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What bariatric surgery can do to your skin and hair – if you are not careful.

After bariatric surgery you will lose some and win some, and some of it will be great and others not that much. Here are some examples of what you will/may lose, depending on how you take care of yourself after the surgery. There is only that much magic the surgeon can do for you, the rest if up to you.

You will lose:


Diabetes  (yay!) this will help your skin because there will be less protein glycosylation, and that is good for the proteins (skin included) and for you.

Muscle mass (you will need to exercise a lot, and eat protein, ask your doctor)

Capacity to absorb vitamins (you will need to take a special multivitamin complex plus vitamin B12 injections, for life)

Capacity to digest lactose (you will need to take lactase supplements with your meal, or forget about milk, cheese, etc.)

Calcium (and bone mass, so make sure you take the right calcium supplement)

More good news: you should gain telomere length, or at least lose less, as a restricted diet will help with sirtuins. Sirtuins are NAD+-dependent deacylases, which respond to nutritional and environmental perturbations, such as fasting, DNA damage, dietary restriction and oxidative stress.

Hair and skin health. This is a tough one. Your skin will not be getting enough nutrition, and it will lose thickness, protein, fat and elasticity. It will gain wrinkles. Your scalp will lose hair.Why? As you lose weight, the priorities in your body will shift and the maintenance of key organs, like heart, lungs and kidneys will become a priority. It will be your responsibility to guard your skin and hair.

Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that plastic surgery can fix your problems, because it can’t. Cutting skin away may provide apparent tightness (not always welcome) but will not restore elasticity or health to your skin. You will need to work hard every day and night and provide nutrition, topically, to your skin and scalp.

Read more about this subject in my blog post.