Loose Skin? Read Me...

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    Loose Skin? Read Me...


    Loose Skin Blues
    By: Tom Venuto

    If you’re extremely overweight, or if you’ve been extremely overweight in the past, then you know that getting rid of excess weight is only one of the challenges you face. Once the fat is gone, you are often confronted with an equally frustrating cosmetic problem: Loose skin.

    There are 12 things you should know about loose skin after very large weight losses:

    1. Skin is incredibly elastic. Just look at what women go through during pregnancy. Skin has the ability to expand and contract to a remarkable degree.

    2. Elasticity of skin tends to decrease with age. Wrinkling and loss of elasticity is partly the consequence of aging (genetic factors) and also a result of environmental factors such as oxidative stress, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiency. The environmental parts you can fix, the genetics are age part, you cannot. Advice: Get moving and change the things you have control over… Be realistic and don’t worry about those things you don’t have control over.

    3. How much your skin will return to it’s former tautness depends partly on age. The older you get, the more and extremely large weight loss can leave loose skin that will not return to normal.

    4. How long you carry extra weight has a lot to do with how much skin will become taut after the weight loss: For example, compare a 9-month pregnancy with 9 years carrying 100 excess pounds.

    5. How much weight was carried has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so much and be expected to “snap-back? one hundred percent.

    6. How fast the weight was gained also has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so quickly and be expected to “snap back?.

    7. How fast weight is lost also has a lot to do with how much the skin will tighten up. Rapid weight loss doesn’t allow the skin time to slowly resume to normal. (yet another reason to lose fat slowly: 1-2 lbs per week, 3 lbs at the most if you have a lot of fat to lose, and even then, only if you are measuring body fat and you’re certain it’s fat you’re losing, not lean tissue).

    8. There are exceptions to all of the above; i.e, people who gained and then lost incredible amounts of weight quickly at age 50 or 60, and their skin returned to 100% normal.

    9. There are many creams advertised as having the ability to restore the tightness of your skin. None work – at least not permanently and measurably – and especially if you have a lot of loose skin. Don’t waste your money.

    10. If you’re considering surgical skin removal, consult a physician for advice because this is not a minor operation, but keep in mind that your plastic surgeon may be making BMW payments with your abdominoplasty money. (Surgery may be recommended in situations where it’s not 100% necessary). Surgery should be left as the ABSOLUTE FINAL option in extreme cases.

    11. Give your skin time. Your skin will be tighter as your body fat gets lower. I’ve seen and heard many cases where the skin is gradually tightened up, at least partially, after a one or two year period where the weight loss was maintained and exercise continued.

    12. Know your body fat percentage before even THINKING about surgery. Loose skin is one thing, but having body fat is another. Be honest with yourself and do that by taking your body fat measurement. This can be done with skinfold calipers or a variety of devices (calipers might not be the best method if you have large folds of loose skin. Look into impedance analysis, underwater weighing, and DEXA or Bod Pod).

    Suppose for example, a man drops from 35% body fat all the way down to 20%. He should be congratulated, but I would tell him, “Don’t bitch about loose skin, your body fat is still high. Press onward and keep getting leaner.?

    Average body fat for men is in the mid teens (16% or so). Good body fat for men is 10-12%, and single digits is extremely lean (men shouldn’t expect to look “ripped? with 100% tight skin on the abs unless they have single digit body fat, and women low teens).

    Except in extreme cases, you are very unlikely to see someone with loose skin who has very low body fat. It’s quite remarkable how much skin can tighten up and literally start to “cling? to your abdominal muscles once your body fat goes from “average? to “excellent?. Someone with legitimate single digit body fat and a ton of loose skin is a rare sight.

    So… the key to getting tighter skin is to lose more body fat, up to the point where your body composition rating is BETTER than average (in the “good? to “great? category, not just “okay?). Only AFTER you reach your long term body fat percentage goal should you give thought to “excess skin removal?. At that necessary point, admittedly, there are bound to be a few isolated cases where surgery is necessary if you can’t live with the amount of loose skin remaining.

    However, unless you are really, really lean, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what is loose skin, what is just remaining body fat, and how much further the skin will tighten up when the rest of the fat is lost.

