Ugly Skin Folds After Significant Weight Loss?

What alternative conservative treatment options should be considered before going for a neck lift to remove ugly skin folds after significant weight loss through exercise and diet? For someone who is still young and has mild hypertension, what options could be recommended?

Doctor Answers 9

Non Surgical Options For Ugly Neck Skin Folds After Weight Loss

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Thank you for your question.

Congratulations on your weight loss. Your skin may continue to tighten for a year so do not rush into anything.


Non surgcial methiods for skin tightening include:

  1. Thermage
  2. Titan
  3. LuxIR Deep
  4. Ulthera
  5. And others

Understand that the best these non surgical methods can do is about 20% tightening and your results most likely will only be noticeable when looking carefully at before and after photos.Neck lift is the most effective method for correcting loose neck skin after weight loss. Good luck.

Ugly Skin Folds After Significant Weight Loss

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Great to hear of your recent weight loss success! It's difficult to assess your inquiry online without photos to view. Depending on the level of laxity, the effects of a neck lift will certainly outlast the effects of non-surgical treatments. Non-surgical procedures can only temporary resolve the issue and require few to several attempts or treatment appointments. The presence of banding down the front of the #neck, and, amount of excess skin and condition of your skin are among some factors which determine if you are a #candidate for #rejuvenating the neck. During an in-person examination, your chin will be evaluated along with the neck and jawline. A weak #chin implies a lack of chin support for the skin along the neck line. In younger individuals a chin implant alone is usually all that is needed to improve the appearance of the neck. Subsequently, it will also improve the overall #balance of the face and can create the illusion of a smaller nose. As a stand-alone procedure, chin augmentation can be performed in the office under local #anesthesia. For individuals with signs of #aging in the neck, a chin implant added to one of the recommended procedures above, will provide optimal results.

A board certified plastic surgeon should evaluate both your anatomical features and aesthetic goals to suggest which procedure best suits your needs. In some cases there may be more than one option to choose from and and if you are not a candidate at the time of your #consultation, your board surgeon can recommend alternatives to address your concern.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Skin fold in neck

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The modality to be used to im-prove neck contour  is based on the physical exam. Non-invasive therapies are only useful for minor corrections. Skin only incision are not useful because skin is elastic and will only relax over time. Any excess skin will have to be removed but that is only half the solution. More often than not, the underlying structure (muscle, deep and superficial fat) need to be tightened, some removed and repositioned. This type of lift tightens the neck muscle (platysma) if they are loose or splayed. During this procedure a 3cm incision is made just behind the chin crease and the muscle in the neck is accessed and tightened with sutures in way a corset would be tightened. Chin implant and liposuction can be done through this same incision. See a board certified plastic surgeon for a treatment plan specific to your needs.

Non surgical skin tightening options

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Thank you for the question.  We (as plastic surgeons and the industry as  a whole) have not yet come up with a non-invasive option to significantly tighten skin  long term.  There are a number of technologies that aim to do so with results that are less dramatic than surgery.  Among these technologies Ulthera seems to be the highest rated among the consumers that have voted here on RealSelf.  If you have significant skin and soft tissue laxity of the face and neck after weight loss and would like to achieve moderate to significant correction I would recommend that you persue and neck-lift/face-lift procedure.  If you are ok with mild correction of the laxity and would like to try out a non-invasive treatment first you may want to look into Ultherapy.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Only surgery will help the stetched out neck after weight loss.

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Although there are many claims to neck skin shrinkage with many Machines, it is only effective for minor excess and seems to work best if you can liposuction the neck as well.

The typical excess skin and usually relaxed platysma muscle after weight reduction is truely a surgical problem.

In addition, patients who have had bariatric surgery and lost great amounts of weight may need what we call the "double lift".  There is so much loss of elasticity that the initial lift may need a secondary lift touch up at six months in order get a really good result.

Drl Mayl Fort Lauderdale

Nathan Mayl, MD (retired)
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Non-Surgical ways to Smooth Ugly Skin Folds After Significant Weight Loss

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The ability of skin to retract or shrink wrap to your new, smaller underlying body would depend on your age, race, skin condition and location on the body. In general, young skin will shrink better than old skin, skin on the back will shrink much better than inner thigh skin and skin of Asians and Blacks shrinks better than similar condition freckly white skin. The presence of stretch marks indicates cracking of the skin and loss of elasticity and the ability of skin to retract well.

There is NO proven, safe way to shrink skin without surgery. Surgical removal and body contouring are the best ways to smooth excess hanging skin at this time.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Ugly skin after weight loss

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  This is exactly the situation where a neck lift would be invaluable in relieving the saggy excess neck skin.  No other procedure will offer similar results to this.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Neck lift with or without facelift for saggy neck skin

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There is no way to answer your question without photos or a face to face examination. Unless the excess skin is minor in my experience the only way to treat it is to surgically remove the excess. If the excess skin is significant you would be wasting time and money on a non-surgical approach.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.


Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Neck Lift after Weight Loss

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If you have recently lost a significant amount of weight your skin may appear loose. It can take up to a year for the skin to tighten, so if the laxity is mild, doing nothing may be a good plan.

For severe laxity, or laxity that is persisting more than a year, the problem may be more than the skin being overstretched. With prolonged stretching, the skin may grow, and extra skin is not likely to disappear.

Many therapuetic options have emerged recently, but having a procedure done because it is new is not conservative. Many claim "surgical" results without surgery, but none are as predictabe as a lift.

I cannot make any specific recommendations without seeing you, but a consultation appointment will get you information specific to your needs and no surgery is involved. This way you can decide what is most likely to get you the results you want, and if it is worth pursuing.

Good luck.

The link below provides some additional information about face lifts and neck lifts.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek 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.