T Nation

Extra Skin


#1

Hey all,

I know this has been covered in the past, but I'm just curious to see if there have been any new developments in the area.

Basically, I have a client that has been working with for about 14 months. The good news is that at 45 she has changed her life and lost 118 pounds!!! The bad news is that she is troubled by all the excess skin that remains.

My question is are there any ways other than surgery to increase the elasticity of the skin? Secondly, has anyone had this surgery and what are your experiences with the procedure?

Thanks in Advance.


#2

Kinetix,

I have also lost a 100+lbs and have extra skin to some extent. I have asked this ? befor and it doesnt seem that there is any route to go but surgery for a quick fix.

That said. Two things that have done wonders for me are, time, and added lbm. Over time (2 years) my skin has tightened up quite a bit on it's own. The second thing might not be an option for your client depending on her goals, but adding more muscle size is also helping to tighten up the skin. For example, adding size to my chest, back, etc. is pulling on the excess skin around my waist line.

Not exactly what you were looking for but thats what I could add.

Phill


#3

I had a client that gained over 100 lbs on her pregnancy (toxemia). She hit a high of 236 lbs. In about 7-8 months she was down to 127 lbs. Mind you, she had lost about 50 lbs in the first month after giving birth due to the enormous water loss. Sadly, at 127 lbs she was very lean, but had a good amount of excess skin on her lower stomach. The only option was to have surgery to cut the excess skin. The result? The stomach of an 18 year old.

I think some of the alternative methods may have some uses for the cases in which there is a little loose skin, but in cases where the loose skin is significant, I think surgery is the only option. This woman was also only 29. Your client at 45 years old is going to have even less natural skin elasticity left.


#4

Thanks guys for your help. Thunder, how long was your client off of training after having the operation?

Anyone else has this surgery?


#5

I lost around 90 pounds a few years ago. I also have a little loose skin around my lower abs. It has gotten better but I still have it a little. I'm 24 but I think the only way I will get rid of it completely is surgery. A little bit of loose skin is better than being a fatty though. The only time I notice it is when I bend over anyway.


#6

Newbie question here, but would losing body fat slowly (say 4-5% a year) avoid this skinfold issue?

I've been making fairly fast progress lately, and would like to know if I should slow it done anytime soon so I don't wind up with "saggy skin."

... You guys got me scared about losing fat fast cries


#7

Panda,

No it isnt going to make a difference on your skin if you lose it fast or slow. The fact is either way your skin has stretched/ grown to fit your body.

Like Jason has stated though, a little lose skin is much better than being a fattie. Also it is not that noticeable unless you are bent over in most cases. It does have the effect of making it hard to get cut lower abs.

Dont let this hinder your progress though. Keep up the good work.

As was said earlier, by Thunder I think, age is also a big factor. Depending on your age your skin will be more or less elastic.

Phill


#8

I think she was off around 6 weeks. Mind you, she had her boobs done around the same time. Getting the extra skin removed was the best thing she could have done in her eyes. The scar isn't visible to the average eye since it's under the bathing suit/underwear line.


#9

I wonder if this "de lurking" will disqualify me for potential freebies?

Anyway, I've lost in the area of 50 lbs (actual 40, but gained a lot of muscle) and found that immediately after weight loss the skin is loose, and gets better over time...and with skin brushing. (get a natural bristle stiff bath brush and, yes, brush your skin. Twice a day, every day. It makes it very soft, fresh looking and and firms it up) However, I'm young and may have had better results than someone 20 years older.

Depending on the results your client wants - can she wait a few years for some tightening..although extra skin will probably always be there? Does she need it now, and does she want it perfect?

Obviously the first just requires time with a healthy diet including enough fats, skin brushing will help and only surgery will give her the second.


#10

My client started at 257lbs and has reached 139 so far. I think another 5lbs should bring her to roughly where she'd like to be (I'm so excited for her). The skin is noticable not just on her stomach and not just when she bends over.

My thoughts are that surgery is the most likely option, but I'll have her wait a while to see if things tighten up at all.


#11

Good job on helping your client. That's some awesome results.


#12

Losing the weight slower will help to combat a lot of this. It also depends on the person and the situation. I have a client that has gone from 310 to 240 (at 5'6, female) in the last year. She does not have loose skin (not yet at least). She is also a doctor and we've discussed at length about the surgery that she is going to have to have when she gets to her projected weight of 150-160 (yeah, i know that sounds high, but I've never met a woman with as much muscle as this one, she can twirl a 30lb BB like a baton, it's amazing). With the research she's done, she is certain that you can avoid a lot of the loose skin problems by losing the weight slower and by using weightlifting as your main mode of weightloss, and I have to agree. However, it also depends on whether the subject's skin has separated from the flesh, which happens, especially in the stomach. When she gets back from FL this weekend I'll ask her to go more in depth and I'll post. She's an expert in anatomy and physiology and a Ph.D in Neuroanatomy, so I trust her opinion :slight_smile:


#13

I too was of the belief that slow weight loss would allow the skin to come back to normal more easily. However, over the past 14 months my client has lost 118lbs which equates to about 2lbs per week.

I'm looking forward to your post once you've spoken to your client. As an aside, she'll probably not maintain all that muscle on the way down.


#14

Losing weight slowly theoretically should help with the loose skin. However, this is obviosuly largely an individual thing. Whether your doctor is an anatomy buff is irrelevant. Theory and reality often don't match up.

Another example, I am working with another female who started at 174 lbs and is currently 128 lbs. So, she's dropped 46 lbs. Now, we purposely decided to do this as slow as possible for just the reasons we're talking about. How long as it taken? 11 months, or around 44-46 weeks. So, she's drop one pound per week. That is slow, consistent weight loss. Now, while things are looking great, she will have some loose skin. She will not get that really tight skin.


#15

There is also the issue of age. A person in their teens or twenties who loses a significant amount of bodyfat would have there skin tighten up to a much better extent than a person in their mid 30's and older. Another reason why turning 30 sucks Thunder.


#16

Thanks for the reminder Magnus. Another reminder that I turned 30 today. Ugh. At least I don't have loose skin.

However, that's definitely the point. Skin elasticity changes with age which again underscores the fact that this is an individual thing.


#17

Happy Birthday Thunder. I agree with your point that it's an individual thing. I've spoken with my client and I think she's eventually going to have to have surgery. Thunder, if your client was happy could you get me the reference for her surgeon? This would probably be better than finding one in the phone book.


#18

Unfortunately, she had it done in California.