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Old 06-21-2002, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default Questions about extra skin

Hi - I've been too embarrassed to really ask anyone about this, but after reading People magazing 2 weeks ago with Carnie Wilson, I realized that this is a common problem.

I have lost 75 pounds by doing weight watchers. I have about 40 pounds more to go... but I'm already noticing wrinkles around my abdomen and under my arms. I'm 26 years old... so I'm pretty sure these wrinkles are a result of my weight loss.

I've lost the weight slowly - over a 2-year period.. so it wasn't rapid. But I'm wondering if I can expect it to bounce back. And how long that would take.

I hate that I've worked this hard to lose all this weigh, yet still not be comfortable with my body.

I guess I'm asking to hear from people who had extra skin... if they got it removed... how much should I expect to pay... or can I expect it to bounce back after time.

I'd really appreciate any input.

THANKS!

Lisa
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Old 06-21-2002, 04:45 PM   #2
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just my two cents

first, congrats on doing such a terrific job with your weight loss!!!!

you're young enough that your skin should come back, especially if you make sure to get plenty of calcium. it'll take some time, though.

and the fact that you've been losing slowly is all to the good as well.

as for the plastic surgery, what i've been told is that most plastic surgeons won't even consider seeing us until our weight has been stable for at least 3-6 months.

so, in the meantime, take your calcium, make sure to build your muscles enough to fill in the skin with something that's not fat and that will actually metabolize energy better than fat.
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start: 506 [Sept 2001]
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Old 06-23-2002, 04:45 PM   #3
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Howdy Lisa,

I know I am on the other thread too and I do have some insight on this. I have loose skin on my upper arms and tummy. Basically it looks like I have given birth and I do have a slight apron that I have been able to hide it (even wearing spandex). Sometimes I wish my upper arms were better, but I am also at this point where I realize I am probably the only person who sees my stretch marks and loose skin etc. Sometimes I wish I could get a tummy tuck, but I want kids too so I am not sure if it's really worth it. Since you're looking to lose as much weight as I lost I hope this helps. Weight training does help though, but for a while I wouldn't work my abs if people were around since my stomach kind of hung... it was grody. It has gotten better, but I am giving it at least another year to see what nature does. But honestly don't let the loose skin hold you back.

Take Care!

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Old 06-24-2002, 11:45 AM   #4
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Jiffy Pop - thanks for the advice and the encouragement. I am definately weight training, and I will prob increase my weight training to help. I guess I should weight until I've been at goal for 6 months or so before seeing someone... but maybe I should see them once I'm at goal, so they will know I've maintained for 6 months or so.

Hi Ali - thanks for the advice. I remember yuo gave me advice last year about this... and it's been about a year. So you still have the extra skin? I was hoping that after 6 months it would bounce back and be just fine.... but I knew that prob wasn't the case. It's just so disappointing. DON"T GET ME WRONG.... it's worth it. And losing the weight is so great for me, and it's more than just asthetics. But I've always been so self concious around boys... and although I've lost the weight, I'm STILL going to be self-concious about me body. I want to have kids too... so maybe I would just get my arms done and a breast lift (my D's are now B's!!!!!! - which I'm fine with the B's... but I'd like them to not have all this skin above them.) Of course... I don't have the money... and I'd prob never go through any of this... but I've been thinking about it more and more. But my abdomen is so wrinkly...and I'd love to get that fixed....but you're right... I do want kids.

Thanks ladies...
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Old 06-24-2002, 12:36 PM   #5
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I have heard that dry skin brushing helps a lot with the loose skin. I don't know if it actually makes that big a difference, but I'm doing it anyway. I figure it's not a very big time or money investment on my part and it can't hurt.

As for the tuck, I've been told that it's like a breast lift...it's not worth doing till after you're done having kids or it just has to be re-done. I can't quite convince myself I want to go through it once, much less a second time!

Good luck and congratulations on your loss so far!
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Old 06-24-2002, 02:04 PM   #6
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Nicole... that sounds very interesting. I actually went and did a search and read a little into it.... if anything, it doesn't take much time and it can't hurt.

Where did you get your brush? Did you do any reading on it... I've found a few sites that describe it briefly...

I'll try ANYTHING.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Lisa
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Old 06-24-2002, 03:13 PM   #7
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I actually got my brush, the alfalfa, fibertox, and a video from the T.Tapp website (great workout btw, amazing and FAST results). It came as part of a promotional package. After I did some research, it sounded like a lot of people were really having success with it so I figured...why not. I already have the stuff!

I think the important thing is to get a brush that's stiff enough (natural boar bristles) and to do it with the right amount of force (hard enough to feel, not so hard you're peeling your skin off) and consistancy.

You might check the T. Tapp forums for more general info. There seem to be a lot of people there who have been doing it for a while.

