Loose Skin. True or False?

1) How fast the wt is lost can affect the amt of loose skin.

2) Loose skin mostly appears on the arms, thighs, abdomen.

3) A lower body fat % and higher muscle compo. can aid the appearance of loose skin.

4) The more wt you lose, the more lose skin you will have.

5) Surgery is the only option to get rid of the excess skin for good. I had lost 60 to 70lbs and is going for a TT. My arms are good but do have some skin on the thighs. Will it get worse with age compared with the average guy?

Doctor Answers (10)

Loose skin T/F

+2

1. F

2. F (breasts and face too)

3. T

4. T

5. T

This was a very fun format for a question!!  Thanks for being creative as so many questions overlap!!


Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

How does weight loss affect skin ?

+1

Hello ~

The answers to your questions: 

1) How fast the weight is lost can affect the amount of loose skin.

False. The rate of weight loss will not affect the amount of loose skin. 

2) Loose skin mostly appears on the arms, thighs, abdomen.

This is partially true.  The most common areas of skin excessive following massive weight loss include the:  abdomen, arms, and thighs. The breasts and neck can also be affected.

3) A lower body fat % and higher muscle composition can aid the appearance of loose skin.

The answer to this question depends on the context.  There is no intrinic association between fat:muscle ratio and the amount of skin elasticity. Elements which come into play include age, previous weight gain followed by weight loss, among others. Additionally, if you have lost a massive amount of weight, it is fairly unrealisitic to expect to gain a comparable amount of muscle to off set the excess skin. 

4) The more weight you lose, the more loose skin you will have.

This is generally true, but again, factors such as age, manner of weight loss, and general skin elasticity come into play as well. 

5) Surgery is the only option to get rid of the excess skin for good. I had lost 60 to 70lbs and is going for a TT. My arms are good but do have some skin on the thighs. Will it get worse with age compared with the average guy?

This is true. The only manner to remove abundant excess skin is through surgical excision. Your skin excess will likely get worse the older you get as compared to someone who has been fairly stable in their weight throughout life. This is also true. 


Kindest Regards ~

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Surgery, Individual Variations and Cosmetic appearance is rarely True/False or Black/White

+1

The answer to most of your questions is true but the real truth is this varies from one individual to another and there are rarely absolutes.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

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Answers to your specific skin questions related to massive weight loss

+1

Dear Ihaveaproblem,

Here are the answers to your questions:

1) How fast the wt is lost can affect the amt of loose skin.

False. The skin has its inherent elasticity that is not affected by the rate of weight loss.

2) Loose skin mostly appears on the arms, thighs, abdomen.

True. The most common areas addressed surgically after massive weight loss are: abdomen, breasts, arms, thighs, neck

3) A lower body fat % and higher muscle compo. can aid the appearance of loose skin.

False or True, depending on how/when you are asking the question:

False because there is no direct influence of fat:muscle ratio to skin elasticity. In fact, as you loose fat, the subcutaneous layer loses its volume, and the appearance of loose skin will be more apparent.

True because at this point (after you have lost significant weight), if you choose build muscle mass, it may 'fill in' some the lost volume, but it all depends on how much loose skin and how much muscle you have.

4) The more wt you lose, the more lose skin you will have.

True, see above.

5) Surgery is the only option to get rid of the excess skin for good. I had lost 60 to 70lbs and is going for a TT. My arms are good but do have some skin on the thighs. Will it get worse with age compared with the average guy?

True. If you have excess skin, the only way to get rid of it is to remove it surgically, that is, non-invasive methods will not work. Yes, if you have had massive weight loss, your skin tends to be less elastic than someone who has not undergone the same degree of weight change, and it will get worse with age as compared to the average guy.

Hope this helps, Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Loose Skin Questions

+1

All your questions may have some valid answers but I don't know them.  What I do understand is that when the skin has been stretched beyond its capacity to shrink back then loose skin occurs.  Genetics plays a part in the skin's laxity.  Smoking hinders elasticity of the skin.  The one answer I do know is that surgery is need to correct excessive amounts of loose skin.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Weight loss = Loose Skin?

+1

1) How fast the wt is lost can affect the amt of loose skin.  ***False--the damage to the skin is done with the weight gain, not the weight loss.

2) Loose skin mostly appears on the arms, thighs, abdomen.  ***and the neck, and breasts,  too

3) A lower body fat % and higher muscle compo. can aid the appearance of loose skin.  ***Increasing muscle tone will always improve appearance, but it won't tighten loose skin.

4) The more wt you lose, the more lose skin you will have. ***True

5) Surgery is the only option to get rid of the excess skin for good. I had lost 60 to 70lbs and is going for a TT. My arms are good but do have some skin on the thighs. Will it get worse with age compared with the average guy?  ***Your skin should age as any other skin would, but you are starting with "older" skin at a younger age.  Yes, surgery is the only way to definitively deal with loose skin.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tummy Tuck for Loose Skin

+1

You should think of your skin as a suit that has rubber band-like qualities.  When you gain weight (pregnancy, weight gain, etc.), your skin suit stretches out, just like a rubber band.  If you gain a great deal of weight, it gets overstretched.  When you lose the weight, just like an overstretched rubber band, it will lose its elasticity and not bounce back to it's original size.  Furthermore, your skin suit will have lost it's elastic properties (just like an overstretched rubber band).  So the treatment to address the excess skin that is hanging there is to remove it.  However, you must understand that the remaining skin has lost the original elasticity, so it will never be as "tight" as it was originally, even with surgery.  And regardless of weight gain, your skin will naturally lose it's elasticity with age.

Gary D. Breslow, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Factors affecting loose skin with weight loss

+1

Other factors affecting how loose the skin will be with weight loss include age and the cause of the weight gain. Younger people generally have better skin tone so they will have less laxity with weight loss, especially if the weight loss is gradual. Pregnancy is a big cause of skin laxity because it isn't just the weight gain, but how rapidly the skin has to stretch, and the hormonal changes that weaken the connective tissues, causing stretch marks. As for question 3, muscle mass helps with weight loss but doesn't specicfically help the skin.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Stretch damages the skin

+1

I think that once the skin goes through the weight gain/weight loss cycle it has to some extent been "broken" and loses a lot of the elasticity it used to have. That's why there seems to be more relapse of looseness compared to skin which has not gone through this cycle. Everything gets worse with age, unfortunately.

Victor Au, MD
Chapel Hill Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Weight loss and tummy tuck

+1

The cause of skin laxity is multivariate.  Losing a lot of weight, being older, genetics to name a few all impact the quality of the skin.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.