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During weight gain and pregnancy, the skin stretches to accommodate the growth of tissue beneath it. The longer and farther the skin is stretched, the less likely it will shrink back to its original size because the amount of elastin, an elastic protein that gives skin its ability to stretch and resume its shape, deteriorates faster when the skin is strained. This leads to loose, unsightly skin on many areas of the body after significant weight loss or pregnancy. Over time the skin may shrink back to a certain extent, but if the extent of stretching was severe, as with twins, if long standing, or if later in life, then it is unlikely the skin will recoil back to its pre-stretched appearance.

Effects of Physical Activity on Skin

Nearly every form of exercise promotes blood circulation, and this increase in blood flow keeps the skin cells healthy. Blood nourishes the skin by transporting nutrients and oxygen to it, and it also helps to purify the skin by carrying away cellular waste, including free radicals. This reduces the amount of damage done and elastin lost, but it will not restore the skin to its original form.

Exercise can also build muscle to support the skin, but it cannot effectively eliminate excess skin. In addition, flabby tissue isn’t always just excess skin; the layer of fat just beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat) is generally soft and squishy, resembling the characteristics of loose skin. This type of fat is the most stubborn to eliminate even with rigorous diet and exercise, leaving many people feeling defeated after all of their efforts. A tummy tuck is the only way to significantly improve the appearance of the abdomen by permanently eliminating excess skin.

A Tummy Tuck Improves Loose Skin and More

An attractive woman's midsection and arms on a white background

The presence of stubborn fat and excess skin is especially prevalent in the abdominal area, and a tummy tuck can eliminate these to achieve a more toned and slender midsection. This procedure utilizes a horizontal incision along the lower abdomen. Stretched abdominal muscles are tightened, and liposuction may be used to remove stubborn fat in certain areas known as safe zones. The skin is pulled tight over the new abdominal contour, the excess skin is removed, and the muscles are sutured together to create a more narrow waist and flat tummy.

If you are interested in eliminating excess skin and achieving a toned, slender midsection through tummy tuck surgery, please schedule a consultation by calling (480) 844-1410 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Karl B. Hiatt is ABPS Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and looks forward to helping you finish your transformation with the body you deserve.