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    good read, i tried to lose more and more weight to tighten up my skin, unfortunatly i look like a ***** with a gut now
    the calipers say im ~10-11%, however alot of people think im lower than that, my pics are in the photo forums, i have a couple of new ones, just ask if you wanna see
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    Quote Originally Posted by taffer
    good read, i tried to lose more and more weight to tighten up my skin, unfortunatly i look like a ***** with a gut now
    the calipers say im ~10-11%, however alot of people think im lower than that, my pics are in the photo forums, i have a couple of new ones, just ask if you wanna see
    I see what you're saying bro, I peeked the pics. You've came along way brother...

    My advice would be to start packing on the muscle, LEAN muscle, build those abs up, and then cut down, repeating.......

    Get those abs big, and shred that bit of fat up... you're so close brutha
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    exactly what i plan to do, right now my metabolism is bummed (im 6'4 183lbs maintaining/plateaued on 2500calories a day ) so im going to take a week off, get a new split, increase calories, get over the fact that i gotta put on some fat, and bloat (i hate bloating but i gotta to get over it), load up the creatine hopefully and add some good muscle, and 20-30lbs later cut down depends on how fat i get
    i am seeing a plastic surgeon about it, we will see what they say (although im just seeing them to see what they think, i'd really rather have it tighten up naturally, although that may be unlikely)

    i know alot of people think their fat is loose skin, but you know its skin, when your arms are 13.5inches and you have a gut also alot of people say "pinch the back of your hand, thats loose skin" i think thats false too
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    I wish you the very best bro for sure. If you cut back down to single digit BF% and you have put some solid gains in, then I would look into the surg. more........ until you get down into the single digits, you can more than likely shed it off some more...

    Good work, and keep me updated bro....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blown_SC
    Loose Skin Blues
    By: Tom Venuto

    If you’re extremely overweight, or if you’ve been extremely overweight in the past, then you know that getting rid of excess weight is only one of the challenges you face. Once the fat is gone, you are often confronted with an equally frustrating cosmetic problem: Loose skin.

    There are 12 things you should know about loose skin after very large weight losses:

    1. Skin is incredibly elastic. Just look at what women go through during pregnancy. Skin has the ability to expand and contract to a remarkable degree.

    2. Elasticity of skin tends to decrease with age. Wrinkling and loss of elasticity is partly the consequence of aging (genetic factors) and also a result of environmental factors such as oxidative stress, excessive sun exposure, and nutritional deficiency. The environmental parts you can fix, the genetics are age part, you cannot. Advice: Get moving and change the things you have control over… Be realistic and don’t worry about those things you don’t have control over.

    3. How much your skin will return to it’s former tautness depends partly on age. The older you get, the more and extremely large weight loss can leave loose skin that will not return to normal.

    4. How long you carry extra weight has a lot to do with how much skin will become taut after the weight loss: For example, compare a 9-month pregnancy with 9 years carrying 100 excess pounds.

    5. How much weight was carried has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so much and be expected to “snap-back? one hundred percent.

    6. How fast the weight was gained also has a lot to do with how much the skin will resume a tight appearance. Your skin can only be stretched so quickly and be expected to “snap back?.

    7. How fast weight is lost also has a lot to do with how much the skin will tighten up. Rapid weight loss doesn’t allow the skin time to slowly resume to normal. (yet another reason to lose fat slowly: 1-2 lbs per week, 3 lbs at the most if you have a lot of fat to lose, and even then, only if you are measuring body fat and you’re certain it’s fat you’re losing, not lean tissue).

    8. There are exceptions to all of the above; i.e, people who gained and then lost incredible amounts of weight quickly at age 50 or 60, and their skin returned to 100% normal.

    9. There are many creams advertised as having the ability to restore the tightness of your skin. None work – at least not permanently and measurably – and especially if you have a lot of loose skin. Don’t waste your money.

    10. If you’re considering surgical skin removal, consult a physician for advice because this is not a minor operation, but keep in mind that your plastic surgeon may be making BMW payments with your abdominoplasty money. (Surgery may be recommended in situations where it’s not 100% necessary). Surgery should be left as the ABSOLUTE FINAL option in extreme cases.

    11. Give your skin time. Your skin will be tighter as your body fat gets lower. I’ve seen and heard many cases where the skin is gradually tightened up, at least partially, after a one or two year period where the weight loss was maintained and exercise continued.

