Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Stretch Marks and Their Ability to Effect Loose Skin




korij
04-07-2012, 04:35 AM
So, I've been trying to find information about this but haven't had much success. I've been skimming and scanning over both the stretch marks and loose skin threads, but I wanted to ask my question more directly to people who might know.

I'm 21. I weigh 270 pounds, and have been overweight most of my life. I am riddled with stretch marks, on my stomach (like almost surrounding my belly button and going out to the sides), my thighs, my breasts, and my upper arms. I have a lot. Most of the ones on my stomach and thighs are already white.

My question is, because I have stretch marks (which, if I'm not mistaken, are areas where the collagen has been broken and repaired itself by scarring) that far along and that much on my stomach, is it going to be impossible for the skin on those areas of my body to spring back after the weight loss? I'm trying to find alternatives to surgery, because the thought is rather frightening to me.


ringmaster
04-07-2012, 05:07 AM
never thought about that. I hope not since I have stretch marks all over too. a few years ago I got down to the 160s, although still had a bit to lose, my stomach didn't look too flabby. my inner thighs and upper arms didn't look too great though, but I thought it was just lack of muscle tone.

hopefully people with stretch marks that have got to goal weight can answer.

Amy23
04-07-2012, 06:57 AM
Thanks for making this post. I'm 23, have been overweight most of my life, and have thought about this in the past, too. It'd be great to get some answers from those in the know!


runningfromfat
04-07-2012, 08:09 AM
You're still young so you have a very good chance of having your skin snap back. I also have a TON of stretch marks on my stomach and not only have they almost completely faded but besides a small pouch in my abdomen and my breasts, my skin has snapped back pretty well. It's very, very easily hidden with a well-fitting bra and high waisted underwear. I even wear bikinis. ;)

takingcontrol
04-07-2012, 09:02 AM
Ahhhh runningfromfat that's great to hear!

I am exercising and toning and exfoliating and moisturising all in the hope of helping my skin to shrink.

It's not looking too bad on my stomach, my thighs are where I'm carrying most of my extra weight at the moment so I'm waiting to see if how they look at goal weight, and my upper arms seem to be getting a bit better, but I'm not sure if that's just me wanting them too! I'll keep on strengthening those triceps, eating well, exercising and moisturising and hoping that the skin will shift along with the flab!

ValRock
04-07-2012, 10:16 AM
You're still young so you have a very good chance of having your skin snap back. I also have a TON of stretch marks on my stomach and not only have they almost completely faded but besides a small pouch in my abdomen and my breasts, my skin has snapped back pretty well. It's very, very easily hidden with a well-fitting bra and high waisted underwear. I even wear bikinis. ;)

I've had the same experience :). There is hope!!!

threenorns
04-07-2012, 10:32 AM
i have BAD stretch marks and no - i'm sorry, but your skin's ability to "snap back" has been seriously compromised. when i was 24, i went down to 120lbs - my stomach, where the worst of the stretch marks are from having really big babies, looked like a popped blister. stretch marks are an indication that your skin has very little elasticity. if you only got them during pregnancy, your skin is more elastic and should shrink back to a certain degree. if you got them during puberty, however, (like i did - behind my knees, on my hips, on my bust, you name it) then your skin is extremely tight and is much less likely to shrink.

don't bother with the creams and lotions - they don't work. stretch marks are actual scars that occur in the middle layer of the skin. lotions, creams, etc, cannot penetrate there.

the only way to get rid of them is surgical removal - otherwise, the only treatments that have any degree of success are retin-A and laser (and the results are often not worth the hassle, the side effects, or the expense).

berryblondeboys
04-07-2012, 10:40 AM
It depends so much on genetics and age on how it will all behave. I have terrible skin - always have. My stomach is shrinking though. I should take a picture of it in good lighting. For 42 years old and with bad skin, I'm fairly happy with how it is getting SO MUCH BETTER, but it will never be pretty, but that's OK. If the scars are all that remains of my battle with my weight and childbirth? Then that's fine. I'll take the slimmer, healthy body that my husband enjoys and I enjoy WITH the ugly belly over the fat, unhealthy body I used to have.

Amy23
04-07-2012, 10:44 AM
I agree with Melissa. I'd rather be slim with a bunch of fugly stretchmarks and wobbly skin than remain fat and miserable, lol.

tribalgirl
04-07-2012, 01:45 PM
I've been wondering about this too.

I'm 42 and have had 2 very large babies, so my belly has lots of stretch marks, hips too.

I know that so much depends on age and genetics and how fast you lose the weight. I was wondering how much exercise will affect how the skin reacts to losing a lot of weight.

I have started doing ashtanga yoga, jumping on a trampoline and resistance exercises, and I'm doing it to be healthier, but I was just wondering if it will help with the saggy skin that I will probably end up with.

korij
04-07-2012, 05:34 PM
Heh, getting a little bit of mixed answers here, but for the most part, it's what I expected. Ahhh, that makes me sad to a degree. I'm terrified of the idea of having surgery to remove excess skin and lift/augment my breasts. I'm sure, eventually, I will come to terms with it, but any surgery is a scary thought for me.

Guess I better start a cosmetic fund, just in case. >.<

tribalgirl
04-07-2012, 05:53 PM
Heh, getting a little bit of mixed answers here, but for the most part, it's what I expected. Ahhh, that makes me sad to a degree. I'm terrified of the idea of having surgery to remove excess skin and lift/augment my breasts. I'm sure, eventually, I will come to terms with it, but any surgery is a scary thought for me.

Guess I better start a cosmetic fund, just in case. >.<

It's just such a crap shoot, each person is so different, even if they have the same height, weight, etc. It's really hard to tell what will happen.