Good luck!!!
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Old 06-24-2002, 07:42 PM   #8
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I lost 130 lbs. After keeping it off about 6 months I had plastic surgery. Sorry to be so blunt, but the extra skin does not go away and it never gets better -- the more you lose, the more saggy it gets. And stretch marks are permanent. That's why I saved my pennies and had both a brachioplasty (arms) and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). It costs a bundle, insurance doesn't cover it unless you have a serious medical problem resulting from the extra skin, and it takes a long time to recover. I had the surgery in August 2001, and I was unable to run (that's my primary workout) for about two months. Even then, it was slow going. Now, a year later, I am still having some issues. Often one has to go back in a year or so and get the scars or the contouring "revised" (either by lipo or a minor surgical procedure) and it looks like that is where I am headed. It's painful and very ugly for awhile, and you'll be off your feet about a week (plan to take 2 weeks off work -- I took one, and it wasn't enough).

The results are pretty good. The skin is tight, the stretch marks are far less visible since they're pulled flat, and the scars will eventually fade, but they are quite extensive and ugly. Anyone planning the arm job, you probably won't want to be skipping around in tank tops for quite awhile, so you might want to plan to have the surgery in late summer.

The bottom line, for me, was that I simply did not feel I could live with that extra skin one more day, and it was very important to have the surgery as a symbolic break with the past. Even though I went to one of the best hospitals out there, my results were not perfect, so don't expect perfection. Carnie Wilson may get perfection, but she has unlimited funds. I am about 70% happy with my results and I hope they get better over time.

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Old 06-24-2002, 11:53 PM   #9
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Diamonda,

Thanks so much for posting. I am scheduled to have tummy and breasts done on 07/25, and am always interested to hear how things went for others who have had them. I wish I could have my arms done, but my plastic surgeon says she has never seen an insurance company cover them. I want to recover from the tummy and breasts, and then will at least attempt to get thighs/butt and arms covered. It can't hurt to try.

I have lost 140 lb and my excess skin isn't going anywhere by itself. Because of the way I am built, the worst of my excess is in the tummy area. My legs could probably fit into a size 12, but my tummy (with skin and hernia) can barely squeeze into an 18. From that standpoint alone, it would be worth doing. However, adding some serious back pain into the picture makes it all the more imperative to get the excess skin dealt with.

My exercise of choice is water aerobics and tae kwon do. I also bike ride, but more for pleasure than serious exercise. I'm also really wanting to roller blade, although am not sure I am coordinated enough to do it without causing serious bodily harm! I have been stepping up my workouts to get into the best shape possible before surgery. I hate to think what weak shape I will be in after recovering from the surgery, but at least I can go into it with the benefit of strong heart/lungs and muscles.

Dawna
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Old 06-25-2002, 08:13 AM   #10
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Default great info, ladies!!!

right now my belly [ick] is running two sizes larger than the rest of me!! with 120 or so more to go, i can't even start thinking about plastic surgery, but i can hope!!!

best of luck, dawna, and please keep us posted. i want this to work for you...

and diamonda.. sorry your experience wasn't the best. but what a statement!!! a whole new life, and a flat stomach!!!

something to look forward to.

the first couple of times i got to goal weight, my skin wasn't sagging and bagging. but i was much much younger then, and only had about 70-90 pounds to lose at that point.

oh. don't know if this actually works, but i've heard [second hand from a plastic surgeon] that slathering yourself twice a day with good lotion helps. just passing it along!!
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Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 06-25-2002, 09:00 AM   #11
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Ladies... it's so good to hear your experiences - thanks for sharing.

You would think there would be more information out there on extra skin.... I had never heard of it until it started happening to me. With all these weight loss programs out there... you'd think there would be more information on what to do when you are approaching goal.

I've heard about the scars and the recovery time resulting from surgery. I prob wouldn't get my arms done... they are not that bad. It's my abdomen that I'm worried about... I guess I need to decide if it's worth it for me.

I have tried time and time again to maintain my weight loss without exercise... and it doesn't work... so I'm definately worried about 2 months with no exercise.

Also, the reason I'm doing this is so I can wear a bikini (and as vain as that sounds.... I haven't worked my butt off for two years so that I can still be so self concious about my body).... but if the scars are bad enough... I prob would still feel self concious.

I think I might start saving up. I get some decent quarterly bonuses, so I might start putting them aside for whent he time comes. But I think I'm going to lose the rest of my weight, tone up my muscles, and see where I am. I want this surgery.. but the money and the risks scare me. I'm saving up. I'll meet with a surgeon. I'll do research... but who knows... in the end, I might have to accept my new body.

Diamonda - you really are an inspiration. You've lost so much weight. Amazing. HOw did you lose the weigh (if you don't mind my asking)? I hope your 70% turns to 90% after all the scars heal. You deserve it. I truely appreciate your bluntness... that's exactly what I was looking for. I need to hear the truth about this stuff.

Dawn - Best of luck for your surgery. I'm jealous that you are at that point and have been able to finance it. I guess I should start saving now. I really do wish you the best. And I wish you a quick recovery time and very few scars. I would love to hear how you are when you finish.... how things went and if you are happier after the surgery. I ahve lost 75, and I have about 40 to go. I'm relatively young at 26... but not young enough I guess because my skin is going NO WHERE!

