People ask me questions all the time about my weight loss and I welcome it. One of the biggest post surgery questions I receive is about loose skin.
Yes, loose skin is definitely an issue after weight loss. As you gain weight your skin grows and stretches to accommodate the weight. You can get stretch marks from this skin stretching and for some people it doesn’t take too much to get stretch marks.
As you lose weight your skin does begin to shrink as well, but for people who have lost a considerable amount of weight there will still be loose skin. I’ve heard people describe themselves as melted candles or deflating balloons.
Sometimes, this extra skin becomes an issue because it can be uncomfortable or in the way. Beyond it not looking so great, and being something to work around, you can also be prone to skin infections. It varies for every person and severity of the issues with loose skin cannot be predicted.
I’ve seen many people say that because of the skin they wish they never had surgery. That is where I absolutely disagree. The skin issue can be annoying for sure but I’ll take my current arm jiggle any day over the size of my arms in 2014!
Another barrier to this issue is that plastic surgery for skin removal is largely considered cosmetic. Over the years, insurance companies have been better about approving abdominal skin removal but arms and legs are still considered cosmetic and ineligible for insurance coverage.
The cost of elective, cosmetic surgery is very high so many people opt for the medical tourism route and have these procedures in Mexico, Costa Rica, or South Korea for a fraction of the cost. It works out bettter financially even if you add in the cost of the flight and accommodations. Many people have fared well doing this but many more have had improper and unregulated surgery, were just completely swindled, and many have died. Medical tourism is a booming industry but with next to no regulation and with these risks many people just learn to embrace their jiggle.
I tend to wear most shirts and dresses that have sleeves to my elbows. It feels more comfortable and keeps my arm skin in check. Some days I wish I felt more comfortable in a sleeveless shirt but until that time I’ll just watch it wiggle and know that it’s a sign of how far I’ve come.
How are you handling your loose skin?