View Full Version : For those who have lost a lot of weight - loose skin/stretch mark question


Cherry Ann
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 07:30 AM
I am looking for some recommendations regarding anything I might use to tighten up loose skin after having lost a significant amount of weight. I have yo-yo dieted for the past 20 years up and down anywhere from 200 pounds down to my current weight of 140. My goal is 125 lbs, 16-18% BF. This time I finally "get it" and have lost the weight over the past year by exercise and proper diet...however, I have loose skin on the back of my arms which is really disgusting, as well as on my stomach. I do NOT want to resort to surgery. I also have a ton of stretch marks all over. I have been using skin firming lotion (off-the-shelf stuff) for the past year on my problem areas every day, and although my entire body has gotten smaller, my skin just doesn't seem to want to snap back. I still have about 15 pounds to lose, and I know that some of what's left is fat, but there is definitely loose skin hanging around. Any suggestions?

Here's my stats, FYI:

33 years old, female
5'4", approx. 25% bf
140 lbs

Thanks! :p

Cherry Ann

Chameleon
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 07:49 AM
skin firming lotions are really just a bunch of crap... it's not any more effective than regular lotion... on that note though... drinking enough water and moisturizing with a good lotion like Palmers Cocoa Butter (best stuff ever) and it should eventually shrink down... skin is elastic and will, over time, tighten up... however, I have no idea how long that could take

Savyart
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 08:11 AM
The reality is, that after about a year - what hasn't tightened up most likely won't.

It's horrible but true. I have awful skin eleasticity, and so I asked Dr's and did my research. They say to drink enough fluids, eat enough fat (as this helps the skin) and then what ever is left at about a year later is what you are going to be left with permanently for the most part.

My only other suggestion is to visit a dermatologist. They have a lot of new techniques with lasers and such. It could be that for smaller areas like your arms that there is something they can I do. I know that for me, surgery IS the only option, because my loose skin is mostly on my stomach.

Good luck!

JetGirl
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 08:48 AM
After I lost a bunch of weight I could not lose the excess skin around my waist.. I tried for two years to get rid of it, but it wouldn't go. So, a week ago I had the surgery to have it removed. It was my only option. No combination of lotions or magical dances will get rid of it. If you have good genetics, you'll snap back, if not .... you'll have to look at alternatives.

kmfisher
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 09:45 AM
The only way to really prevent stretch marks is to lose weight slowly (1/2 lb to 1 lb per week max), and to drink a lot of water. Water helps the elasticity of the skin. It will tighten up over time, but you'll have to be patient. Sometimes it can take years. I would also suggest visiting a dermatologist because they will probably have better suggestions. Surgery is the very last resort. You are still young, so there is a good chance that it will return to normal over time. The stretch marks will probably never go away. I have tons on my upper thighs because I can gain/lose weight extremely easily there.

Boxer-in-training
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 11:52 AM
I had my last baby almost 4 years ago and put on 60 lbs with her, tons of stretch marks. Here I am 75 lbs. lighter, around 13% bodyfat and have a lot of loose skin in the abdomen area - not to mention stretch marks. It hasn't bounced back and tightened up. I think it really depends on your skin's elasticity and genetics. I would bag the lotions. I have found that they really don't help all that much for me.

bboynut
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 01:47 PM
Back ground info.....
4 kids - 1 set of twins.
36 years old.

I had an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) done back in December 2004 after a 4-year/110 pound weight loss. I lost it the right way - slowly - and my skin still didn't bounce back. It had been stretched out for way tooooo long.

The previous posters are right - some people have good genetics and some don't when it comes to skin elasticity. My SIL gains 80 pounds when she's pregnant and doesn't have 1 stretch mark....go figure!

I didn't want to resort to surgery either and my parents desperately tried to talk me out of it. After my initial consultation though, I knew that there wasn't going to be any other way to get rid of it. My options were - live with it or lose it under the knife of a skilled surgeon.

I chose the later. It was the best decision I have ever made - seriously. Even my parents would agree now. My mom has also said that if she was younger, she would do it too.

My clothes size is still the same - and my weight is pretty much the same. On the outside, you would never know I had it done. But on the inside - it made all the difference in the world. I no longer have to wear those "grandma panties" to hold my hanging skin tight. :)

BTW - stretch marks below the belly button are removed during the surgery, but any stretch marks above the belly button will be relocated to beneath the bb. And yes, I still have some of those.

Good luck!
Jenn

Cherry Ann
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 03:19 PM
Thank you to everyone who replied. Guess I'll just have to wait it out. I have NO IDEA whether or not I have decent genetics or not, since I've never been 140 pounds before (Except for maybe when I was 8 years old and obese). Who knows what my skin will be like at 16-18% BF. I'll let you know when I get there! :bb:

I appreciate the advice.

Cherry Ann

featherz
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 03:37 PM
I lost almost 45 pounds over 6-7 months, and I still have loose droopy skin around the ab area, although it's not too bad unless I bend over or sit down. It looks like crepe paper. :( However, as long as I stand up straight I look great! :)

Inatic
Tue, February 22nd, 2005, 05:37 PM
I have lost a significant amount of bf as well, had 5 boys, never gaining more than 25lbs... stretchmarks! YUP got tons of them. I know surgery is the only option for me.. I just have to get past the fear hurdle and something about it. One of these days I will :)

Chris
Wed, March 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM
I only know of one person who has had an abdominalplasty, but I was curious as to the female side of it, what experiences and affects did it have in the following months after surgery.

What was the recovery time in your cases and how long did you wait before going back to a normal lifting or heavy cardio routine?

bboynut
Thu, March 3rd, 2005, 12:52 PM
I only know of one person who has had an abdominalplasty, but I was curious as to the female side of it, what experiences and affects did it have in the following months after surgery.

What was the recovery time in your cases and how long did you wait before going back to a normal lifting or heavy cardio routine?


Chris,

I had an abdominoplasty done on 12/09/04. I was in good physical shape before the surgery and haven't had any real complications....besides for the swelling, which is completely normal.

By 4 weeks, I was walking 3 miles a day. By 8 weeks, I was back to my tae-bo and jogging. By 10 weeks, I was back to my pilates and abdominal workouts full force with no pain.

I tried ab work at around 7 weeks, but it was too painful so I held off.

Besides for the scar - which will fade over time - I feel as though I didn't even have the surgery now. I am still swollen, but this normal and can last for up to a year. Even with the swelling - it's still better than what I had.

The first week is the hardest. You can't stand up completely straight and it kills your back. Sleeping for the first month is pretty difficult too - unless you're a back sleeper. I'm not - so I had a hard time. I just slept on the couch and propped my legs up so they were on an angle.

Hope this helps!
Jenn