Today we are going to talk about a problem area that can cause most people to be self-conscious. It can even dictate their wardrobe as they try to camouflage this issue.
If you are like most people, when the weather gets warmer, you prefer to wear short sleeves or go sleeveless. But if you have flabby upper arms that wiggle and jiggle with loose skin that hangs down, you are more than likely going to be uncomfortably hot this summer in your attempts to hide them.
Unfortunately, most attempts at exercise will not tone and tighten this area enough to correct these annoying upper arm issues. The good news is that advancements in surgical techniques and cosmetic procedures have provided patients with excellent options to eliminate and tone loose skin and flabby upper arm skin.
What Causes Loose Skin And Flabby Arms?
If, when you raise and lower your arms, it looks like you are about to take flight, you are not alone. The area between the elbow and the shoulder (upper arm) is one of those places that tends to accumulate excess fat and is prone to developing loose skin, and once this issue develops, it is basically immune to anything you can do by yourself to get rid of it.
An individual can develop loose arm skin and excess fat for a number of reasons, and at times there is nothing they can do to avoid it.
- The Natural Aging Process
- Our bodies create less collagen and elastin as we age, allowing the skin and connective tissue to lose elasticity and sag. We usually think of this happening on the face, but it can also occur on the upper body, especially on the backs of the arms, along the bra line, and under the armpits.
- Predisposition Due To Genetics
- Because of their genetic makeup, some individuals are more susceptible to having loose, sagging upper arm skin (thank you very much, parents! ), and they may even develop flabby arms and loose skin before other people their age.
- Hormonal Fluctuations
- Hormonal changes that take place, particularly as we age, can cause excess fat storage and also inhibit our ability to build upper arm muscles. Women tend to have more of an issue with upper arm fat and hanging skin than their male counterparts due to their higher estrogen levels.
- Sun Exposure
- Loose, hanging skin on the upper arms can be caused by too much unprotected time in the sun. According to the World Health Organization, chronic sun exposure can weaken the skin’s elasticity and change its texture.
Skin that has been damaged by the sun wrinkles, sags, bags, and is easily bruised. Up to 90 percent of the visible changes that occur on the skin and the face can be attributed to sun exposure.
- Significant Weight Gain/Loss
- Excess skin on the arms is a common side effect of rapid weight loss, such as that achieved by bariatric surgery. The skin stretched out to suit the larger frame that was created as a result of the weight gain, and unfortunately, it is unable to contract enough to snugly fit the smaller size of the arms.
Most weight loss patients look forward to the day when they can finally fit into smaller clothes, but after losing weight they find they have loose, hanging skin that causes them to feel just as self-conscious and uncomfortable as their excess weight did.
Despite the origin of the loose arm skin, it cannot be corrected through exercise because it is not the muscle that is the issue but the skin. While exercise can help strengthen muscles and even make them larger to fill out the skin a bit more, it has little effect on the skin.
Is There An Arm Surgery For Loose Skin?
These problem areas can be eliminated through a surgical process that is growing in popularity called an arm lift or brachioplasty that utilizes liposuction to reduce excess fat, if needed, and then excises the loose skin on the upper arms. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the percentage of arm lift surgeries has risen by over 5000% over the past two decades.
An upper arm lift is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia, and a cosmetic surgeon eliminates the excess skin from the bottom of the upper arm area. Usually, this requires a long incision that runs from the armpit area to the elbow. The unwanted loose skin and fat are removed, and the rest is stitched tightly together, forming a more contoured, thinner upper arm area. These results will be permanent, provided the patient maintains a healthy weight.
What Are Non-Surgical Ways To Get Rid Of Loose Skin From The Upper Arm?
If you want to know how to get rid of loose arm skin without surgery, you will want to read this! There are numerous alternatives to surgery that don’t require incisions, stitches, or lengthy recovery periods. These methods can be used to reduce stubborn fat in the upper arms and visibly reduce skin laxity, leaving behind skin that is tighter, smoother, and more toned.
The type of treatment needed will depend on the severity of the condition. If the issue is mild to moderate, it may be possible to get rid of loose arm skin without surgery through a non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedure such as:
Radiofrequency energy is used to tighten loose skin and eliminate stubborn fat deposits during the minimally invasive BodyTite® procedure. It can improve the appearance of body contours in a number of problem areas, including the upper arms. When used alone, liposuction can get rid of stubborn fat in the arms, but it may cause the appearance of loose skin to worsen.
BodyTite® not only emulsifies arm fat, making the upper arms smaller and more defined, but it also tightens, tones, and rejuvenates the skin. Another benefit of BodyTite® is that it is performed using local anesthesia, which eliminates the risks of experiencing side effects that are associated with general anesthesia.
Morpheus8 is an excellent non-surgical treatment that can be used to address numerous cosmetic issues all over the body, including the upper arms. The combination of radiofrequency heat and microneedling used during Morpheus 8 treatments eliminates pockets of unwanted fat and tightens the skin on the upper arms, leaving them more defined and toned. The tiny needles penetrate the skin and create micro-injuries under the surface that the body will be prompted to repair by forming new collagen and elastin, resulting in firmer, smoother skin.
The family of Evolve treatments works together without the use of surgery to firm up the skin’s surface and tone the underlying muscles. Three non-surgical cosmetic treatments form this powerful trio and are safe for all types of skin. They are painless and fast, and there is no downtime associated with any of them. Many people use their lunch hour to have their treatments.
Evolve can eliminate unwanted fat from the upper arms, tighten lax, sagging skin, and tone the muscle, leaving arms looking slimmer, toned, and naturally contoured.
Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) and deep heat are combined in the non-surgical Physiq treatments to firm and define the upper arm area. Excess fat, loose skin, and muscles are targeted at the same time, eliminating resistant fat cells, tightening up the skin, and creating more muscle definition. This leaves the upper arm area sleeker, slimmer, and more toned.
How Can You Avoid Loose Arm Skin Surgery?
Patients who have just begun to notice that their upper arms are beginning to look a bit lax or flabby may be able to correct the issue with some resistance exercises. For the best results, triceps strengthening and toning can be combined with a non-invasive skin tightening therapy.
The famous idiom “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” that Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying in the 1700s still holds true today. The best defense against developing severely loose skin in the upper arm area is to do all you can to keep that area healthy and toned.
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet;
- Get daily physical activity (exercise);
- Stay properly hydrated;
- Get enough sleep.
If you are eager to wear that cute sleeveless cocktail dress or be comfortably dressed in the heat of summer, contact SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics. We can help you achieve the look you desire and discuss the options of both arm lift surgery and how to get rid of loose arm skin without surgery.
A personal consultation with one of our experts can help determine which cosmetic technique would work best to achieve the results you desire.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon at Surgicare Arts & Aesthetics, offers both Brachioplasty surgery and non-surgical treatments to eliminate loose arm skin and deliver smoother, more defined, and more toned-looking upper arms. Make your appointment today and get the arms of your dreams!