Difference Between Elastic and Inelastic Skin

If you are in the process of researching plastic surgery procedures, you may have come across the terms “elastic skin” and “inelastic skin” and wondered what exactly they meant. The fact of the matter is, some people actually do have more elastic skin than others. And skin elasticity should be considered before deciding to undergo plastic surgery as it can have an effect on your surgical results.

Below we go over the ins and outs of elastic and inelastic skin, the pros and cons, and more:

What is Skin Elasticity?
Skin elasticity refers to your skin’s ability to stretch and still remain firm and shapely. As you age, your skin becomes less able to retain a solid, firm shape. During the consultation period, doctors will evaluate a patient’s skin elasticity to determine if they are a good candidate for the type of procedure they would like to have done.

What Determines your Skin Elasticity?
Skin elasticity is determined by a number of factors. It is widely known that the skin’s power to bounce back and form a tight shape decreases with age. Other factors that can determine how elastic or inelastic your skin is are genetics, your unique body type, and whether or not you have experienced large amounts of weight gain and weight loss in the past. When a person gains and then loses a large amount of weight, their skin sometimes loses the ability to retract to a smaller shape.

What are the Pros and Cons of Elastic Skin?
Pros: Skin that is very elastic is more “stretchable” than inelastic skin. For this reason, elastic skin can accommodate much more fat. If you are considering a fat grafting procedure like the Brazilian butt lift (BBL), having elastic skin will allow you to move more fat into the desired area. This transferred fat is much more likely to survive after the transfer, and not be squeezed out due to the skin’s inability to withhold it. Having elastic skin is great for patient’s looking for a BBL with lots of projection.

Cons: Although elastic skin can hold much more fat than inelastic skin, it has less ability to hold a firm shape. Therefore, even if you are able to insert more fat into a person’s body who has elastic skin, it will likely not keep a steady shape, which may result in skin inconsistencies. Your surgeon can meet with you beforehand and evaluate your unique skin type to determine the best surgical plan for you.

What are the Pros and Cons of Inelastic Skin?
Pros: Inelastic skin is typically firmer and tauter that elastic skin. Those with inelastic skin can enjoy the benefit of their bodies holding a nice, firm shape. This means that after undergoing a Brazilian butt lift, patients with inelastic skin usually have a well-defined contour and smooth skin.

Cons: Although inelastic skin can hold a shape better and produce more even, defined contours, inelastic skin usually cannot hold as much fat as elastic skin. Patients with very inelastic skin who choose to undergo a BBL can usually expect for a good amount of the inserted fat to die after the procedure. If you are not looking to go very big with your BBL and simply want a more defined and “snatched” shape, then having inelastic skin may work in your favor. Again, your surgeon can meet with you beforehand and evaluate your unique skin type to determine the best surgical plan for you.

In Conclusion
In conclusion, patients looking into plastic surgery should consider whether they have elastic or inelastic skin, and how that might affect their surgical results. Whether your skin is elastic or inelastic usually has to do with your age, your genetics and your history with weight gain and weight loss. Elastic skin can typically hold more transferred fat after a fat grafting procedure but does not keep its shape as well. Inelastic skin does not hold as much transferred fat, but keeps its shape very well, creating a smoother more even contour. You can meet with your surgeon to learn more about your unique skin type and to determine the best plan for you. Remember. No matter your circumstances, your surgeons will work with you to create the beautiful transformation you are dreaming about!