I'm expecting some sagging skin, and I've always had large breasts and breastfed my babies, etc., so I am expecting major sag there (already have some), but I'm trying really hard not to think too much about it until the time comes, just because it makes me sad to think about it too, that I will have some body issues even after losing all the weight.

I don't think I could go through with the skin removal procedure after watching it on TV, but I might have a breast lift.

I think the idea of starting a fund for possible cosmetic procedures is a good idea, I'm going to do that too, thanks for bringing that up. :)

threenorns
04-07-2012, 05:58 PM
start a fund for cosmetic procedures - you can always come to your senses and settle for a cpl weeks solar therapy in cancun, lol.

k8yk
04-09-2012, 05:38 PM
You'll always get mixed answers because everyone is different. There's only one way to find out for sure! Lose the weight :)

Euphy
04-09-2012, 08:32 PM
I have quite a lot of faded stretch marks, I'd say most aren't visible unless you're looking very closely. My skin is very tight and I don't have any problems with elasticity, but my stretch marks were never very deep in the first place.

sontaikle
04-10-2012, 09:30 AM
I had everything on my side and still ended up with loose skin. It's not a lot and it seems to be shrinking, so there's no way I would really consider surgery or anything. It's annoying, but I figure that I've done this super awesome thing so if I bear some scars as a result, so be it :p

You'll always get mixed answers because everyone is different. There's only one way to find out for sure! Lose the weight :)

Yep! Two people who lose the same amount of weight can have very different results at the end.

mirax3
04-10-2012, 10:32 PM
Like everyone else has said, it will definitely depend on a variety of factors.

I am the same age as you and my skin has been tightening up nicely. My stomach is getting flatter and is not sagging, my stretch marks are now silver and not too visible, and my arms have toned up pretty nicely so far.

I suggest weight training in addition to cardio. This has helped me tone instead of sag. :P

My boobs also shrunk from a full D to a C so far. But I'm not complaining. :)

586
04-18-2012, 04:10 PM
My question is, because I have stretch marks (which, if I'm not mistaken, are areas where the collagen has been broken and repaired itself by scarring) that far along and that much on my stomach, is it going to be impossible for the skin on those areas of my body to spring back after the weight loss?

I started about where you are at and I've lost roughly 100+ pounds over the last year. I've been a bit lax with keeping up exercise but! I'm 31, I was at obese levels for about 4 years and after my loss last year this is what I've experienced:

I have stretchmarks that are silvery and long over hips, thighs, breasts and stomach areas. I have looser skin (but not what I consider unsightly) in my stomach area. With more exercise, the muscles in those areas will help contract some of that back. I only get my :O face on when I bend over and can see there isn't enough muscle tone to hold the loose area on my stomach in. It feels like a fat roll would, only it flattens and hangs down. It's not ugly, it's just not toned. I expect it will hold itself better once I get back into my exercise routine.

None of what I see on my body is anything I'd consider worth surgery. YMMV, but I think once you start losing, you'll see what you can expect as you go along! :)

Natasha22
04-18-2012, 10:28 PM
You'll just have to lose the weight and see what happens. Giving your young age, your skin could snap back with proper exercising, but the fact that you already have stretch marks is a sign that your skin isn't very elastic. You could start up a surgery fond, and if you come to the conclusion that you don't need surgery, use the money for something else.

swissy
04-20-2012, 05:52 PM
Some people are saying exercise helps, I'm doing circuit training twice a week and a lighter gym sesh once a week and wanted to up this during the summer but I'm worried about losing the weight too quickly and not giving my skin enough time. Edit, just turned 21 but yoyoed 15 pounds over christmas and have a shelf that protrudes the distance of half an index finger but is not hanging.

Kendrab1223
05-10-2012, 02:10 PM
You know how "they" say give it a few years at maintenance weight after losing weight to see what happens? I completely believe that. I'm 27, have had two kids, stretch marks before and after having them, and have always been overweight/obese as an adult. I had lost 85 pounds and maintained it for around 8-9 months. When I FIRST got to goal weight, I was sure I'd need a tummy tuck (and some boobs since I lost them lol) but even in just those 8-9 months my skin firmed up some. It's still not tight, and most likely never will be, but there was no way last summer I'd wear a 2 piece and this year I'm rocking one for the first time in my life.

Recently I decided to lose another 10 pounds or so so I'm hoping that'll help even more. Also, fwiw- I knew my chances of my skin getting tight were low because my family just doesn't have the good skin gene.

Make sure you research research research cosmetic surgery. I was sure I'd have it but recently decided against it. I googled "tummy tuck gone bad" or something and it's not important enough for me to potentially not heal for months and have more body image issues then I started with!

rawpunkgirl
07-29-2012, 09:45 AM
I've lost over 70 pounds and just asked a similar question on the forum. Just wanted to say that I've been overweight since I can remember. Like over 190 since forever (in my mind). Now I am under 180 (as of this past week) and since getting under 190, I've noticed my stretch marks on my stomach itching. I've also noticed that they are sagging and looking worse than they ever did before.

I've got like 50 more pounds to lose (and I'm going to unexplored territory here since I cannot remember ever being this small except in elementary school). Anyway, I think for me that my skin will definitely sag and not snap back since I've been overweight for so long. But I have to worry about getting healthy and not worry about my stretch marks at this point.

Will let you know the end results once I reach my 50 pounds goal though...

Marms
07-29-2012, 10:55 AM
Most of my stretch marks didn't hinder my skins ability to snap back. Only the really deep ones did that, which are on my boobs. Those are a lost cause and actually look much much worse the more weight I lose.