What is the Best Non-surgical Treatment for Sagging Underarms?

Doctor Answers (13)

Nonsurgical Vs. Surgical Options for Sagging Arms


                  It’s not unusual for patients who suffer from loose upper arm skin, to fear the scarring that may be associated with brachioplasty. For this reason they often seek non-surgical alternatives to this procedure. A variety of options have been utilized including coolsculpting, laser treatments and exercises in an attempt to tighten loose skin. Unfortunately, none of these alternatives adequately address excess upper arm skin.

                  When sag is mild, liposuction and coolsculpting may have benefit, but in more severe cases they have no impact on loose skin. For this reason, brachioplasty is the only viable alternative for treating severe upper arm skin. If you’re concerned about this problem, consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with this procedure is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to help formulate a treatment plan to address your concerns. 

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Non surgical options for shaping arms.

Nonsurgical options for toning the arms come in two flavors. Volume reduction options as well as skin typing options. Like in other areas of the body, these options are limited in their ability to provide your desired results. It is really for a smaller subset of patients.
For example, Coolsculpting can be used to reduce the volume in your arms. This is a good solution for someone who needs a gentle amount of volume reduction, but has a good overlying amount of elastic skin. Other options such as lasers and Ultherapy can be used to tone the skin itself and tightness. However they are not a substitute for skin reduction surgeries such a short scar arm lifts or general arm lifts.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Treatment for saggy upper arms


The best non-surgical treatment for the upper arms is exercise. Weight lifting can help tone your muscles, and some people believe that intense cardio exercises can tighten loose skin.

But if you have a lot of loose skin on your upper arms, then you may need an arm lift in order to see a significant improvement. I would be very cautious of any non-invasive gimmicks that promise to tighten your skin.

I suggest you visit with at least one board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring to discuss your situation in more detail. I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

James Knoetgen, III, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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Treatment Option


I commend you for seeking options other than having surgery, but if it’s sagging skin, then unfortunately your best option is to have a brachioplasty (arm lift). If it is just excess fat you can try to seek the help of a trainer to increase your fitness routine to tighten and sculpt the area. But if is excess skin that is concerning you, then I highly suggest you seeing a board certified plastic surgeon to possibly combine liposuction and an incision on the inside of your arm to remove the fat and tighten that saggy skin.

I have included a link below that may be of interest to you. Best of luck.

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Non surgical treatment for sagging underarms


The best non surgical treatment is to tone and build the muscles around yur arm. I recommend free weights to strengthen the 3 heads of your deltoid muscle, your biceps, and your triceps muscle.

Laurie Casas, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Treatments for sagging arms


There are basically three treatments for loose skin of the arms.  From least invasive to most invasive, they are:

1.  Working out:  Obviously, this is a non-surgical approach and is valuable for toning up the arms and filling out arms with only minimal loose skin.

2.  Liposuction:  Traditionally, liposuction of the arms was reserved for patients who had more rounded arms with more fat and little loose skin.  With the advent of SmartLipo and SlimLipo, patients with more looseness of their arm skin are now candidates for this approach.  Still, it is fairly limited as to how much it can tighten up the skin and is best used for patients with minimal laxity of the skin.

3. Arm lift surgery:  The trade-off here is that you wind up with a scar that runs from your armpit to your elbow, but it is the only way to eliminate larger amounts of hanging skin from the arms.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Arm lifting surgery and scars


Unfortunately, there are no good nonsurgical treatments for “sagging arms”. Nevertheless, many gimmicks will come and go; the consumer must be wary.

Direct excision of the “sagging” skin and adipose tissue is the only definitive way to improve the appearance of the upper arms. Scarring tends to be a major drawback with this operation (brachiaplasty) and should be considered heavily in the decision-making process by patients.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 792 reviews

Non surgical tightening of upper arm skin


There is only one way to tighten loose skin of the upper arms - surgically remove it.  Occasionally if there is very minimal excess, liposuction can trim the upper arms.  Or if the triceps muscles are very developed, the slight excess skin can be filled out somewhat.  No laser or cream can  improve this area enough to be noticeable or worth the cost

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews



Unfortunately once the skin is stretched and becomes lax, in adults, I know of no 'non-surgical' technique that can tighten the skin. Only option is removing the excess skin which can only be done by surgery.

Anindya Lahiri, MBBS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Not many nonsurgical options


There are those who claim that various "lasers" will tighten skin in this area. Beware. Although most of these are safe,few if any are effective. I wouldn't waste your money but if surgery is not an option and you would not be upset if it didn't work, you can certainly consider trying. Surgery is the most direct solution and has the most rewarding and predictable outcome. The biggest negative is the scar. My patients feel the scar is well worth the results.

Albert Dabbah, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.