Skin appearance and shrinkage after pregnancy and or profound weight loss is a very important topic. Skin appearance gets great attention from surgical and nonsurgical points of view.
The elements that assist in the hydration of the dermis – which is the functioning portion of the skin- giving it its appearance and providing a mechanism for shrinkage after stretching will be addressed.
Before weight gain, whether it be pregnancy or otherwise the fibers in the dermis which include elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid are undamaged. These fibers exist in the dermis in varying amounts. Water molecules are also important in maintaining the ability of skin to shrink and retract after prolonged stretching from weight loss whether it be pregnancy or otherwise. We have a finite amount of these fibers in our bodies.
As time goes on the ability of these mentioned fibers to shrink becomes a greater challenge. Therefore, prolonged weight gain can be detrimental to the body’s ability to recover from this stretching mechanism. Elastin collagen and hyaluronic acid have very distinct biochemical structures in the dermis and proper staining mechanisms can be identified.
Muscle tightening per se does not affect the elastic recovery potential of skin. The introduction of certain non-surgical energy devices into the skin can assist in increased collagen production therefore improving the appearance of the skin after prolonged stretching.
RF micro-needling is one of these mechanisms. However, if the stretch is profound – and the only way to assess it is by appearance – then skin removal will be the best mechanism to rid the body of the damaged skin and therefore tighten up all the areas. This is the gold standard for the removal of excess skin and fat.
This principle is greatly appreciated with the abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. The surgical removal of excess skin – which may include stretch marks. It can be a very rewarding and aesthetically powerful process.
Post-surgery moisturization and other maintenance procedures will be very helpful in prolonging the now improved appearance of the skin of the body whether it be abdominal, breasts, arms, or legs. Looking our best usually enhances quality of life.