Often times, patients picture having a toned body after weight loss surgery and forget they may possibly end up with a good amount of loose skin.
Aside from appearance, excess skin can lead to other health problems such as rashes and infections. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help prevent or minimize these problems.
Mind your diet
Bariatric surgery patients are recommended to eat 60 to 80 grams of protein and drink 48 to 64 ounces of water daily. This is to maintain as much muscle as possible while losing adipose (fat) tissue and to prevent dehydration.
However, maintaining these requirements also helps improve your skin health as you lose weight.
Eating enough protein is necessary for healthy skin because it is mainly made up of protein. Also, getting enough fluids throughout the day will keep your skin hydrated and improve its appearance.
There is also some evidence that shows that vitamin C is good for skin health by helping prevent damage from the sun and also aiding in creation of protein for the skin.
Compression clothing: not just for athletes
Having loose skin can be an uncomfortable burden. However, it can also carry with it serious risks. Not only can it be visually unappealing, it may cause rashes and infections.
The best ways to help prevent these complications is to reduce skin to skin friction. You can do this by applying powder in between your skin to reduce moisture and chaffing.
Also, you should wear compression clothing because it can help hold your skin in place to reduce rubbing. Taking care of your skin by wearing compression clothing will help lower the risks for skin problems.
In trying to deal with the issue of loose skin, you may have come across different creams or wraps marketed to you that promise to “tighten up” loose skin. Unfortunately, the truth is that there is no magic product that will get rid of extra skin.
Body contouring surgery
The only permanent solution is to have body contouring surgery to remove the skin completely. Most insurance will cover skin removal surgery, as it is deemed medically necessary (tearing, uncontrolled rashes, repeated infection).
To learn more about body contouring surgery, read our interview with Joshua Fosnot, MD, a plastic surgeon for weight-loss patients.
If you're interested in surgery options for loose skin, contact your care team at Penn.