Jiffypop - awesome. Keep up the amazing work. I think since we still have pounds to lose... we should drink as much water as possible, tone our problem areas, and so when we reach goal... while we may have this extra skin - it will be minimal and we can live with it. May I ask how old you are... they say the yonnger the better when it comes to elastic skin.

Thanks ladies... I've needed to hear advice like this.

Lisa
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:45 PM   #12
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well, lisa.. it'slike this. i'm old enough to be your mom!!!! i just turned 49.

and i KNOW that i will need plastic surgery. although i still have the 120 to go, i have already lost 210, so i'm already sagging and bagging. yeah, some things can reduce it, but there will just be so very much to cope with that it's inevitable.

but, as you said, we'll keep moving, drinking water, and doing what we have to. the plastic surgery is so far in the future for me that i really have to take care of other business right now.

it's a great thought, though, that with just a few slashes of a knife, i'll lose 10-20 more pounds!!! so maybe i have only 100 left??? a happy thought!!!!!
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Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 06-26-2002, 08:58 AM   #13
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Jiffypop - you've lost over 200 pounds? That is so amazing!!!! Congratulatiosn. You're 2/3 of the way there.... yes, you desrve to get that extra skin removed.... you've worked so hard... also, after losing that much you might even be covered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Jim - thanks for the encouragement. I would love to tighten up without surgery. Wow - those pictures. Although... I don't want to get that buff. She's like Mrs. Body Building Universe.

I'm starting to feel much better about everything... not so stressed. I can see how things look in a few months and decide from there... I'll prob still start saving.. and hey, if I decide not to go through with it, then I can use the money for a vacation or something.

Lisa
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Old 07-02-2002, 07:27 PM   #14
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Wow, that picture of Pam Brown was very dramatic. I can see that her stomach was covered with stretch marks -- and I'm just wondering where it all went once she lost the weight. I wish mine had just gone away, too, but it didn't. All the stretched skin sort of acted like an accordion -- when the fat was no longer there, it looked like tiny pleats all over my upper arms and abdomen. I never had a big "apron" or massive amounts of hanging skin, just those pleats, which I hated and wanted to get rid of. Maybe if I had been just 5 years younger when I made the decision to lose the weight, I might not have had all stretch marks and hence the damage. Live and learn, though -- it's a million times better to be thin and healthy and in possession of some extra skin and some saggy baggy spots here and there than to be obese!

Jiffypop, what a great thing you're doing. I am very much in awe of the progress you've made. Good luck in the "home stretch," no pun intended!

Someone asked how I lost the weight ... Weight Watchers and exercise. It was a miracle to me that these things actually worked, once I made the decision to do it. It took me 15 months to get to goal and I was FAR from perfectly on program all the time. Exercise was the key for me, and now I'm running the Chicago marathon in the fall ... who would have ever thought it possible? People CAN change and DO change. Good luck everyone, and don't stress too much about the extra skin. Just think how lucky we are to be in that tiny minority of folks who beat obesity.

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Old 07-02-2002, 10:44 PM   #15
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Here's an answer to the question of Pam's stretchmarks.
Quote:
Q.This is a woman-to-woman question, definitely!
What I wanted to ask you, Pam- and everyone who might be reading-is how did you maintain the elasticity of your skin? I have not had too much weight to lose but my skin feels loose and I had developed stretch marks that although I lost the weight, did not go away (they did turn silvery). The problem is, although I'm eating healthy, the marks seem to be getting longer!? DO you have any tips as to waht moisturizers or vitamins I could use that could at least stop new marks from developing? (I'm 25 and I haven's had a baby yet...frankly, I am terrified of what my skin is going to look like after a pregnancy...) What about concealing them for photo shoots?
Thanks a lot and God bless!

A. #1: Not Pam but I can tell you the big answer: water, clean eating, and flax or Udo's. I had a scar from gallbladder surgery that spanned a good 6 or 7 inches across my torso that was about an inch wide. Now it's not quite 4 inches long and as wide as a line made with a standard pen. My stretchmarks have gotten so much smaller...

I had emailed Pam about this a long time ago and she had told me the same thing. The skin gets tighter and tighter, the marks get smaller and smaller, lighter and harder to see. They won't completely disappear.

Wear them proudly. And for those occasions when you need to look perfect, use a tanning lotion to disguise 'em.

A #2: 1-- water, water, water !
2--Some people use hand lotion nightly on loose tummy skin, along with a loofa in the shower.
3--Oils. Flaxseed oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E (oil-based).
4--And, unless it's in an area that would mess up your sheets, vaseline. My wife has put vaseline under her eyes at bedtime for 35 years--and people here who have met her can back me up when I say, in all honesty, that she has the skin of a 20-year-old at age 54.
Of course including weight training in your exercise routine would help too IMO!

(I have learned since then that the person being discussed here DOES still have quite a bit of loose skin - she tucks it inside her pants).
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