How to tell the difference between fat and loose skin?

Excess skin or loose skin can be a concern for many people who lose a significant amount of weight. When the skin on the abdomen, arms, and shoulders is loose and flabby, it appears like fat. Excess subcutaneous fat is called fat. It might be difficult to tell the difference between fat and excess skin. When a person loses weight rapidly, they are left with sagging and unsightly skin that makes them appear to have fat in the incorrect places on their body. So, how to tell the difference between fat and loose skin? 

Actually, it can be ascertained by a pinch test. When you pinch from the belly area & you can pull the skin away, then it is loose skin; however, if you can't pull the skin away, it is fat. There are other ways to ascertain it. Let's get to know more about the ways in detail!

How to tell the difference between fat and loose skin? 

Here are the various ways through which you can ascertain whether you have excess fat or loose skin in various parts of your body:

1) Pinch Test- Pinch yourself. Pinch the region of your concern to see if it helps. The skin between your fingers indicates you have weight to lose if you have more than a few millimeters of skin on your fingers. There's nothing wrong with having loose skin. It indicates that unless you get rid of the fat beneath your skin, you may not be able to get the desired results with your skin.

2) Push the Area- Another method to know whether you have loose skin or fat. Just push on the area; if the skin bounces back, then this is definitely fat & if it doesn't bounce & just hangs, then it is loose skin. 

3) Contact an expert – You may have fat underneath your loose skin, which is called Visceral Fat. So contact an expert or doctor. He/she will definitely tell you whether you have loose skin or fat. Then you will need to work on your body to clear that fat. 

You can know better about fat or loose skin when you know about the similarities & differences among them. Let's have a look:

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How can you tell the difference between fat and skin?

There are various differences between fat & excess skin. Here is the detailed information about fat & loose skin:

You have loose skin if:

  • The amount of skin you pinch is little.
  • For women and men with body fat percentages around 9 to 10 percent and 17 to 18 percent, respectively, you notice that the region of concern looks excessively sagging and wrinkled.
  • Surgeons and muscle-building exercises can be used to treat extra skin, as well as a combination of both.

But if any of these conditions apply, you may be dealing with an especially tough coating of fat:

A greater body fat percentage is indicated if:

  • You can pinch more than a few millimeters of skin
  • You observe that the problem regions are droopy but not wrinkled
  • Or you have a higher fat percentage than mentioned above

In order to get rid of that final layer of fat, limiting calories and exercising and weight training are the greatest ways to do so.

What are the Similarities Between Loose Skin and Fat?

Apart from differences, there are similarities among fat & loose skin too. Let's have a look at these similarities:

  • Free skin and excess fat look the same.
  • There is a striking similarity between loose skin around the abdomen, arms, shoulders, or thighs and images that reveal obesity.
  • Both fat and loose skin should be avoided at all costs.

Why is my stomach skin so thick? 

If you are experiencing a lot of thick skin around your stomach, then you probably have a lot of fat. Apart from this, if the problem areas of your skin are drooping but not wrinkled, or your fat percentage is more than 17-18%, or you can squeeze more than a few millimeters of skin, then you have fat around your stomach, & that's why it is thick. 

You have to do a lot of exercises or get treatment to remove that thick skin around your stomach. 

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Why do you have loose skin even after weight loss?

Many individuals who lose a large amount of weight are content with their physical appearance yet dissatisfied with their physical appearance. They are particularly displeased with the drooping skin that often hangs about their lower backs, over their belts, and under their arms.

It seems that losing weight often results in loose skin that is impossible to remove without unpleasant and costly surgery.

This all happens because the skin has the highest stretch point; stretching the skin more than that point results in loose skin. So the loose skin is the result of the excess weight you had gained. 

How to tighten loose skin? 

If you come to know that you have loose skin & not the underlying fat, then you should work on it to remove it. Here are the various ways to tighten loose skin:

Firming creams

Retinoids, which are common in many firming creams, are an excellent option. Skin cell proliferation, maturation, and turnover are all increased as a result of their use. You can try REN Clean Skincare – Bio Retinoid Youth Cream or Emepelle Night Cream.


While there's no magic medication to cure slack skin, some vitamins may be useful. Try using Ultra High Purity Hyaluronic Acid Capsules or Now Foods Supplements, Hyaluronic Acid.


Weight training activities may help reduce the look of loose skin, particularly if the loose skin is a result of weight reduction.

The skin may lose part of its capacity to shrink with weight reduction if it has been drenched in excess fat for a lengthy period of time. The look of loose skin may be reduced by replacing the lost fat with muscle mass.

Massage the area

Increased blood flow and an anti-aging response may be elicited by massaging slack skin.

Using an anti-aging skin lotion and skin massage, Trusted Source evaluated the results.

When massaged with an oscillating massage tool by hand, the cream's beneficial effects were increased.

Cosmetic treatments

Loose skin may benefit from noninvasive therapies.

Bottom Line

This was all about fat & loose skin. We hope you find the answer to your query; how to tell the difference between fat and loose skin? Please let us know your thoughts & suggestions in the comments below. 

Thank you for reading!

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