removing excess skin and tissue from under the arms and thighs. The resulting procedure leaves the skin in the treated area feeling firmer and appearing much tighter than before.
It’s normal for skin to stretch and loosen as your body weight changes and you get older. With an arm and thigh lift you can achieve a better proportioned figure and a more youthful appearance.
Tummy tuck – Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure designed to shape the abdominal area. The procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin, and the tightening of the muscles to leave a more aesthetically pleasing and well-defined tummy.
Brow lift – Over time the brow can drop, making the face look tired and older. By lifting the area above the eye, it is possible to gives the impression of a more youthful face. A brow lift works by tightening the skin and muscle around the forehead to enhance the appearance of the area around the upper eye lids, forehead and eye brows.
Face lift – also known as Rhytidectomy, is surgical procedure designed to reverse the early signs of ageing by removing loose skin that has lost its elasticity, specifically focusing around the eyes, mouth and jaw. It’s ideal for treating loose skin around the eyes, sagging skin around the face and neck and deep lines and wrinkles.
Neck lift – Is a popular cosmetic procedure carried out to remove wrinkles and tighten the skin and muscle around the neck, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Apart from being a procedure to rejuvenating ageing features, neck lift surgery is available for people who have lost a significant amount of weight and want to remove loose skin.
Non-surgical or minimally invasive treatments
Dermal fillers – The ageing process will change your skin and facial features. You will notice deeper lines and wrinkles developing or your cheeks beginning to sink or loosen. Dermal fillers are chemical injections used to smooth out wrinkles and creases in the skin. They can also be used to add definition to facial features like lips and cheeks, to make them more prominent.
Facial peels – Is a chemical peel designed to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the face. Generally, facial peels are better suited for fair-skinned patients. If you have darker sink, you may also achieve good results but there is more risk of uneven skin tone.
Microdermabrasion – A safe, controlled, non-surgical cosmetic treatment that exfoliates the surface of the face. The procedure uses fine crystals and a vacuum to remove dead skin cells to rejuvenate the skin. Microdermabrasion is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and blemishes that develop on the skin as you age.
Thread lift – A minimally invasive procedure carried out to fight signs of ageing. It is designed to address sagging that usually develops around the cheeks and jaw. The procedure uses absorbable thread cones to lift and support the skin around the lower face, resulting in a fresher, more youthful appearance.
Skin rejuvenation – A laser treatment developed to remove layers of skin very precisely to allow new skin cells to grow back in its place. The new skin cells that form after the surface of the skin heals appear much tighter and more youthful than before.
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