There are countless blogs promising you that "these 8 exercises will get rid of loose skin" and while those exercises might be great for building muscle, which can help with the appearance of loose skin, you can't "get rid of" or "burn off" your loose skin.
Loose skin is what I like to call a side effect of bariatric surgery. Now, not ALL patients suffer from loose skin, especially the younger ones, but MANY do. And while loose skin might not be the most attractive part of this whole journey, it can be an excellent reminder of where you've been and how far you've come along.
I'm sure you know by now that cosmetic surgery is the only sure-fire way to "get rid of" your excess skin. There are just a few things you can do personally to help with the look + feel of your skin. You can read about them here!
But for now, let's talk about what to do WHILE you have loose skin.
Excess skin can be uncomfortable in more ways than one, but it can be especially uncomfortable during your workouts. Chafing, rashes, and infections can all pop up as a result of a sweat session.
The rubbing together of your skin during certain movements and exercises can cause irritation, especially when sweat is involved.
Here are my top tips for staying as comfortable as possible during exercise:
Try compression clothing.
Believe it or not, clothing is often what causes chafing during activity. The super baggy clothes might feel comfortable going into your workout but during a workout, all the extra material can bunch up and rub against your skin causing irritation.
But! Be mindful that your clothes aren't TOO tight. This may cause some displeasure as well. Find what works for you. This may take some experimenting but it's worth it. Fabrics that "wick" sweat may be better. Most workout clothes are made for this so it may be worth investing in some higher end workout clothes to start.
Put cornstarch/powder/anti-chafing balms on areas prone to irritation.
The most common areas most patients see chafing are: armpits, underboob, inner thighs, and belly. It may be helpful to add some kind of powder or balm to these areas prior to working out to prevent any rashes. These products may help to absorb some of the moisture from your sweat and can reduce friction in these areas.
Always practice proper hygiene after a workout.
Shower as quickly as possible after a workout to rinse your skin of sweat and dirt which may contribute to irritation. Can't get to the shower fast enough? Throw some body wipes or baby wipes in your gym bag so you can wipe down your body in the meantime.
Notice that you're beginning to feel irritation during a workout? Stop! Clean it. Dry it. And put some petroleum jelly or a balm on before you begin again.
Health & Happiness
Jenna Gorman, CPT