T Nation


I once was a bit heavier than I am today and needless to say I have lost some of the elasticity in my lower abdomin. You know right around the bell button, I am fairly lean, with visible abs unflexed. I was wondering if there is any way to get that area to tighten up, basically once you loose the elasticity is ot gone? Or are there things one can do to promote it to return? i.e. topical creams. Any advice is helpful, I have tried vitamin E oil for the stretch marks, but that does not work all that great, but summer is here, so a good tan will help that area.

Read the second take article on abdominal training. Hit that TVA and all will be well with your belly blues. If you check out King’s program on Ab training you’ll also find some stuff there he called them his “thin tummy” exercises.


Man J-bird… You are reading my mind lately… :slight_smile:
I have two kids and have the same problem… well, sort of.
I, too, have lost elasticity in the lower abs. I also have some stretch marks. They say that tanning will enhance the stretch marks, but I’m like you, I still tan.
I am female and petite, I wear a size 0-2. But no matter how much I work out or how much I work my abs I still have the loose skin. The skin actually looks worse, the skinnier I get. I wake up with a flat tummy and abs, but if I retain any water, because of the loose tissue, it shows in my lower abs. You can’t tell in clothes, but it definately show naked.
Well, I didn’t realize it was loose skin and last week I was at the Doctor’s office and asked jokingly asked him if I was going to loose the fat in my lower abs. He then checked out my abs and said they were in great shape (the muscle that doesn’t grow back together in the lower abs for most women who’ve had children, he said grew back together). He also informed me it was not fat as I called it but just loose skin and the only way to loose it is to have plastic sergery.
I am curious to see answers to your post, as I would work my ass off or even use a cream, rather than plastic surgery.
For now, I will stick to my eating healthy and working out approach and if there is a magical cream out there, please share.
Good luck Stein with your abs and together we will find a cure… lol

I will say though that I’m not beneath the tuck, if I’ve seriously worked for it first with no results. It would be a last result.

I suffer from this aswell
i used to be a fat kid but lost all the weight
however, it might be lose skin or it might be a bit of fat, i’ve changed my diet and training a bit recently and taking an ECAY stack too and it’s deffinately helping

here’s a link to something u might find interesting, make of it though what you will


thanks for the replys, SOLO, I here you and I am pleased to here that you are seeking to achieve the results you want the old fashioned way with hard work and dedication, rather than going under the knife like so many other people.

I asked this question a few times on this forum over the past few years. Most of the responses I got was that if you are young then you might have a chance of your skin shrinking but I guess it can only shrink so much. It takes a long time and you probably have to stay at a low and steady bodyfat for this to happen. Then there is always the surgery option. By the way, I lost around 85 pounds 3 years ago and I have the same problems.

Try putting Preparation H on it.

you arent “Joshin” are you, cause man I will go out and get some right now.

Thunder, I did some research, and found that many people use preperation H to reapir damaged skin. I also saw a lot of people saying that the only kind of preperation H, which had the active ingrediant to do this, could only be bought in Cananda. Is there any truth to this? Have you tried the American cream on yourself, and if so results? Thanks a lot for the help by the way, I am sure many others besides myself can really benefit from this.

To the best of my knowledge, Preparation H doesn’t “repair” damaged skin - it reduces inflamation and irritation, which may in turn keep you from aggrivating it and causing more damage. It is a “secret” for reducing puffiness around the eyes before photo shoots or after long, hard nights. And yes, it does work very well in this capacity.

Once skin is damaged (in the manner we’re talking) it’s rather unlikely it will return to it’s previous, healthy condition. That’s why there is no miracle cream for wrinkles or stretch marks. Sure, stuff out there with Retin-A or other acids may slough a few layers of skin off and reduce the appearance of these imperfections, but I don’t believe anything will eliminate them.

I have a similar issue with excess skin and slight loss of elasticity since I gained around 75lbs from pregnancy. Luckily, I have only a few light stretch marks (mostly on my hips). As far as tanning goes, I tan regularly and use some bottled stuff to deepen the color. It actually makes my stretch marks “fade”. They blend in better for some reason when I am tan than when I am pasty.

One of the hard facts of life I had to face is that the loose skin on my lower abs isn’t going anywhere. To think it will shrink back up and be nice and tight again would be delusional since it’s been about 3 years since I lost the majority of that weight. If it were going to shrink more than it’s current state, it would have by now. There may be some lucky bastards out there that have the genetics to do that but for the vast majority of us, it’s there to stay.

Short of strengthening the underlying muscles or moving on to the more drastic measure of getting the excess skin cut off, there’s not a lot you can do. I’m not “above” getting a tummy-tuck when I’m done having my kids, either. Kinda funny how society views such actions - but that’s a whole 'nother thread. I’m hoping I won’t need to though. I don’t plan on gaining 75lbs again, or needing months of bed rest, or any of that crap. I’ve bounced back rather well from the first kid, no reason to think I won’t bounce back even better from the rest. Just have to keep in mind that I’m not a 19 year old coed anymore, I’m a grown woman and as far as grown women go - I’m not half bad.

Oh, but maybe I shouldn’t have posted this since I don’t know jack shit about anything relevant to the T/N board. I should’ve let Paul T. reply since he’s got all the knowledge under the sun… sorry, had to get that out… :wink:

Whoa, there, Karma…
take it easy!
That was some good info. and I’ll be sure to pass it on to my wife who has the same problem (but not from pregnancy). She dieted pretty hard for the last year and lost about 35 lbs. I always thought it would eventually shrink back down, too. I guess I misinformed her. She’s not gonna be too happy about this, though!