    12. Know your body fat percentage before even THINKING about surgery. Loose skin is one thing, but having body fat is another. Be honest with yourself and do that by taking your body fat measurement. This can be done with skinfold calipers or a variety of devices (calipers might not be the best method if you have large folds of loose skin. Look into impedance analysis, underwater weighing, and DEXA or Bod Pod).

    Suppose for example, a man drops from 35% body fat all the way down to 20%. He should be congratulated, but I would tell him, “Don’t bitch about loose skin, your body fat is still high. Press onward and keep getting leaner.?

    Average body fat for men is in the mid teens (16% or so). Good body fat for men is 10-12%, and single digits is extremely lean (men shouldn’t expect to look “ripped? with 100% tight skin on the abs unless they have single digit body fat, and women low teens).

    Except in extreme cases, you are very unlikely to see someone with loose skin who has very low body fat. It’s quite remarkable how much skin can tighten up and literally start to “cling? to your abdominal muscles once your body fat goes from “average? to “excellent?. Someone with legitimate single digit body fat and a ton of loose skin is a rare sight.

    So… the key to getting tighter skin is to lose more body fat, up to the point where your body composition rating is BETTER than average (in the “good? to “great? category, not just “okay?). Only AFTER you reach your long term body fat percentage goal should you give thought to “excess skin removal?. At that necessary point, admittedly, there are bound to be a few isolated cases where surgery is necessary if you can’t live with the amount of loose skin remaining.

    However, unless you are really, really lean, it’s difficult to get a clear picture of what is loose skin, what is just remaining body fat, and how much further the skin will tighten up when the rest of the fat is lost.
    I wanted to bump this for some discussion or some further information from other members. I am approaching my very most leanest ever. I have yet to do a skinfold, but based on my last years analysis when I was an avg reading of 10% (with a 32.75" stomach) I am considerably lower (31.5" stomach same weight as last year of 183lbs) than that.

    My dilema is some loose skin. It is only aroung my navel. Just enough to have some skin slightly droop over it making it look like a horizontal slot, with a little bit of wrinkling below it, creating the slightest pouch when view in the profile, just enough to blur my lower 2 abs. When I place my hand up above at my upper 4 abs muscles and pull up slightly I have a nice outie belly button.

    Now, granted, I was once rather fat and do expcet some skin stretching. But it has been 3 or more years since I was fat. I am lean, so it is not BF. But I am 3 weeks from my 40th B-day. Surgery seems very extreme. Even those lazer procedure are quite expensive. And in the grand scheme of things it is of little consequence. So it is with a bit of emabarrasment that I even engage in this dialogue.

    Are there creams that work even slightly? Will time (still more) at this much lower bodyfat reduce the looseness (it was there last year, just less loose, as I was less lean)? Can I supplement to improve elasticity? Should I just get over it? Will I survive my pending mid-life crisis with a bald head...and loose abdominal skin?
    Last edited by David Dunn; 05-18-2005 at 12:28 AM.
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    this site always gives me hope...

    http://www.bodyfatguide.com/LooseSkin.htm

    who knows... i'm not down there sub 10 yet, but I hope to be. i REALLY don't want to have surgery, so we'll see how it goes. sounds like you have to get to 7 or 8 and sustain it for a while until and then your skin will slowly form and be where it needs to be.

    i've actually talked to a few people who have done this as well and they say that you really need to get lean, put on some muscle and sustain sub 10 and it really does come back.... we'll see about that...
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    Well ultimately, with some self discipline, for longevity purposes and overall health and fitness I plan to remain quite lean (within reason and setpoint limitations) for the remained of my days. I am not quite to 8% but if my diet/training plan continues to be as successful as it has been up to now I could achieve this within the next months.

    I really have the slightest amount of skin. Not even a handful. More like a five-finger-tip-pinches-worth around my navel area. Obviously, as I have gotten leaner my critical eye (or just critical nature) see's my weaknesses more pronounced than my strengths. I am optomistic that with time, and possibly some research for topical support, this will be reduced (or I become less critical).
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    B, Have you tried localised diuretics like Thimoucase(sp?) or even Preparation H? Theese are of course temporary solutions for a beach day or photo shoot and such.

