Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource

 Browse alphabetically
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Childhood Vaccinations
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Healthy Skin
High Blood Pressure
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features

Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Healthy Skin > Overview > 5 ways obesity can affect your skin
Healthy Skin
The path to healthy skin
Sun safety
Healthy teenage skin
Younger-looking skin
5 ways obesity can affect your skin
7 steps to help you deal with foot odour
Antiperspirant, deodorant, or both?
Caution at the cosmetics counter
Dealing with a diaper rash
Hey, Sleepy-Eyes: what to do about puffy eyes and dark circles
No sweat: all about body odour
View All
Healthy Skin resources
Health features
Health tools
Support groups
Related medications
Related conditions
Natural products
Discussion forums

5 ways obesity can affect your skin

Being overweight imperils your health in many ways. Besides the elevated risks for heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, excess weight can also affect the health and appearance of your skin.

Any of the following skin problems can be relieved or improved by losing excess weight:

  • A body that carries too much weight undergoes shifts in hormone levels. When this happens, darkened, velvety patches called acanthosis nigricans can form, especially in areas where skin folds and overlaps like the knees, elbows, groin, armpits, and neck. Patches may appear grey, brown, or black. Weight loss can improve the appearance of acanthosis nigricans. Treatment with over-the-counter (OTC) lotions and creams may help. Look for products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and urea.

  • Folds and creases in the skin may also trap moisture, which can allow spots on your body to become breeding grounds for bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Rashes like intertrigo or jock itch can result, with redness and breaks in the skin that can ooze, become itchy, or make a person more prone to yeast infection. Areas of intertrigo should be kept dry and aired out by using absorbent powders and wearing cotton or fabric that is absorbent. Treat and cleanse these areas very gently to avoid further inflammation. Antifungal creams should be applied with hydrocortisone cream to reduce redness and irritation.

  • When weight is rapidly gained or lost, stretch marks may arise on the skin's surface. Stretch marks start out pink then gradually become red, then purple. Over time they can become lighter and almost disappear. Itchiness may accompany new stretch marks, as well as a wrinkled or crepe-papery surface. Skin can be treated with tretinoin cream, or through resurfacing procedures like laser treatment or chemical peels.

  • The strain of bearing excess weight may impact the veins in your legs and result in varicose veins and rupture of surface capillaries. Varicose veins, once visible, can be hard to remedy and can cause pain and swelling in the legs. Compression stockings provide support and prevent blood from pooling in the veins of the leg. Losing weight, staying active, and avoiding long periods of sitting can keep veins from worsening.

  • The strain of weight can extend down into your feet, pressing skin against the insides of shoes and rubbing painful corns onto the toes. To prevent corns, reduce weight and wear well-fitted shoes. Talk to your doctor about the safest way to treat corns, which may include soaking the feet and rubbing corns using a pumice stone or applying an OTC salicylic acid or urea cream to the corns.


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2015 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.