How Can I Tighten Loose Arm Skin?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
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Many people are distressed by their loose arm skin and desire to do something about it. Possible ways of minimizing the appearance of loose skin include upper arm exercises, skin care regimens, and, in some cases, surgery. If the loose skin is caused by a dramatic weight loss, some people find that giving their body some time to adjust after they reach their goal weight can sometimes result in an improvement in the appearance of their underarm skin. In cases where extra arm skin is accentuated by significant body fat, losing more weight can also be helpful.

Loose arm skin is typically the result of stretched, damaged skin lacking the elasticity to return to its previous shape after an individual undergoes significant weight or muscle loss. In many cases, loose skin on the arms is primarily an aesthetic problem, though some people find that the folds of loose skin can become irritated and even infected. Both the appearance of the loose skin plus the risk of irritation often motivate people to find ways to tighten their upper arm area. In some cases, the appearance of extra arm skin may be aggravated by the fact that there are still significant fat deposits on the arms. Individuals who are in the process of losing weight may find that, as they continue toward their weight-loss goals, their loose arm skin may lessen and they may become more satisfied with their appearance.


Once skin is significantly stretched, it is damaged beyond the point of being able to tighten up as a person loses weight or bulk in his or her arms. As such, there are few options for individuals who want to tighten loose arm skin without surgery. Some physicians advise people who have undergone dramatic weight loss to give their body a year or two to adjust before making decisions about surgical procedures. In the meantime, these individuals may be advised to do upper arm exercises that can tone their arms and create muscle mass that may reduce the appearance of jiggly, loose skin. Other options are to use an exfoliant and moisturizer on the upper arms that may improve the condition of the skin and help to eliminate or minimize skin wrinkling.

Brachioplasty is a surgical procedure, typically performed by plastic surgeons, that can remove loose skin from the arms. Individuals should be aware that health insurance companies typically do not cover this type of surgery. In addition, the recovery time from brachioplasty can take several weeks, and there is always the risk of complications. Many people, however, may find that this is the most effective way of tightening loose arm skin when other methods have failed to give desired results.


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Post 2

My co-worker had brachioplasty last year, and she is very happy with the results. She said that she experienced some pain, but not too much. She had to take about ten days off work to recover. As far as risks, they are the same as with any type of surgery, but are minimized when patients follow their doctors' instructions.

Post 1

Does anyone know somebody who has had an arm skin lift, or brachioplasty? My mother lost weight last year, and has tried everything to tighten the skin on her upper arms. Since exercise has done little to help, she is considering this type of cosmetic surgery. However, I'm concerned about any pain she may have or risks she may be facing.

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