Can I exercise to improve my loose skin above my navel or does surgery need to be involved? (photos)

Hi my name is nichole. I am 24 years old and have had 3 pregnancies (one of them being a set of twins). I was wondering if diet and exercise along with oils will help my belly, or if there is no hope at all and i will have to get a tummy tuck. Thank you

Doctor Answers 11

Loose skin treatment

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Unfortunately, loose skin is very difficult to tighten up without surgery. You can certainly wait it out to see if your situation improves. Minimal loose skin might have a better chance of improving, but if you have a lot, surgery might be the most effective solution.

TT and lipo

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There are no exercises that can be performed to help you to tighten the skin above your belly button. You will need a full tummy tuck with liposuction of the flanks to contour your abdomen. 

Will Exercise Improve Loose Skin?

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Congratulations on your 3 pregnancies! Unfortunately, diet and exercise cannot tighten significantly loosened skin. After pregnancy (especially with twins!), the skin can get stretched out to the point where it permanently loses elasticity, or the ability to "snap back" to how tight it was before pregnancy. Diet and exercise will tone your abdominal muscles and get you in shape for a surgery to remove the excess, inelastic skin. This is usually done with abdominoplasty. Talk to a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person exam and to discuss your options. Best of luck to you!

Emily J. Kirby, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon

Can I exercise to improve my loose skin above my navel or does surgery need to be involved

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Diet and exercise are great to lose the fat and tighten muscles, but there is no exercise that will tighten the skin or cause it to shrink. Sorry.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Can I exercise to improve my loose skin above my navel or does surgery need to be involved?

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Exercise is great, but it will not tighten loose skin. With your degree of laxity, you will benefit most from a full tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

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Thank you for your question and photos. Unfortunately, diet and exercise will not correct the effects of pregnancy on your body. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. The skin excision and muscle tightening could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Can exercise tighten my skin?

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Unfortunately exercise will work your muscles but will do little to tighten your skin, particularly above a fixed point like your belly button. I would encourage you to get to a healthy weight that allows you to enjoy life and have good energy and then see a Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options for your tummy after your pregnancies.

Douglas Leppink, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Loose Skin Post Babies

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Unfortunately, there is not much you can do outside of a tummy tuck procedure for loose skin. Pregnancy tends to stretch everything out including your abdominal muscle wall, which can also be repaired. Any signs of stretch marks are a sure sign that skin has lost its elasticity and ability to snap back. My suggestion would be to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss you options. I would not recommend doing anything until you are finished having babies though. Best of Luck.

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Can I exercise to improve my loose skin above my navel or does surgery need to be involved?

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I would suggest a tummy tuck if you are through having kids. For the best results, you need to be as close to your ideal body weight as possible. A tummy tuck will address excess skin, fat and muscle separation or weakness to give you the flattest contour possible. Good luck!

Exercise will not do it!

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You didn't mention when your last pregnancy was.  If it was recent, less than 6 months, I would give it some time to see what happens to the skin.  If you are contemplating more children, I wouldn't do anything at the present time. Exercise will NOT change the quality of your skin.  Exercise works on the muscles and NOT skin.  Ideally, a tummy tuck might be in your future, however, if you would just like to tighten the skin, you might want to think of less invasive procedures such as radio-frequency skin tightening, thermage or any of the less invasive laser or laser-like procedures.  Best of luck. 

Elliot Duboys, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

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.