Obesity imperils your health in several ways (increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and specific cancer), but did you know that it can have a significant impact on the health and outlook of your skin?
While overweight people may have fewer wrinkles and lines than their healthier counterparts, all that weight leads to other skin problems. On top of that, the fatty adipose tissue in their bodies is what pushes the wrinkles out as the skin gets stretched over fat. That means when you lose weight, your face can suddenly be full of wrinkles as the fat that was plumping the skin disappears.
Obesity & skin disorders
One of the most apparent skin problems in obese individuals is stretch marks. Obesity also increases water loss across the surface of the skin, leading to dry skin. Blood circulation in the skin may also increase due to obesity-related hypertension. Dull patches that dim fixes in skin folds are also identified in obese people.
The following are some other skin issues associated with being overweight:
Skin darkening: Obesity causes manipulation of hormones, which can result in ‘acanthosis nigricans’. This is a condition which causes darkened areas of the body folds. These folds not only cause skin darkening, but also are likely to cause skin breakdown in obese people.
Skin tags: Skin can grow and start sticking out and may connect to a narrow stock. Skin tags are most common in obese individuals because extra weight leads to friction between affected areas (skin starts to rub against skin). Tags, also known as cutaneous papilloma, generally appear in skin folds and creases and are more common on the obese.
Skin breakdown: The increased perspiration in obesity also causes skin problems. If the overlapping fat rolls start holding moisture, the moisture may encourage the growth of fungi and bacteria. Skin damage associated with a moist environment is called intertrigo. This causes a variety of skin infections and breakdown of skin tissue.
Varicose veins: Obese people may suffer from the skin condition of enlarged varicose veins. This is when the veins rise above the surface of the skin; these are more common in the back of the calves and inside of the legs. The blood pooling inside the veins cause them to become enlarged. Varicose veins are visually unappealing, and may cause vascular health problems.
Treating obesity related skin conditions
The first step to helping your skin be at its healthiest is to shed excess pounds through diet and exercise. Nutrition will play a major role as you can increase the intake of foods that are known to have a positive effect on skin outlook and health. For example, walnuts, flaxseed, and salmon – these foods contain Omega 3 fatty acids – the fats that keep your skin supple and moisturized, making it less susceptible to breakdown.
Another option is natural treatment alternatives. Skin tag removal products and topical homeopathic skin condition treatment solutions can help treat conditions such as skin tags without any scarring or pain. Such solutions are directly absorbed into the affected areas of the skin and work gently to treat the condition.
Obese people should also avoid wearing tight clothes for prolonged periods, as they can make skin conditions like varicose veins worse.