You’ve had the bariatric weight-loss surgery and you are looking fabulous as you are feeling healthier, able to live a more active lifestyle, and wear more fashionable clothing. But you’re noticing that your skin seems to be so dry! If you’ve had a problem with acne or oily skin before, then you are elated that your skin has cleared up and is less oily. But for those who started out with normal to dry skin to begin with, this new extra-dry skin poses a bit of an issue, even perhaps, a discomfort from itching and flakiness.
Developing dry skin after the surgery can become a problem for many after they undergo the surgery. Not getting enough fluids in is probably the biggest culprit but not solely responsible. Acne and oily skin often come as a result of certain foods; and since a bariatric patient has basically cut out such foods that are fatty, fried, and greasy, the acne or oily skin goes away. This is happy news for someone who battled acne or oily skin for years. But for those who fall into the normal to dry skin category prior to surgery, the increased dryness can be irritating.
The skin is the largest organ of our bodies. It is a breathing and functional covering of our body that holds our skeleton, muscles, and vital organs all in one neat safe package. Our skin sweats, absorbs, feels sensations, and also protects everything inside. It is important that we take care of it so it can continue to function at its best for us.
Hand and body lotions are the easiest remedies that offer a wide range simple basics to vitamin-enriched formulas. It’s wise to experiment with little trial samples of these products to find out what soothes your skin issues the best. Buy the smallest amount possible at first so in the event your skin doesn’t’ like a product, not so much money was spent on something you won’t’ use again. And when you find that product that works best for you, remember where you purchased it so you can buy more – because you WILL buy more when you use your favorite hand or body lotion everyday. Hand lotion will be used several times a day, probably each time after you wash your hands; so carry some hand lotion with you in your hand bag (men… have some in the car). Washing hands really dries out the skin since soap and tap water is harsh. Your hands may be clean, but they tend to get so dry, you can barely pick up a single sheet of paper!
Along with daily applications of hand and body lotion, I highly recommend the use of bath salts at least twice a week as well. A good soaking bath in bath salts will give your dry skin the extra treatment it needs. Bath salts soften the bath tap water for the skin while the skin absorbs the softness from the salts… just like clothing absorbs fabric softener. If you do a lot of swimming in chlorinated pools, your skin will truly thank you after a good bath salts soaking. Bath salts provide a long-lasting effect and make the skin feel refreshed. Bath salts come in loose crystals or in solid forms that dissolve in warm water. I prefer the crystals because this allows you to control the amount you want to use per bath, be it a lot or a little. Plain Epsom salts are the barebones if that’s all you want, or you can buy the bath salts that are colored and perfumed to enhance your soaking pleasure and ambiance.
Don’t forget the lips! They are suffering too from dryness after surgery! Use a good moisture-rich product. For problem lips that need help instantly, try a medicated lip balm that has special healing medicines that will take immediate affect to stop the cracking and burning. Lip balm should be worn throughout all seasons as the cold, heat, wind, and sun are not kind to unprotected lips.
When you buy sunscreens for outdoor activities, select a product that offers not only efficient sun blockage for you, but also offers moisturizers.
If you’ve never babied or pampered your skin prior to surgery, then you need to begin doing it afterward. You’ll find that you’re experiencing more “touching” encounters than ever before because people want to hug you in congratulatory embraces as they tell you how happy they are for you. Make it a “softer” experience for everyone involved as you drench your skin with great skin products.
Skin care is something that needs to become a part of your daily routine as much as getting enough fluids in after surgery. If you do this, your skin will feel healthier, look more radiant, and you will probably knock a few years off of your appearance too! Continue to amaze others – not only in your weight-loss achievements, but in your general overall healthy appearance as well. Remember those hugs that are coming!
Dr. Athré offers patients his own professional line of skincare products to add to their at-home skincare routines: AFA Skin Care.
AFA’s unique skin treatment system is custom tailored for your skin. Just as with every other treatment at AFA, your skin will be assessed by a medical professional, recommendations for specific products and concentrations will be made, and your system will be custom-compounded.