Hey Karma… I bounced back much faster w/ my second child than my first. (Hyjacking just a little… sorry) Not only physically, but the birth was quicker, easier, and I recovered much faster. With my 1st, I was on bedrest for 2 weeks afterwards and the 2nd time, I left the hospital the very next day to entertain company. (okay so I hyjacked a lot) :frowning: Don’t yell at me! It’s all out of love :slight_smile:
I have a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. I’m done having children, so I’ll let you know in a year if it goes away or not. If not… I’ll be going under the knife. I’m only 26, I’m not going the rest of my life not able to wear a bikini or dislike myself naked.
I have also heard of preparation H used under the eyes by models and stuff. It is supposed to tighten the skin, but only temporarily (speaking in terms of hours, I think). I don’t know if the “Canadian” stuff is different.

Karma, you’re doing just fine.

Illegitemi non carborundum. :wink:

Thanks karma, yes the research I saw was entirely related to eye puffiness. Oh well it is just another fact of life, that the skin is there to stay, which is not a real big bummer, but man would it be awesome if that “flap” was tight, oh well life is still wonderful, and we are all still beutiful creatures:)

Ah hell! Just as I was about to post a nice, long reply - the damn thing crapped out on me. To the best of my recollection:

GaryE: You never know, your wife may have those blasted perfect genetics for any excess skin to shrink back up nicely. If it’s been more than a year since the majority of her weight’s been lost though, I’d doubt it. Just keep encouraging/praising her on her accomplishments both in and out of the gym.

Solo’s girl: I completely understand about not wanting the rigors of childbearing/nursing to keep you out of a bikini or lingerie for the next 35 years - especially when the rest of the bod is smokin! I refuse to allow that as well. Once I’m done poppin’ the pups out (not even starting for another 3-7 years anyway), I fully intend to get a small breast augmentation and possibly a tummy tuck - depending on how severe the “damage”. Just do what you can “naturally” and if that’s not enough to satisfy you, take advantage of the “technical” options available.

Char-dawg: God, I love you! I tried to reply in kind but my Latin is a little rusty. :wink: So I’ll just say thanks, I needed that.

Hey Karma… Nice to find someone who can relate!! :slight_smile: I’m sure you’ll agree, even if we were stuck with all of the loose skin and stretch marks, it was definitely worth it. Kids are great!
Nice to see that there are people on this forum that aren’t trying to start arguments or be controversial and just want to share knowledge and experiences, or even just acknowledgement or comfort in knowing that someone out there is going through the same thing.

What about Microdermabrasion for the stretch marks? Not as invasive as surgery and cheaper.

J-Bird, if it’s at all any consolation to you, upon seeing several photos of you, you look absolutely outstanding, buddy! To me, there was no apparent signs of excess skin. Again, I think we tend to magnify our own perceived defects more than necessary.

On a related note, I have an African American female client with some stretch marks from her pregnancy. She is particularly concerned over them because she plans on trying out for some professional dance squads. She is actually just beginning to train also. My question is in regards to remedying these stretch marks. Are there any potential mechanisms to rid or mask them? Will her training help to eliminate them?

ok im 23 so maye i have abit more elasticity???
but anyway my story goes when i was 16 and fat and unhappy i decided to change it and by the time i was 18 i had lost alot of the weight (too fast for my liking to be honest, i didnt really know much about nutrition as i do know so thought just eating a few peices of fruit a day would be a good idea duh!!)

anyway i had lots of excess skin and most likely stubborn fat. When i was 21 i had nmy bodyfat measured at 10% and still had alot of excess skin even though i was eating well and training hard. Now i’ve learnt alot. I only eat low gi unrefined carbs and it’s only 30% of my diet intake, i take flax and fish oils and do Tonnes of cardio. ECY has also helped me tighten up. I’ve definately still got excess skin but now my abs aer showing and i can learn to live with the fact that it’ll probably never be totally tight but it’s getting there?

Solo’s girl: Yes, I can relate to a number of situations and the post-childbearing body is one such issue that very few here on the forum can empathize with. You are younger than I, but we started about the same age (I’m 29, my boy is 7) and if the pics in the O/T Forum reflect accurately, you are of Asian descent. Our ancestry is a bit different (half British, half French here) but it sounds as though we are in about the same situation. While I haven’t a lot of excess skin or drastic stretchmarks it is, of course, more than I’d like. And yes, the rugrats are well worth it, even if one occasionally ponders the quality of fertilizer they’d make.

allpainnogain: I’ve not researched (micro)dermabrasion much but from the bit I do know, it wouldn’t seem effective for removing/diminishing stretchmarks. It’s reported to be very effective in removing sun spots and superficial, sun-damaged induced wrinkles and moderately effective in temporarily (1 year) reducing the appearance of “true” wrinkles (loss of elastin, muscle contraction caused creases). Essentially, it just buffs the upper layers of skin. Since stretchmarks are tears in the dermis, not just epidermis, and are true scars - I don’t see where the process would be beneficial. But then, I’m not a doc.

Timbo: I don’t know how bad your client’s stretchmarks are but like I’ve stated, I’m not aware of anything to fix them. Blacks are also prone to keloids. Does she currently have any keloid scars? Steroid injections can diminish them, if so. I’d guess her best bet would be to use some sort of cosmetic to cover them. I don’t know the names of any off the top of my head but if you did a search for “corrective cosmetics” or some such thing you’d have a place to start. There are coverups that can make portwine birthmarks disappear - they’d surely make stretchmarks disappear.