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Redundant Skin - Causes, Side Effects, and Treatment

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A significant amount of weight loss leads to loose and sagging skin, called redundant skin. Keep reading this article below to know more about it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At September 16, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 8, 2023


Losing massive weight to manage obesity is associated with health benefits and low disease risk. However, people who undergo huge and rapid weight loss typically have loose and sagging skin; this type is called redundant skin. It may lead to feelings of discomfort and affect the quality of life.

What Causes Redundant or Loose Skin?

Several contributing factors lead to redundant skin. The inner layer of the skin consists of proteins like collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen provides firmness, and elastin gives elasticity and tightness to the skin. The collagen fibers get damaged during weight gain and lose their ability to retract.

What Are the Factors Influencing Redundant or Loose Skin?

Several factors that contribute to redundant skin may include:

  • Duration of Weight Loss: The more overweight or obese a person is, the more it affects the skin elasticity due to collagen and elastin damage.

  • Weight Loss: People with massive weight loss, like 100 pounds (46kgs) in a short time, have more loose skin than those with mild to moderate weight loss. The quicker one loses weight, the less time they give the skin to recover, resulting in redundant skin.

  • Aging: It is one of the most common reasons for loose skin, which is unavoidable. Younger people have fewer chances of having loose skin than older people because of the high skin elasticity (more collagen and elastin) in younger adults.

  • Genetics: Genes are essential in determining how firm the skin will be with old age. Some people may be more susceptible to loose and sagging skin than others.

  • Exposure to Sunlight: Too much sun exposure reduces skin collagen and elastin production, contributing to loose skin.

  • Smoking: Smoking in any form leads to impaired collagen production. It speeds up the normal aging process.

What Are the Side Effects of Redundant Skin?

Many people with significant weight loss may not get bothered about the loose skin and hence require no treatment. But for some people, loose skin may cause some health concerns like:

  • Discomfort: Excess body skin may be uncomfortable and interfere with everyday activities.

  • Decreased Physical Activity: Excess skin after weight loss may create a problem with doing exercise in some people resulting in no or less physical activity.

  • Skin Irritation and Infection: Extra skin can result in pain, ulcers, rashes, or infections because the excess skin folds over and rubs together, leading to chaffing.

  • Low Self-Esteem: Having loose skin may cause emotional discomfort due to unwelcome stares and attention while doing any activity. It can affect the quality of life, self-esteem, and body image.

How to Get Rid of Redundant Skin?

Whether loose skin is due to massive weight loss, aging, or other factors, there are surgical and non-surgical treatment options to tighten up.

Surgical Treatment: Surgical treatments may help tighten redundant skin after significant weight loss.

These treatments include:

  • Body Contouring Surgery: Body contouring surgery is the most common and invasive option to remove loose skin. The surgeon starts the body-contouring surgery by making a large incision to remove excess skin and fat. The surgeon will then suture the incision with fine stitches to minimize scarring. Body contouring surgery is performed under general anesthesia and often requires four to nine weeks of hospital stay. Recovery time generally ranges from two to four weeks, but some people may take several months to feel better. There can also be complications of the surgery, like bleeding and infections. Several specific types of body contouring include:
    • Tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty: Removal of skin from the abdomen.

    • Lower Body Lift: Skin removal from the belly, buttocks, hips, and thighs.

    • Upper Body Lift: Skin removal from back and breasts.

    • Arm Lift or Brachioplasty: Skin removal from the arms.

    • Thigh Lift: Skin removal from inner and outer thighs.

Non-surgical Treatments: Some minimally or non-invasive non-surgical body contouring options exist. They can be tried first before surgery to remove loose skin. Lesser risk of complications is associated with these alternate procedures.

  • Velashape: It is a recent non-invasive procedure that combines radiofrequency, infrared light, and massage to reduce redundant or loose skin. This encourages the growth of new collagen and elastin, resulting in tighter skin and improved skin structure and texture.

  • Thermitight: It utilizes radio frequency to lift sagging skin. It helps people achieve a tighter and more youthful appearance without undergoing surgery. Visible results are seen in three to four weeks.

Natural Remedies: Some simple healthy habits can help address loose skin. Although they will not completely fix the problem of loose skin, they make minor improvements in the skin's appearance.

