How Do I Get Rid of Extra Skin After Weight Loss?

I'm 15 and I've been overweight pretty much all my life. This past year I lost 50 lbs. and I have some extra skin on my body because I was big for so long. It's been tightening up really slowly because I'm still young. But is there anything I can do to speed it up? I already work out (cardio) every other day. I just want to know what will speed up the process.
– Misha*

First, congratulations on losing the extra weight.

Unfortunately, losing a lot of weight can leave a person with saggy skin, especially if weight comes off quickly. As you mentioned, being young is definitely in your favor; it may just take a little more time for your body to readjust.

Working out as you're doing is a great way to care for your body. Regular exercise, including cardio and strength training, will help you maintain your new weight and tone your body. It's also the best thing you can do right now to work toward improving the look of your skin.

For this amount of weight loss, give it time — you should continue to see improvement given time. Some people who lose very large amounts of weight (100 pounds or more) and keep it off may consider plastic surgery.

The best thing you can do right now is talk to your doctor about your concerns. He or she will be able to suggest options that are right for you. It can take time to adjust to a new body, both physically and emotionally. For some people, it can help to talk to a counselor about their reactions to so much weight loss.

In addition to talking to your doctor, continue taking good care of yourself: Eating right, getting exercise, and moisturizing your skin daily can help you look and feel good.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011

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*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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