Bariatric surgery usually has expected payoffs. Better health, weight loss, higher energy levels, and increased confidence, but one unexpected consequence of weight loss surgery is excess skin. The amount of sagging skin can vary from person to person, but nonetheless, it can still be frustrating and uncomfortable. Tightening excess skin in a surgical or nonsurgical method can help with the appearance of loose skin.
You may be able to tighten your loose skin with some at-home remedies. These include steady weight loss, exercise, firming creams, and a healthy diet plan.
1. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Losing weight too quickly can decrease the skin’s elasticity and stretch, resulting in more excess skin. After gastric sleeve or bypass surgery, it is important to focus not so much on the scale but on a nutritious, wholesome diet. Following the correct macronutrient plan can ensure you are losing weight steadily while staying well-nourished.
2. Skin Toning Exercises
Slowly incorporating these muscle-building activities alongside cardio can significantly reduce the appearance of excess, saggy skin:
Walking (6-8 Weeks): In the initial weeks of post-bariatric surgery, it’s crucial to focus on walking to gradually build strength and stamina. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking most days of the week.
Light Training (8-12 Weeks): Start incorporating activities like cycling, swimming, or elliptical workouts. Additionally, introduce basic strength training exercises focusing on major muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, and light weightlifting.
Resistance Training (3-4 Months): As the body adapts to increased activity levels, prioritize resistance training to build and tone muscles. Engage in strength training exercises 2-3 times a week, targeting different muscle groups. Utilize resistance bands, dumbbells, or weight machines to create resistance, helping to tighten the muscles beneath the skin.
Yoga & Pilates (5-6 Months): Incorporate yoga or pilates into the routine to enhance flexibility and core strength. Poses and movements that engage the core muscles can be particularly effective in toning the abdominal area, a common concern for those with excess skin post-bariatric surgery.
Cardiovascular Exercises (After 6 Months): Maintain a consistent routine that includes at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week.
Abdominal Exercises (After 7 Months): Incorporate targeted exercises like planks, crunches, and leg raises. These exercises engage the core muscles, helping to tighten and tone the midsection.
3. Firming Creams
Tightening lotions promote skin cell turnover and hydration, which supports elasticity, minimizing the appearance of loose skin. Firming creams containing retinoids, collagen, and hyaluronic acids are great choices for patients fighting saggy skin.
4. Healthy Diet for Glowing Skin
Eating foods containing collagen and biotin is essential in improving skin hydration, smoothness, and appearance. Having the correct foods can ensure your body has enough nutrients to support your skin health. Some examples include:
- Bone broth
- Lean meats
- Fatty Fish
5. Skin Tightening Cosmetics
Nonsurgical methods don’t always work for everyone, and surgical intervention may be needed to eliminate excess skin. Sometimes it can take as many as four or five cosmetic procedures to remove all excess skin and restore a patient’s figure. Some common procedures include:
- Skin Removal
- Body Lift
- Arm Lift
- Breast Lift
- Breast Implants
- Brazilian Butt Lift
- Tummy Tuck
A common cosmetic surgery interest among bariatric patients is a Mommy Makeover. This includes a tummy tuck, breast lift or augmentation, and liposuction.