Losing weight to treat overweight or obesity can significantly reduce the risk of disease. However, rapid weight loss can lead to sagging skin. For some people, this can create feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity enough to affect their quality of life. In this article, we will look at the causes of sagging skin after weight loss. We also provide information on natural and medicated solutions to help tighten skin and remove sagging. 

What causes sagging skin after dieting?

The skin is the body’s largest organ. Forms a protective barrier to the environment. The innermost layer of the skin is composed of proteins such as collagen and elastin. Collagen, which makes up 80% of the skin’s structure, provides firmness and strength. Elastin provides elasticity and keeps skin taut.


As you gain weight, your skin stretches to make room for growth. Pregnancy is an example of this extension. Swelling of the skin during pregnancy occurs over several months. Expanded skin usually contracts within the first few months of life. On the other hand, if the skin is stretched strongly for a long time, the collagen and elastin fibers are damaged. As a result, they lose some of their ability to withdraw. As a result, excess skin can stick to your body when you lose a lot of weight. In general, the more weight you lose, the more pronounced the effects of sagging skin. Additionally, researchers report that people who undergo weight loss surgery produce less new collagen, and its composition is not as potent as collagen in younger, healthier skin.

Factors Affecting Loss of Skin Elasticity

Several factors contribute to sagging skin after weight loss, take a look at the points responsible for sagged skin.


  1. Length of time- Long-term overweight or obesity generally leads to loss of elastin and collagen, resulting in sagging skin after weight loss.
  2. Weight loss- Weight loss of 100 pounds (46 kg) or more usually results in more sagging skin than moderate weight loss.
  3. Year- Older skin has less collagen than younger skin and tends to sag after weight loss.
  4. Genetics- With every person, genes differ so as with the ability to respond how your skin behaves against weight gain or loss.
  5. Exposure to sun- Chronic sun exposure has been shown to decrease the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which may contribute to sagging skin.
  6. Smoking- Smoking leads to decreased collagen production and damage to existing collagen, causing sagging, sagging skin.


Problems Related to Excessive Sagging Skin

For some people, sagging skin from heavy weight loss can lead to physical and emotional problems. 


  1. Creates discomfort physically- Excess skin is uncomfortable and can interfere with normal activity. A longitudinal study found that self-esteem may increase after weight loss.
  2. Decreased physical activity- One study found that weight loss led more people to exercise, but found that excess skin prevented exercise in some people after bariatric surgery.
  3. Skin irritation and skin damage- One study found that of 124 people who underwent plastic surgery to tighten their skin after weight loss surgery, 44% reported skin sores, ulcers, or infections due to loose skin.
  4. Poor body image- Sagging skin from weight loss can have a negative impact on body image and mood.

Natural Remedies to Tighten Sagging Skin

The following natural remedies may improve skin firmness and elasticity to some extent in people who have lost a small to moderate amount of weight.


Do strength training

Regular strength training is one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass in both young and old. No research is currently available, but it is possible that increasing muscle mass may help improve the appearance of sagging skin.


Take collagen

Collagen hydrolyzate is very similar to gelatin. It is a processed collagen found in the connective tissue of animals. Although it has not been tested in people suffering from sagging skin associated with severe weight loss, research suggests that collagen hydrolyzate may have a protective effect on collagen in the skin.


In a controlled study, skin elasticity increased significantly along with texture and moisture after taking a liquid collagen supplement for 12 weeks. This drink also contained vitamins C and E, biotin and zinc. Collagen hydrolyzate is also called hydrolyzed collagen. Earlier it was available in powder form but now it is available in the form of gummies, effervescence tablets as well as tablets that can be purchased from pharmacies or online.


Another popular source of collagen is bone broth, which also has other health benefits, but vegetarians can skip this method and go for plant based collagen for loose skin after weightloss


Consume specific nutrients and stay hydrated


Every nutrient that we consume has a specific role in our body, for instance the food that we eat is broken down into smaller molecules like glucose (acts as a energy molecule), protein (for building muscles) and micro nutrients for other work. Similarly, some nutrients play an important role in the production of collagen, that eventually contributes to healthy skin. 


  1. Protein- Getting enough protein is important for healthy skin. The two amino acids lysine and proline play a very important role in collagen production.
  2. Vitamin C- Vitamin C plays various important role in our body, one of them is collagen synthesis that helps in protecting the skin from sun damage. 
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids- The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish increase skin elasticity and have anti-aging benefits.
  4. Water- With numerous studies and research it has been found that, staying hydrated improves the overall appearance of your skin. One study found that women who increased their daily water intake experienced significant improvements in skin hydration and function. 
  5. Use firming cream- Many “firming” creams contain collagen and elastin, applying these creams topically can help in restoring elasticity in your skin. These creams temporarily help tighten the skin, but the collagen and elastin molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin. 

In general, collagen needs to build from the inside out. Body contouring surgery is the most common and effective procedure for removing loose skin that occurs after severe weight loss. Some alternative methods are available, but they are less effective. 


Excessive sagging skin often occurs after significant weight loss. If you are concerned about loose skin, you can choose treatment. With mild to moderate weight loss, the skin may grow back on its own. Natural home remedies can also help in tightening by increasing collagen for loose skin after weight loss. However, greater weight loss may require body contouring surgery or other medical procedures to tighten or remove loose skin.