Will I have loose skin after weight loss? (Photo)

weighing 230. I was wondering with a clean lifestyle change and exercising will I have loose skin. I have a big belly and already lost 20 pounds and 8 inches around my belly. So I'm at a good start but wondering about loose skin. Thanks

Doctor Answers 5

Will I have loose skin after weight loss

Thank you for your question. There are multiple factors that play a role in your skin elasticirty and its capacity to accomodate without sagging after significant weight loss. Your skin stretched when you gained the weight and now that your are losing it will likely remain larger in surface thus saggy. You may have very good skin elasticity and this may not be an issue but for most people it is. You definitely are helping yourself in losing weight. Once you reach your weight goal and maintain it for a period of time and exercise on a regular basis, and you do have saggy skin, a plastic surgeon may have good options to address it. Best of luck

Saggy skin!

There's nothing worse than working your way through a diet only to end up with skin that hangs. Unfortunately, it's a common byproduct of weight loss.  The issue of loose skin begins long before any weight loss occurs. Instead, it starts when a large amount of weight is gained. When you gain weight, your skin's surface area increases to accommodate the new fat tissue (which is why "stretch marks" sometimes occur). While your fat cells shrink when that weight is lost, you still retain the same surface area. The new void under the larger surface area creates a layer of skin that may "hang," because there is less tissue underneath taking up space. This is what's known as loose or "sagging" skin. Maintaining or increasing muscle tissue is the key to minimizing loose skin. Remember, the phenomenon occurs when the underlying layers of tissue shrink under a much large surface area. If muscle mass is lost in addition to fat, it creates an even larger void under your skin's surface. On the other hand, increasing lean tissue fills the area underneath the skin, keeping it taut. Similar to the reasons above, incorporating strength training will allow you to maintain more muscle mass, or even build muscle if you're relatively new to this type of regimen. In your first year of resistance training, you may actually be able to build up to 20 to 25 rounds of muscle. (This will likely be less if you're dieting, given that a caloric deficit is not the optimum conditions for building muscle.)

Goog luck!

Pablo Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Bariatric Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 113 reviews

Patients Who Achieve Massive Weight Loss Always Have Loose And Redundant Skin When They Reach Their Target Weight

Unfortunately, you do not disclose your height in your post, which makes it impossible to calculate your current BMI.  However, given that you now weigh 230 pounds, and assuming you are not over six feet tall, it is safe to infer that you are morbidly obese.  

If you have already lost twenty pounds, and you now weigh 230 pounds, then the weight at which you started your diet was 250 pounds. Twenty pounds is not a significant amount of weight to lose when you weigh 250lbs. It represents 8% of your starting weight. 

You also do not state your age, nor what your target weight is, but judging from your picture, you could probably lose half your weight, and still be a reasonable weight for your frame, which I am going to assume is somewhere between 5'4" and 5'7".  That would be a considerable amount of weight for you to lose.  

Of course, the more weight you lose, the more redundant skin you will have.  Surgeries you may want to consider after you have achieved your target weight may include a face and neck lift, bilateral brachioplasty, abdominoplasty with a fleur-de-lis pattern, and a lower body lift, as well as a mastopexy with autogenous tissue augmentation or breast implants. 

Often we pair these procedures in stages, so that we would do an abdominoplasty as part of the lower body lift, which will also tighten the skin and soft tissues of the thighs and buttocks. Frequently, we will also do the brachioplasty at the same time we perform the breast surgery.  

The surgery of the face and neck is often deferred until after the body contouring has been performed, and we can determine the extent of facial surgery that will be required.  None of these procedures should be performed, however, until your weight has stabilized for at least six months.

Peter Lee, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews


Loose skin is a matter of genetics, how much weight you use and if you spend time in the sun, or smoke, or other things. Loose skin can happen - but it is not as bad as not having it. Most of the time not. 

Terry Simpson, MD, FACS
Scottsdale Bariatric Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

You might have loose skin after weight loss, but your hips and knees will be much better off

The ability of the skin to shrink varies from person to person and is related to how stretching of the skin has already occurred. If it doesn't shrink completely or if it sags, surgical tucking is always an option. However, carrying extra weight around for fear of sagging skin is only going to keep extra stress on your joints. Ponder the thought of needing a walker and ambling in pain for decades and you'll quickly embrace the benefits of weight loss.

Marco A. Pelosi III, MD
Jersey City OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 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.