How weight loss affects ageing

How weight loss affects ageing

When you lose weight, you lose the fat in the skin, which decreases the natural plumpness. Lines and wrinkles are deeper and more noticeable and the skin is looser, thinner and can start sagging, especially when weight loss occurs over age 40.

The innermost layer of your skin consists of proteins, including collagen and elastin. Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin's structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and helps your skin stay tight.

Skin expansion during pregnancy occurs over a few months, and the expanded skin typically retracts within several months of the baby's birth.

By contrast, most overweight and obese people carry extra weight for years, often beginning as early as childhood or adolescence.

When skin has been significantly stretched and remains that way for a long period of time, collagen and elastin fibers become damaged. As a result, they lose some of their ability to retract.

In general, the longer someone has been overweight or obese, the looser their skin will be after weight loss due to elastin and collagen loss.

Contributing factors

Amount of weight lost: Weight loss of 46kg or more typically results in a greater amount of hanging skin than more modest weight loss.

Age: Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to be looser following weight loss.

Genetics: Genes may affect how your skin responds to weight gain and loss.

Sun exposure: Chronic sun exposure has been shown to reduce skin's collagen and elastin production, which may contribute to loose skin.

Smoking: Smoking leads to a reduction in collagen production and damage to existing collagen, resulting in loose, sagging skin.

At Complete Skin we offer treatments to help with skin elasticity after weight loss and as we age. We can provide treatments to suit each individual, such as addressing pigment damage which will also help improve the collagen and elasticity in the skin. 

Fractional laser treatments (both ablative and non-ablative) help maintain and enhance skin tone and texture.  The procedures build new collagen by using heat to stimulate cells, so results are visible and permanent as long as skincare habits are consistent and sun exposure is avoided.

Once we improve the condition of the skin we can start looking at volume replacement with fillers.  Fillers can provide more youthful contours and smoother skin.  Anti-wrinkle injections often compliment fillers with reducing the heaviness of lines particularly to the forehead, crow’s feet and between the eyebrows.

Good skincare at home supports any treatments we perform at Complete Skin. We are stockists of Aspect Dr and Cosmedix, which are both fantastic products which help with regeneration of the skin.

We are happy to offer you a free consultation to address your concerns.

Tracey Willis (RN).

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