If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, you are sure to be aware that losing that extra weight can have a long list of general health benefits, lowering your risk of many chronic diseases and health problems. However, what you may not know is that weight loss can also boost your skin health. Here we'll look into weight and stretching skin, how skin health can be affected by it, and how weight loss can help.
About Weight And Stretching Skin
Your skin is a flexible, elastic organ, designed to stretch to accommodate movement and changes in body size and shape. That capacity of skin to be flexible, yet snap back to maintain its basic shape, is referred to as skin elasticity. Elasticity is a function of the skin's deep structural layer, called the dermis, which contains collagen and elastin fibers, which work together to provide the skin with its shape, volume, strength and elasticity.
However, that capacity to stretch without damage, while substantial, does have its limits. That's why things like rapid weight gain, pregnancy and the increased muscle mass seen in body builders can cause stretch marks, as skin is stretched too much or too quickly, overwhelming its natural capacity to adapt and causing small tears in the dermis. While stretch marks are the most obvious sign that skin has been damaged by weight and stretching, skin can also be affected in other, less noticeable ways.
Among the most common is reduced elasticity, which can happen as skin is stretched to its limits over a prolonged period of time, the skin gradually losing its ability to snap back into shape as chronic stress causes damage to the collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis. So even if you have no stretch marks, being overweight is likely causing a slow, steady deterioration in the condition of your skin, placing you at greater risk for issues like premature aging – promoting the development of lines wrinkles and skin laxity well before they should happen.
Weight and Stretching Skin: Boosting Skin Health With Weight Loss
Weight loss can have immediate effects on skin health by taking some of the pressure off stretched-to-the-limit collagen and elastin fibers, reigning in the slow, steady damage it causes. Over the long term, taking the pressure off will allow the skin to heal and repair itself much more efficiently, improving skin tone and condition.
However, it is important to note that crash diets can do your skin more harm than good, starving it of vital nutrients it needs to remain supple enough to adjust to the thinner new you, and causing more rapid weight loss than your skin can keep up with – leaving you with areas of loose, hanging skin. So for both your general health and skin health, a sensible, nutritionally balanced weight-loss plan that yields slow, steady weight reduction of one to three pounds a week is your best bet.