how to get rid of bat wings

How To Get Rid of Bat Wings?

No one wants to see bat wings, and when they show up on your arms it can be scary! Bat wings can be conquered and eliminated. An upper arm lift or skin tightening treatment might be just what you need. Thinner, sleeker, more toned arms can be your happy ending.

What Are Bat Wings?

“Bat wings” is a nickname that has been used to describe loose skin and fat that accumulates on the upper arm. The area between the shoulder and the elbow is one of the places that excess fat likes to accumulate and also one of the hardest places to tighten or tone through exercise and dieting.

If you have bat wings you are probably asking yourself; What causes bat wings? How do I get rid of batwings? How long will it take to get rid of batwings? We are going to answer all of these questions and more so keep reading!

What Causes Bat Wings?

When individuals gain weight, the excess fat can collect in different locations of the body. Each person is unique and therefore can experience excess fat accumulation in different areas. One of these areas is the upper arms; particularly the portion that runs from the shoulder to the elbow.

Weight gain in the arms can creep up on us during the colder sweater season. We may not even notice the issue until we hit a warm day, reach for our sleeveless shirt, and eek… our upper arms are cringeworthy!

Bat Wings Due to Significant Weight Loss

Losing a significant amount of weight in a rapid manner, like after undergoing weight loss surgery, is a very common cause of bat wings. The skin has stretched to accommodate the larger frame as the weight was gained, and unfortunately, it is not able to retract to fit the new smaller arm size.

The whole time patients are pushing through diet and exercise requirements, many weight loss patients envision the day they can wear smaller clothes and show off their new thinner bodies. After they lose the weight, they become disappointed to realize that they have loose saggy skin that is going to inhibit them just as much as the excess weight did.

Many patients end up with bat wings after losing weight and they will feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in short or sleeveless styles.

The Natural Process of Aging Can Cause Bat Wings

The natural process of aging causes changes to our skin quality and it loses elasticity. It becomes thinner and gravity (our worst enemy) encourages it to become saggy. As we age, we also tend to accumulate excess fat easier and it is harder to get rid of.

This is the perfect storm for the development of bat wings. One day you are doing some normal household chores and you notice the flapping… right there… under your arm… bat wings, yikes!

Do Bat Wings Affect Men?

Sorry ladies, it is not fair but bat wings tend to affect women more than men. This is primarily due to the fact that higher estrogen levels in women cause them to store more fat than their male counterparts. So statistically speaking, bat wings are more prevalent in women but men can develop excess fat on their arms and can also be victims of bat wings.

What Can Be Done to Get Rid of Bat Wings?

Depending on the severity of loose skin and excess fat a patient has, they may be candidates for arm lift surgery (brachioplasty), a non-surgical skin-tightening procedure, liposuction, or good old fashion resistance-type exercises to alleviate their batwing problem.

Batwings Surgery

Arm Lift

An arm lift or brachioplasty is a surgery performed under general anesthesia where a cosmetic surgeon removes excess skin using a scalpel from the underside of the upper arm. The surgeon makes an incision running from the elbow to the armpit, removes the excess skin, tightens the remainder, and stitches it closed resulting in a skinnier more contoured upper arm.


Different forms of liposuction can be used to eliminate stubborn fat deposits. Traditional liposuction is one solution but there are new radiofrequency assisted liposuction procedures that can be utilized if the patient’s issues are primarily due to excess fat.

Sometimes, the surgeon will combine liposuction with a surgical arm lift for best results. Good-bye bat wings!

Non-Surgical Bat Wing Removal

There are a host of non-surgical procedures that can be done without sutures and extended recovery times. These procedures can remove excess fat from the upper arm tightening the skin and leaving smoother, firmer, toned, upper arms with natural-looking contours.

BodyTite & Morpheus8

BodyTite and Morpheus8 are both options that can be used in the upper arm area to combat bat wings If the patient’s skin elasticity is still moderately good. Both Bodytite and Morpheus8 promote the production of new collagen and elastin so while some of the results of each procedure can be noticed right away, they will continue to improve for months as new collagen and elastin are formed.

  • BodyTite offers a two-fold benefit: liquefying and getting rid of excess fat while tightening the skin at the same time.
  • Morpheus8 reduces fat by using a combination of radiofrequency heat and microneedling which also creates contours and tightens the skin on the upper arms.

Evolve for Non-Surgical Arm Lift

Treatments using Evolve Tite, Evolve Trim, or Evolve Tone can help tighten and contour the upper arm area by reducing excess fat, correct sagging skin, and toning muscles. These three non-surgical Evolve treatments can be used together or separately and are safe for all skin types. They are quick, painless, and have no associated downtime.


PHYSIQ is a non-invasive non-surgical procedure that utilizes a combination of deep heat and electric muscle stimulation (EMS) to re-contour and tighten the upper arm area. It targets excess fat and muscle simultaneously on the upper arms which normally tends to be extra resistant to diet and exercise leaving tighter skin, better muscle definition, and less fat.

Physical Exercise to Reduce Bat Wings

For patients who have just started to form bat wings, you may be able to head them off with some good old fashion resistance training! Developing the triceps and toning up may offer enough of a solution or can be combined with non-surgical skin tightening treatment for amazing results.

As always, consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine as individuals with certain conditions or previous injuries may not be able to perform certain exercises. Some exercises that are helpful in toning the upper arms are:

  • Tricep Extensions Overhead – begin with a dumbbell over your head with your elbows close in, push your arms straight up, and then back down again bending your elbows.
  • Rows (Bent Over) – while bent at the waist with your shoulder blades pulled close together and your back flat, hold a dumbbell vertically in each hand with your palms facing each other and arms extended to the floor. Keeping your abs tight and your back flat, raise the dumbbells to your ribs drawing your arms in.
  • Bench Tricep Dip – sitting on a bench or sturdy low table or chair, place your hands flat on the surface of the chair or table with the palms facing toward you, extend your legs out in front of you with your feet flat on the floor, then pull your buttocks off the bench and bend your elbows to lower yourself down and then to push back up keeping your body taut and as close to the bench as you can.
  • Push-ups – the old stand-by push-ups are classics but they are great for working the triceps.
  • Push-ups (Wall) – these are great for eliminating bat wings! Standing at arm’s length from the wall with your feet slightly apart and the weight on the balls of your feet, legs straight, put your palms on the wall at about shoulder height and width and rotate your shoulders slightly outward, keep your core tight, squeeze your glutes and quads then bend your elbows to lower your chest to the wall, pause a beat and then push yourself back outward straightening your arms.
  • Scissor Arms – stretch your arms out to your sides and then bring them back in front of you while overlapping them like scissors. Each time you open and close them alternate which arm is on the top.
  • Arm Circles – another oldie but goodie and amazing for getting flabby arms in shape. You can do this with or without holding extra weights. Standing feet shoulder-width apart, extend arms straight out from your body shoulder height, and perform small circles both forward and backward.
  • Opposite Leg & Arm Lifts – the starting position for this exercise is down on your hands and knees. Place your palms directly below your shoulders on the floor. Raise your left arm forward and your left leg backward at the same time while holding your core tight and your back straight. Hold for 5 beats and return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

If you would like to proudly bear your upper arms when hotter weather makes us break out the tank tops here in the south, contact SurgiCare Arts to set up a consultation. There are many different options to eliminate bat wings and the first step in determining which solution would be best for you would be through a consultation with one of our experts.

Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple-board certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer bat wing reduction treatments (surgical and non-surgical) for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.

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