Get rid off loose skin

Dr Muf­fazal Lak­dawala, Founder & Chief Sur­geon, Di­ges­tive Health In­sti­tute, shares so­lu­tions to this un­sightly prob­lem.

Savvy - - Contents -

Af­ter bariatric surgery,

most pa­tients lose a large amount of weight (up to 50-60 kg at times) and end up with loose or sag­ging skin. De­po­si­tion of ex­cess fat around the body can lead to stretch­ing of the skin. As one loses weight, the skin doesn’t have enough elas­tic­ity to shrink back. This, cou­pled with usual lax­ity of the un­der­ly­ing mus­cles in obese pa­tients, leads to the ap­pear­ance of loose skin. The amount of loose skin that one will have af­ter surgery de­pends on the mus­cle tone, age, his­tory of smok­ing, ge­net­ics etc.

The real ques­tion, how­ever, is how to pre­vent skin from sag­ging post-bariatric surgery.

The fol­low­ing steps need to be ad­hered to, to pre­vent sag­ging of the skin in gen­eral…

KEEP YOURSELF HY­DRATED

Hy­dra­tion is a very im­por­tant and of­ten an un­der­es­ti­mated way to main­tain healthy skin. Drink­ing an ad­e­quate quan­tity of water keeps the col­la­gen in the skin hy­drated and re­duces sag­ging of the skin.

EX­ER­CISE TO KEEP THE SKIN TIGHT

Adding weights to your work­out three to four times a week leads to toned, lean mus­cle un­der the skin, which makes the skin look tighter. How­ever, post­bariatric pa­tients must avoid weightlifting for a pe­riod of three months post-surgery to pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions with the in­ci­sion site. Ex­er­cises that will make the skin look tighter are:

Bi­cep curls. These tar­get the nasty un­der­arm hang, which is the grouse of most women un­der­go­ing the surgery.

Planks. These work on the stom­ach flab by ton­ing the ab­dom­i­nal wall mus­cles. With your hands un­der your shoul­ders, hold your arms out with your legs straight and toes hold­ing your legs up. The longer you hold your stance, the bet­ter the re­sult. The rec­om­mended time is 30-60 sec­onds.

Crunches. Crunches and planks com­ple­ment each other well when it comes to tight­en­ing the loose skin over the belly. The back should be straight with the

Planks work on the stom­ach flab by ton­ing the ab­dom­i­nal wall mus­cles.

chin level. In this po­si­tion, you must raise your torso to your knees, fight­ing the re­sis­tance. Although it can be very painful, it is very ef­fec­tive.

Squats. These pro­vide the per­fect work­out for the glu­teus mus­cles and the thighs. With your feet at shoul­der length apart, keep your back straight as you lower yourself into a sit­ting po­si­tion as if you are sit­ting on a chair.

Lunges. These tone the mus­cles of the up­per thighs, glutes and ham­strings. This will pull the skin tighter to the thigh and cre­ate a more at­trac­tive thigh area.

USE COL­LA­GEN CREAMS

An­other way to tighten skin af­ter weight loss is to keep it nour­ished with a col­la­gen cream. This can re­plen­ish the lost col­la­gen in the skin and pre­vent it from sag­ging.

USE SUP­PLE­MENTS

The use of sup­ple­ments such as omega-3 fatty acids, vi­ta­min E oils for lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tion and in­ges­tion of lean pro­tein pre­vent sag­ging of the skin.

The amount of loose skin and de­grees of an­noy­ance ow­ing to the loose skin varies from per­son to per­son. 80 per­cent of pa­tients do not need any ad­di­tional treat­ment, other than ex­er­cise, hy­dra­tion and sup­ple­men­ta­tion. How­ever, 20% of pa­tients do need plas­tic surgery pro­ce­dures such as tummy tucks, lower body lift, thigh lift, arm lift etc ow­ing to ex­ces­sive sag­ging or un­hap­pi­ness with the ap­pear­ance of the skin post-bariatric surgery.

Bariatric sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures aren’t usu­ally cos­metic pro­ce­dures. Rather, they are per­formed for pa­tients suf­fer­ing from meta­bolic syn­drome (which is a con­stel­la­tion of dis­eases such as di­a­betes, hyper­ten­sion, high choles­terol lev­els, heart dis­ease etc). The pri­mary aim of the surgery is to al­low re­mis­sion of meta­bolic syn­drome. Most pa­tients with a BMI less than 50 do not face prob­lems with loose skin. How­ever, it’s only the su­per, su­per obese pa­tients (>50 BMI) who ex­pe­ri­ence loose skin several months post-bariatric surgery.

The use of sup­ple­ments such as omega-3 fatty acids, vi­ta­min E oils for lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tion and in­ges­tion of lean pro­tein pre­vent sag­ging of the skin.

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