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Can You Get Rid of Loose Skin After Major Weight Loss?

Expert advice on why your skin won't snap back, what you can do on your own, if and when you should seek professional treatments, and how to prevent it in the first place.

What Causes Excess Skin 

Major weight loss transformations are a testimony an individual’s determination, resolve, and discipline. But in some cases, that transformation is marked by loose excess skin. 

"Our skin is a living organ, and it adapts to weight gain by expanding or stretching," says Christine Choi Kim, MD, a medical and cosmetic dermatologist based in Santa Monica, CA. "It has a limited ability to tighten once that weight is lost, and this depends on a number of factors."

When it comes to the extra flab around your stomach, the accumulation of fat stretches your skin tight—like a fully- or over-inflated balloon—so when you melt away fat, your skin isn't able to snap back to where it used to be, according to the Mayo Clinic. Over time, the elasticity of your skin weakens and stretches your abdominal muscles and connective tissue (also known as the inner girdle) which are largely responsible for how tight and toned your abdomen is. Click to the next page to find out skin doesn't just snap back. 

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