How to get rid of the sagging skin on the abdomen4 min read
There are many reasons why the skin on the belly becomes flabby. An expert reveals what measures can be taken to counteract this.
The body needs a lot of exercise to stay fit and aesthetic. But intensive training alone is not always enough. Especially in old age, when the skin on the abdomen becomes increasingly flabby, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a good figure. Nevertheless, there are a number of measures that bring good results.
Padding on the belly? Completely normal
First of all, it’s quite normal to have pads on the belly. The abdomen is the area where the body usually prefers to store fat – as a reserve for lean times. That’s why the fat there melts quite late. People who have hardly any fat on their abdomen and whose abdominal muscles are visible generally have a very low body fat percentage.
Women in particular have curves in the middle of their bodies – even if they are of normal weight. This is partly due to the distribution of fatty tissue and partly because the body is ready to carry a child to term – for which energy reserves are needed.
Also, a certain amount of fat on the abdomen protects the internal organs from shocks and injuries. Therefore, if you look in the mirror, you should not look only critically at your belly, but recognize that it makes sense that the body prefers to accumulate fat deposits in this part of the body.
Why the skin on the belly becomes flabby
The skin on the abdomen loses elasticity primarily after large weight loss, after pregnancies, during longer breaks from sports and due to age. “Due to pregnancy or major weight gain, the skin on the abdomen stretches a lot. Sometimes the tissue even cracks due to overstretching.
After greater weight loss or after childbirth, the skin then often does not succeed immediately or sometimes not at all to form back again. The skin on the abdomen looks flabby,” explains Dr. Sema Seker, a doctor of aesthetic medicine.
“Also due to constitution and age, the skin on the abdomen can be softer and less elastic. A lack of abdominal muscles can also make the appearance on the abdomen look less toned.”
Exercise for a firm tummy
Regular exercise supports a toned appearance. Exercise strengthens connective tissue, promotes circulation and strengthens abdominal muscles. A mix of endurance and targeted muscle training is good. In addition, regular exercise promotes a normal weight. The less fat there is on the abdomen, the firmer it is – provided the skin has not already been severely stretched.
“Strong abdominal muscles tighten the abdominal wall. But if there is too much fat over it, the firming effect is lost. A beautiful belly needs both: weight loss and muscle training,” says Seker. “After pregnancy, postpartum workouts should be done under professional guidance.”
Creams and massages against sagging skin on the abdomen.
To beautify the appearance of the skin on the abdomen can also help alternating showers, massages and creams. Alternating showers and massages promote blood circulation. The tissue is supplied with oxygen and nutrients.
At the same time, the temperature change and the massage stimulate the removal of water in the tissue. The skin looks rosier and healthier. “Creams can be used to treat dryness wrinkles in particular. Well-moisturized skin looks fresher and healthier. Creams and lotions can’t make wrinkles and fat pads on the abdomen disappear, however,” says Seker.
Tighten sagging skin on the abdomen: What aesthetic medicine and surgery have to offer
Those who do not achieve the desired success with weight loss, sports and targeted abdominal muscle training can seek advice in the field of aesthetic medicine. For example, injection lipolysis (fat-away injection) and fat freezing (cryolipolysis) are popular. It is also possible to have liposuction on the abdomen.
Liposuction, as well as the removal of excess skin through surgery, is one of the aesthetic surgical procedures.
Injecting away fat or freezing for a firm abdomen
“In fat-away injections, the active ingredient is inserted into the fat layer with fine needles and cracks the fat cells. These are then broken down by the body,” explains Seker. “The circumference of the treated area of the body decreases and the abdomen becomes firmer. The healing process also causes the skin to contract, which further supports the tightening effect.”
Cold can also be used to counteract fat deposits on the abdomen and flabby connective tissue. In cryolipolysis, local areas of the body are iced and the fat cells are treated with targeted exposure to cold – at around -9 degrees Celsius.
“Entirely without scalpel, injections or severe pain,” Seker says. “A special cloth placed between the skin and the applicator prevents frostbite to the tissue. Cryolipolysis treatment starts where conscious diet and exercise fail to produce the desired effect.”
Cosmetic surgery: abdominal surgery as a last resort.
In the case of very pronounced fat deposits in the abdominal area, liposuction may be an option. In this procedure, the fat cells under the skin are sucked out with a suction cannula. People who have retained an “abdominal apron”, i.e. an excess of skin on the abdomen, due to an enormous loss of weight, mainly opt for removal of excess skin.
During tummy tuck surgery, the excess skin is surgically removed, resulting in a tightening of the area. A distinction is made between the small tummy tuck, in which the skin below the navel is tightened, and the large tummy tuck, in which skin is removed from the area of the upper and lower abdomen.
“Which treatment promises the greatest success in an individual case depends on the appearance of the abdomen. It is often possible to combine different therapies to improve the effect. Interested parties should seek detailed advice here – both about the treatment methods and about their effectiveness and possible side effects,” says Seker.