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5 minute read time

The Truth About Loose Skin: What Causes Loose Skin

Skin is the largest organ in our body. It's also the most visible, which means any changes to its appearance can be quite noticeable. One of the most common concerns among people is loose skin – especially after they've lost a lot of weight. In this article, we will discuss what causes loose skin and how you can go about preventing it or treating it if you already have it.


Loose skin is a common cause of concern for many people, particularly as they age. One of the most common contributors to sagging skin is a gradual decrease in collagen production with age. Collagen, an essential protein found in the body’s tissues and organs, helps to provide structure, firmness, and suppleness to the skin. As our bodies produce less collagen over time, sagging skin is the result.

Additionally, decreasing levels of hyaluronic acid can lead to saggy skin as we age. Hyaluronic acid helps to retain moisture within our skin; due to lower levels of this crucial substance, older individuals may notice signs of dryness or sag more obviously than younger people. With a combination of these factors and natural processes associated with skin aging, it’s quite common for people's complexion to become more loose or sallow with age.

Taking steps such as moisturizing daily and avoiding excess sun exposure can help prevent the appearance of loose skin.

Weight Loss

Losing weight can sometimes have undesired consequences. One of the most common side effects of drastic weight loss is loose skin, especially in areas such as the arms, abdomen, and thighs. This is caused by collagen and elastin fibers losing their natural elasticity under the skin. Excess weight can stretch collagen and elastin fibers, leading to looser skin that has difficulty retaining its tautness after the fat beneath it has been removed.

Fortunately, there are measures one can take to tighten loose skin after weight loss. Topical creams and collagen stimulators can help to encourage collagen growth while laser treatment encourages the production of new collagen, improving collagen tone over time.

Additionally, a daily routine of stretches and exercises specifically designed for certain problem areas can also help to develop muscle tone beneath the skin, providing extra support for elastin fibers and helping to prevent more dramatic sagging due to fat reduction. While not everyone enjoys having excess body fat, losing too much too quickly may lead to unsightly loose skin, something which no amount of collagen cream or laser treatments will fix without some dedicated effort from the patient.


what causes loose skin

Pregnancy is a natural and beautiful process, but one of its side effects can be loose skin. As the uterus grows during pregnancy, it stretches the abdominal skin outward. While many of these changes reverse after the baby is born, some women are left with loose or saggy skin in their midsection.

In cases like this, regular exercise and proper nutrition may help improve muscle tone and elasticity to re-tighten any excess skin. In addition, drinking plenty of water and avoiding prolonged exposure to sunlight can also aid in maintaining the skin's youthful appearance.

Other more extensive options for restoring tighter-looking skin include plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction or abdominoplasty. Ultimately, pregnant women who experience loose skin should understand that there are many proven techniques for improving how it looks over time. With patience and dedication to self-care, it is possible to regain the firmness lost from pregnancy. 


Genetics plays a major role in determining your likelihood to experience loose skin because individual genes will determine factors like elasticity and collagen production. Elasticity describes how well the skin can stretch without becoming damaged, while collagen is produced by the body to maintain a strong membrane between the cells and provide strength and flexibility.

If an individual has low levels of these properties because of genetics, they are more likely to experience looser skin regardless of age or weight. 

Therefore, genetics play an important role in contributing to loose or sagging skin due to lower-than-normal levels of its key components. With proper care such as moisturizing regularly and getting enough sleep, you may be able to reduce some of the effects caused by these genetic factors.

Sun Damage

One of the most common causes of sagging skin is sun damage. Over time, long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation weakens skin’s elasticity and its ability to maintain its shape. UV radiation also damages the collagen fibers that hold the skin together resulting in thinning, wrinkling, and decreased elasticity. To prevent loose skin due to sun damage it is important to protect your skin with sunscreen, wear protective clothing when outdoors, and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours.


Smoking is often associated with accelerated skin aging, including sagging and loose skin. Several effects of smoking contribute to this, such as reducing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin through constricted blood vessels, which can lead to premature wrinkling and sagging.

Additionally, smoking narrows collagen fibers in the dermis layer of skin tissue, creating slack in the cellular structure which can cause drooping or creasing areas. Moreover, smoking impairs the skin’s ability to repair itself – limiting natural processes which reduce discoloration or signs of aging thanks to healthy cell turnover and increased elastin production. In combination, these create an overall adverse effect on skin health which ultimately leads to a decrease in firmness and elasticity resulting in loose or saggy skin over time.

Rapid Weight Gain

what causes loose skin

Loose skin occurs when weight is gained at a faster rate than the skin can accommodate, causing it to stretch beyond its natural elasticity. Several factors can contribute to rapid weight gain, such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, hormonal changes, dehydration, aging, genetics, or medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's syndrome. In some cases, stress and even certain medications may also play a role in gaining excess weight quickly. 

Final Thoughts

Loose skin is a common occurrence after weight loss. It can be difficult to cope with, but there are treatments available to help manage the problem. Loose skin can be caused by several different factors, including rapid weight loss, sun damage, and age. If you are struggling with loose skin, talk to your doctor about your options. There are several ways to manage loose skin, so you don't have to live with it forever. If you have trouble with loose skin, check out Shapeez’s website forshaping bodywear to help keep skin in place while flattering your figure.

Staci Berner
Staci Berner

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