Diet: Diet is a common way to improve loose skin. Water keeps the body hydrated and maintains the skin's elasticity. Drinking ample water tightens the skin and maintains a healthy glow. Consuming protein after exercise is beneficial for building muscles. Vitamin C in citrus fruits and vegetables is needed for collagen synthesis and helps protect skin from sun damage. In addition, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fatty fish may help increase skin elasticity and provide a toned look.

Exercise: Physical activity and strength training can help you lose weight and build healthy muscles. In addition, it will help lift sagging skin as the new muscles will help fill it out.

Compression Clothing: Compression clothing can help hold the skin in place to reduce skin rubbing. As a result, compression garments reduce pain, itching, and the risk of skin infections. Wearing compression clothing will not improve loose skin but will help lessen the side effects.


Redundant or loose skin is not a medical condition, but it may lead to a feeling of discomfort and self-consciousness for some people. Several contributing factors lead to redundant skin, including aging, weight loss, duration of weight loss, genetics, smoking, and sunlight exposure. However, several treatment options, with body-contouring surgery being the most effective, are helpful in skin tightening and getting rid of loose skin. In addition, natural remedies, diet, exercise, and compression clothing, may improve skin appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Does Redundant Skin Mean?

In medical words, redundant skin is when someone has too much skin. This can show up in different ways, but it usually looks like droopy or hanging skin that does not help the body function. 


What Is a Redundant Neck?

Redundant neck is a form of this disease that shows up around the neck. It can be caused by things like getting older, losing weight, or even being born with it. 


What Are Normal Nuchal Scan Results?

A nuchal scan, also called nuchal translucency, can measure the thick fluid-filled space at the back of a baby's neck. 


What Is Normal Nuchal Size?

During a nuchal scan, the normal nuchal size is the average diameter of the fluid-filled space at the back of the baby's neck. The size can change based on how far along the pregnancy is.


What Causes Extra Skin on Neck?

Extra skin on the neck can be caused by several things, like getting older, losing weight, genetics, getting too much sun, smoking, and some medical problems.


What Is Muscle Redundancy?

Muscle redundancy means that there is too much muscle tissue in the body or too much of it. It can happen because of some medical problems or because muscles have grown too much.


Is the Nape of the Neck Redundant?

The nape of the neck is the back of the neck, especially where the hairline ends. Most people do not think it is useless because it has many uses, like protecting the spinal cord and holding up the head.


Is Removing Excess Skin Safe?

When done by a trained medical professional, removing extra skin can be done safely. It will help if a doctor or plastic surgeon is consulted who can look at your case and give you the best advice.


How Do You Get Rid of Redundant Skin?

People have different choices when they want excess skin removed from their bodies - some prefer surgical intervention, whereas others want an alternative option that doesn't require invasive means. Non-invasive solutions include injectable fillers (hyaluronic acid) and micro-needling/micro-coring methods. At the same time, invasive treatments usually need you to choose between laser resurfacing, radiofrequency, and ultrasound therapy for skin tightening.


Can Loose Skin Go Back to Normal?

Loose skin may return to normal after significant weight loss or giving birth. But, in some cases, treatment to tighten loose skin may be necessary.


Does Loose Skin Tighten Back?

It is possible that loose skin can tighten on its own, but this is not always the case. Age, genetics, and the amount of weight loss all contribute to it.


Is Excess Skin Removal Painful?

Pain experienced during excess skin removal may vary from mild to severe, depending on the surgery type and the patient's pain tolerance. Anesthesia is often required for surgical operations, and some post-op pain is to be expected.


How Long Does Loose Skin Take To Tighten?

Age, genetics, and weight loss all affect how quickly loose skin tightens after weight loss. Noticeable results from non-invasive treatments may take several months and multiple sessions.


How Do I Get My Skin Back to Normal?

Surgical procedures are not the only option; firming skin care products and exercise can also help anyone restore the appearance of the skin to normal without cutting it open. Laser resurfacing and radiofrequency treatments are two more surgical options for tightening saggy skin.


How Does Excess Skin Disappear?

Skin-tightening techniques can remove excess skin. Injectable fillers, hyaluronic acid, micro-needling, and micro-coring are non-surgical. Laser, radiofrequency, and ultrasound skin tightening are surgical techniques.


Can You Fix Loose Skin Without Surgery?

Yes,non-invasive methods such as exercise and skin-tightening creams can help tighten saggy skin without surgical intervention. Loose skin can also be tightened without surgery using micro-needling, micro-coring, injectable fillers, and hyaluronic acid.
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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav



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