I'm 18 years old and I've lost 75 lbs. through lifestyle changes. I noticed that I now have loose skin on my thighs. It isn't much, it's only a pinch of skin on each thigh, and you can only see it when I bend my legs a certain way. But when I shower, the skin tightens up completely. Could I be dehydrated or is it just the way loose skin is?
Teenage Thigh Lift
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Doctor Answers 10
Good for you. I'm seeing more and more patients that are loosing weight the old fashion way, diet and exercise. Because you are so young it's likely that you still have good skin tone. I would recommend to you what we do post liposuction. Buy a compression garment on line and wear it as much as possible. The fat is gone from under the skin, but the skin still has memory. By using the compression garment it will help to get the skin the shrink and therefore avoid surgery.
Teenage Thigh Lift Surgery
Massive weight loss in younger patients isn't always accompanied by significant amounts of loose skin. In younger patients, the skin is often able to snap back following significant weight loss. This explains your minimal skin sag after a 75 lb. weight loss.
When mild skin sag is present, the treatment of this problem involves a series of trade offs. This procedure can't be performed without scarring along the groin creases. In many cases, this scarring has the potential to be worse than the actual skin sag.
For these reasons, thigh lift surgery should be approached with caution in someone who's only eighteen years of age. Under these circumstances, it's probably better to wait until you're older or not have the procedure at all.
A Medial Thigh Lift For You Would Be A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem
A medial thigh lift for the right person can be a perfect way to get rid of unwanted skin, chafing, and embarrassment, and the tradeoff is very often more than worth it. On the other hand, you have lost a lot of weight in a short period of time. Your skin will continue to shrink for at least another 12-18 months. Continue to exercise, eat in a healthy fashion, stay hydrated, and you may find this skin vanishes into the inguinal crease where it belongs. Your age is in your favor. Give it a couple of years. You may be pleasantly surprised.
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Thighlift for an 18 year old after weight loss
Thigh lifts are for those patients who will trade a better shape for a sometimes very obvious scar and sometimes a difficult recovery. These patients are usually older and/or have lost a lot of weight. I recommend you concentrate of maintaining your healthy habits and doing some strength training to build up your thigh muscles some.
Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.
From your description it sounds that the problem is a minimal problem. The question then is trading a minimal problem to a scar worth it for you.
It sounds not for an 18 years old. You have done well losing the weight, continue your healthy lifestyle and enjoy your NEW YOU.
Hold thigh lift off for now
These things are personal. No one "needs" a thigh lift. If you are happy with the way things are you are better off just observing things for now. If things change you can always have surgery later. You have plenty of time.
Thigh lift or wait
It looks like you are going great.
As long as your skin keeps contracting, I would NOT recommend you consider any operations. A thigh lift procedure should be done when the deformity is way worse than the solution. Since a lateral thigh lift leaves a lengthy scar across the waist / side of the leg and a medial thigh leaves a long scar along the inner thigh trunk junction (and another vertically along the inner seam) I would really hold off.
Congratulations on the great weight loss!! You would NEVER want a thigh lift because of the scars it leaves behind. For what you are describing, it would be overkill. Just keep your weight stable and get into exercise where you increase the tone of the muscles in the thighs and you will feel firmer and better toned without scars.
Thigh lift indications
Congratulations on your weight loss! I'm glad you made a positive lifestyle change at such an early age. At your age, you likely still have good skin tone, and your body will continue to recover after the weight loss. Since you are only noticing a pinch of excess skin and can only see it when you are looking for it, I'd really recommend not considering surgery. A thigh lift leaves a visible scar that is there all the time, so it is really only worth doing if you are trading the scar for skin excess that was visible all of the time. My advice is to keep a healthy diet and exercise, and don't start smoking! (No, I'm not kidding. Smoking is terrible for your skin's elastic properties....)
You may need a little more time to get the maximum skin tightening
You are to be congratulated for your weight loss. After this amount of weight loss the skin takes a little more time to maximally contract. You can expect to see the final skin results 6 months after your final weight has been achieved. Because of your age you have the benefit of good elasticity but even the best skin can tighten only so much. If there is still a small amount of loose skin after 6 months you can see a plastic surgeon for consultation but the tradeoff becomes the small amount of loose skin versus a long scar around the hip area which would be needed to tighten the outer thigh skin with a thigh lift. It may be the big scar could be worse than the small amount of loose skin.
At this point in time there is NOTHING we have available to make the skin significantly tighter. Do not waste any of your money on lotions, creams or massages that claim to tighten the skin. We just are not able to really do that yet.
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.