    You know, Your case and women who have had children but are in shape are some of the few cases where I think surgery is a valid option. I mean, think of all the hard work you put in to get where you are. I have complete confidence that you will accomplish your goal of maintaining your condition permanently.So why not reward your self and put the icing on the cake. There's no shame in that. Also, I bet a case like yours would be relatively simple with a quick recovery.

    Whatever you do, or don't do, you've come a long way.Congradulations on reaching new levels of leaness. You're putting the pressure on me now.
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    Lean One: IMO Thimucase does not work.

    I hear you guys by th time I was 15 years old I topped the scales at 311lbs and about a 51" waist. Today I am now about 230 after gaining back 40lbs of mass from my all time low. I have been bb for 4 years. I train so hard and still feel self conscience with my shirt off. I will post some pics later this summer you guys just wouldn't believe. I know I have some bf underneath my stomach skin and it is flabby but I know my lower abs and back have loose skin becuase it feels like a nut sack literally. This year is the year that it is going to come off.

    The plan:
    In the morning I wake up eat some eggs wait an hour and do 45 minutes low intense cardio (jog 5 miles) I am proabably going to start doing this before breakfast. Then on MWF I lift in the afternoons and on TR I run wind sprints for about 10 minutes in the after noon. My diet right now is the NHE plan carbing up on every third and fourth day. I am more determined now than i ever have been before to get down in the sub 7% bf. With no drugs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lean One
    B, Have you tried localised diuretics like Thimoucase(sp?) or even Preparation H? Theese are of course temporary solutions for a beach day or photo shoot and such.
    not yet, buy will do so after I am done with this cut. I have been using AL lipos and already apply enough topicals for my liking right now. After I amdone with these topicals I will be implementing a routine that will assist in the restoration of skin elasticity in the area.
    You know, Your case and women who have had children but are in shape are some of the few cases where I think surgery is a valid option. I mean, think of all the hard work you put in to get where you are. I have complete confidence that you will accomplish your goal of maintaining your condition permanently.So why not reward your self and put the icing on the cake. There's no shame in that. Also, I bet a case like yours would be relatively simple with a quick recovery.
    Thanks for the affirmation. The thing is that the little loose skin is hardly worth the scarring that 'could' remain. I, by no means have the "don't take off the shirt" loose skin. I was never 'obesely' fat by most accounts. It is likely un-noticeable to anyone but myself, as I spend the most time observing the minute of my leaning progress. It is really not 'bad' at all. The only time it would be an issue is if I were to compete. But, like you said, it would be icing on the cake. I have two sets of braces on my teen kids to pay for right now so it is hardly a priority or an option...yet.

    Whatever you do, or don't do, you've come a long way.Congradulations on reaching new levels of leaness.
    Thanks again.
    You're putting the pressure on me now.
    You feel me...huh?
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    Fellas, i hope you guys never find out how bad extra skin sucks. At one point I weighed 350, I was absolutly huge. I jumped on the Atkins coaster and lost about 150 lbs. It took me about 6 months...Yes I said 6 months. Wound up at 200 lbs and roughly 10% BF I found myself with a tremendous amount of extra skin that just hung off my body. In the past 5 years I have put on a good 30 lbs of muscle or so, but some of the skin is still there. Much of it has gone away partially because i am 24 now, but even during cutting season i look a good 2-3% above what my actual body fat is.

    I have tried thiomucase (didn't do much) and Prep H (not bad) for temp relief. I have been considering the surgery for a few years though, the pics look disgusting. I almost think it is worth living with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deftone
    I have been considering the surgery for a few years though, the pics look disgusting. I almost think it is worth living with.
    I think your type of surgery and what B5150 would require are two very diferent things. I'm willing to bet that in Bs' case all the work can be done through the belly botton leaving any scars well out of plain sight. Skin removal for formarly obeese individuals is an entirely difrent thing.

    BTW, congrads on your huge accomplishment too.
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    I was at about 260 at my heaviest and now I'm down to 185. I still have about 20-25 to go, but then I'll be pretty cut. I don't have much extra skin now, but it's not all gone. I'm actually pretty scared to know what's going to happen. I'm only 5'6" too, so at 260 I was a big boy....

    We'll see... the best to all of you!
  

  
 

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