Sometimes when you lose weight you also gain loose skin that can prevent you from achieving the look you ultimately desire. Loose or sagging skin can also be part of the natural aging process or genetics.

sagging skin

Sagging skin that is attributed to extreme weight fluctuations and diminished muscle mass often lacks elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. Excessive weight changes will break or weaken the supportive elastin fibres in the dermis, resulting in stretch marks. Once this occurs, the tensile strength within the dermis is diminished and the skin cannot bounce back to restore its original shape. This is similar to when a rubber band is stretched beyond its limit and then remains weakened. If your weight loss is accompanied with a loss of muscle mass, there will be a loss of body tone and your skin will appear flaccid.

As we age, the cumulative effects of sun damage, weight fluctuations and genetics can all have a profound effect on the appearance of our skin. These changes affect the elasticity of our skin. Elastin fibres within our skin are similar to miniature rubber bands or coils contained within the connective tissue running throughout our bodies. While collagen is an important part of the building blocks of our skin structure, elastin is also an important protein, produced by fibroblasts, allowing our skin to return to its original shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin also keeps skin smooth as it stretches to accommodate our daily activities--during flexion, extension and strenuous physical activities.

Excess body skin is a cosmetic concern for many men and women, and can occur in the following areas:

  • Upper arms, resulting in a “bat-wing” appearance
  • Breasts, causing them to flatten and hang with nipples pointing down
  • Abdominal area, extending around the sides and into the lower back, resulting in an apron-like overhang
  • Buttocks, groin, thighs and knee areas, causing hanging pockets of skin