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One Great Answer: How Can I Lose Excess Skin After Weight Loss?

author image Brian Sabin
Brian Sabin is LIVESTRONG.COM's content manager. He is a writer, editor and video producer who spent five years working for "Runner's World," where his series "26.2 or Die: The Matt Long Story" won a Webby Award for "Best Sports Video: People's Choice." He resides in California.
One Great Answer: How Can I Lose Excess Skin After Weight Loss?
A woman is holding her loose skin folds on her stomach. Photo Credit: Deyan Georgiev/iStock/Getty Images’s "One GREAT Answer" series takes your health and fitness questions to the world’s smartest experts.

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“I lost a lot of weight, and now have extra skin in places. Is there any way to burn off these exercise-resistant folds?”

–Peyton Farquhar, via Facebook

The Answer

Extra folds of skin can occur when you lose a lot of weight, lose it very quickly or if you’re a little bit older. With time, however, you can diminish the appearance of these folds if you take the following five steps.

1) Keep your muscles firm and more defined with diligent strength training.

2) Dry brush your skin twice a day to improve circulation. This tightens and brightens the skin by assisting the lymphatic system in ridding your body of metabolic waste just below the surface.

3) Consider using a sauna to work up a profuse sweat that will further cleanse your body of toxins and improve skin’s appearance. Infrared saunas penetrate especially deeply.

4) Drink eight to 10 glasses of clean, pure water daily from a glass or stainless steel container. Avoiding the phalates found in plastic means fewer contaminants in your system, resulting in smoother, tighter skin.

5) Use moisturizer and an organic self-tanner to make excess skin appear less noticeable.

Give yourself a full year using these tips. Ultimately, some people do opt for surgery if they’re still unhappy about extra skin. I would suggest you get to your desired body weight and try reminding yourself how much healthier you are now without the excess fat — even if your skin isn’t a perfect fit.

About the Expert

Kelli Calabrese, MS, CSCS, international master trainer for Adventure Boot Camp, the largest fitness boot camp in the world.

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