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Skin during obesity

In general, woman can be considered obese when her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. Nowadays every woman knows that overweight and obesity have several risk factors not only for health but also for women look and appearance. Skin during obesity look different and skin problems during obesity could appear any time. The obesity usually occurs when a person consumes more calories than they need for the energy they use – body weight depends on a balance between the energy you get from food/drinks and the energy you spend.

Besides several risk factors for many diseases (heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, etc.), additional extra weight could cause skin problems during obesity and some skin diseases. Additional weight and increased fat result in extra folds of skin – not only unpleasant and uncomfortable but also difficult to clean properly. Fat skin folds create a warm, moist environment, skin deformation that is ideal for many types of bacteria, viruses and fungus. Skin during obesity needs special care.

During obesity very often women could have insulin resistance which could trigger insufficiency of the veins and causes certain skin problems. Increased levels of growth factors during obesity also have influence at skin physiology.

Generally speaking, the bigger a woman is (severe obesity), more skin problems during obesity could appear. Skin appearance is always changed during obesity which could be a reason for women stress, decreased self-confidence and reduced attractiveness.

Obesity in women has severe influence at several skin function including the skin’s barrier function, sebaceous glands and sebum production, sweat glands, small lymphatic channels under the skin, collagen structure and function, wound healing, microcirculation and macrocirculation, and subcutaneous fat metabolism.

Skin during obesity – skin functions

Skin during obesity

Skin during obesity

Skin barrier function during obesity is reduced because of increased water loss across the extended. Skin becomes significantly dry and skin repair after wounds is impaired.

Skin sebaceous glands and sebum production is changed during obesity – sebaceous channels are blocked and infected which trigger increased numbers of acne. At the same time, increased levels of some hormones in obese women (male hormones, insulin, growth hormone) are also known as risk factors for acne.

Skin sweat glands function is also damaged during obesity – larger skin and increased skin fat folds tend to sweat more profusely due to thick layers of subcutaneous fat.

Lymphatic channels under the skin play an important role in lymphatic flow which is usually slow down during obesity. Decreased lymphatic flow causes collection of protein-rich lymphatic fluid in the subcutaneous tissue – this is why obese women could suffer from lymphedema.

Skin blood vessels are very important for skin blood flow which is increased in obese women – this can be a reason for microangiopathy and hypertension.

Skin collagen structure is also changed during obesity and healing process after wounds can be damaged.

Subcutaneous fat in healthy women serves as energy storage but during obesity the subcutaneous fat is dramatically increased which could cause several skin problems.


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