Fat Atrophy of the Face After Weight Loss

  • Peak Rejuvenation   •   January 14, 2016

“I lost weight, but now my face looks worse! Why?”

For many of my patients, they have struggled with being overweight for many years. But fortunately for some who have lost weight through diet, exercise, and/or surgery, they have become free in their new bodies. Through their weight loss, many have overcome some of the deleterious effects of obesity. But some face a new reality…excess skin. This excess skin can be prone to rashes and even skin breakdown. And lastly, the sagginess of the this excess skin can cause aesthetic concerns.

The Face is one area of the body which typically shows some of most profound effects of weight loss. But why?

When a person is overweight or obese, the excess fat which they have plumps up the skin and will, in fact, soften the appearance of wrinkles and aging. If you look at a youthful face, you will soon notice that their lack of wrinkles is accented even more by a rounder and firmer appearance. When a person is obese, they maintain this roundness due to the fact that the skin is “on stretch” by the underlying fat. This stretching effect can result in a more youthful appearance to the face despite the remainder of the body looking too large. This stretching on the rest of the body can cause the dreaded stretch marks, but stretch marks typically do not occur on the face.

Now, input weight loss.

Once an obese person loses weight, they lose the fat underneath. And, depending on a person’s age and how obese they were prior to weight loss, their skin may or may not be able to recoil. This may be most profoundly seen in the face. After massive weight loss, the face may look more saggy which will result in greater soft tissue descent and more pronounced wrinkles.

Bottom line:

Your level of obesity and the duration of time you are obese will be inversely proportional to your ability to regain your pre-obese youthful appearance of the skin after you lose weight.