I am 18 years old, and about a year ago I lost 75 pounds in 9 months. I have a bit of loose skin around my ab area but it doesn't seem to be too severe. I work out a lot and my abs seem to have improved. Do I need plastic surgery to tighten the skin or can I do it naturally with exercise and skin creams?
Can I Tighten my Loose Abdominal Skin Without Surgery? (photo)
Doctor Answers (27)
Loose abdominal skin after weight loss.
Thank you for your question Iris. First of all, congratulations on losing 75 pounds. Exercise will certainly improve the abdominal muscles but unfortunately will not tighten your skin. Skin creams will also not tighten the skin (despite what all those T.V. ads claim). It does appear from your photograph that your skin looks good in the upper abdomen but there does appear to be a slight excess in the lower abdomen. If this is the case then you may be a candidate for a minor or lower tummy tuck. Only an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon will settle this issue.
- Subcutaneous fat
- Anterior abdominal wall laxity
- Intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat
Skin Tightening Usually Requires Surgery
It’s not unusual for patients who undergo significant weight loss to have large amounts of redundant abdominal wall tissue. In the vast majority, correction usually requires a full abdominoplasty.
Many weight loss patients are reluctant to undergo a procedure of this magnitude for a variety of reasons. These include general anesthesia, scarring, and lack of financial resources.
For these reasons they often seek non-surgical alternatives. Unfortunately, there are no creams, exercises, or laser treatments that effectively treat this problem.
Despite a significant weight loss, your pictures suggest an 18 year old with a relatively minor deformity. Under these circumstances your best option is to continue the healthy life style that you’ve initiated. Non-surgical methods of treatment wouldn’t significantly impact your problem, and the risk benefit ratio of surgery isn’t acceptable in someone your age who may eventually want to have children.
If you’re concerned about this problem consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to help you with this problem.
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Can you tighten loose tummy skin without surgery?
I have met many women who are extremely athletic and can never been able to tighten their loose abdominal skin without a tummy tuck. Although exercise does to help to tighten and firm up the abdomen it does not remove loose skin!
Tummy tuck for excess skin
You have such a small amount of excess skin that I would not reccomend undergoing a tummy tuck. The creams and devices promoted to tighten skin do not work very well. Best of luck.
Loose skin after weight loss
Congratulations on losing 75 lbs and thank you for your question. You are 18 and because you have young, healthy skin, much of it has snapped back. Skin creams will not tighten it any further and would likely be a waste of your money. Also, yes, getting some form of a tummy tuck without muscle tightening (because you may have children) would help too but you would have a scar in the lower abdomen. There are some promising technologies on the horizon that use ultrasound, radiofrequency, or laser energy to melt fat and tighten skin. Usually the benefit from these procedures is minimal and may be only temporary.
See a plastic surgeon in your area to see if you are a candidate for mini vs full tummy tuck. Good Luck!