Upper arms look like a 70 year old. What can I do? (Photo)

Hoping some one can advise the best option for smoothing out my upper arms. I am a 55 year old slim woman, I weigh 52 kilos, I have never been overweight but my upper arms look horrendous, this is a heridatary thing as my sisters also have the same problem. I am not sure what is the best option, surgery, cool sculpting, lipo. All suggestions will be thankfully received, please help. Thank you Gerri

Doctor Answers 14

Arm lift, arm reduction, brachioplasty, arm liposuction

Hi Gerri, thank you for your inquiry and pictures of your arms. Based on your history on photos, you have excess upper arm skin and fat. I do not think cool sculpting would do anything. If cool sculpting did do anything, it may, unfortunately, only make your arm skin look worse. If you were to do just arm liposuction, this would remove only arm fat. It would not remove arm skin. Therefore, it would probably make your arms look worse, not better.

Based on your history and arm pictures, I would suggest an arm lift or brachioplasty. The incision would extend from the armpit to the elbow. The procedure takes approximately two to three hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Your recovery time would be approximately one to two weeks.

I hope this answers your question regarding an arm lift or brachioplasty. Good luck.
If you have any questions regarding a brachioplasty, please not hesitate to contact my office. Sincerely,
Dr. Katzen

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 206 reviews


Looking at your pictures, I would suggest a full brachioplasty/arm lift. This would remove arm skin and tighten up the arm. I recommend to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to what would be the best option for you. 

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Thermage to tighten lax upper arm skin

It appears to me that you have skin laxity and some muscle atrophy of your upper inner arms. My recommendations would be to undergo Thermage treatment of your arms. This should help increase the skin tone. Tricep and bicep exercises would help give more definition to the arms. Estrogen loss associated with aging can result in both loss of collagen and muscle atrophy of they extremities. 

Christine Hamori, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Arm lift candidate

Thank you for your question and for sharing your concerns and photos with us. I would recommend Herman left to help with the concerns that you have shared with us. It will reduce the amount of arm laxity in the upper aspects of your arms.  The trade off but you have to decide is the degree of incisions (scars) and the degree of laxity reduction.  I would visit with a qualified plastic surgeon in your area to help you discuss your options in more detail.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Arm Lift

Thank for your question and photos. Brachioplasty, also known as Arm Lift reshapes the upper arm to tighten loose skin and remove fat in order to contour the arms. Removing the excess skin caused by weight loss, natural aging or in your case heridatary can tighten loose skin that extends from the underarm area to the elbow; liposuction is sometimes used in combination to achieve the best results. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Carlos Recio, MD
Cali Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

What can I do?

Hello dear, thanks for your post and provided pictutres as well. an arm lift would give you the best resuts.

Arm lift is a surgical procedure that:

  • Reduces excess sagging skin that droops downward
  • Tightens and smoothes the underlying supportive tissue that defines the shape of the upper arm
  • Reduces localized pockets of fat in the upper arm region
Fluctuations in weight, growing older, and heredity can cause your upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance. This is a condition that cannot be corrected through exercise.

Arm lift surgery may be right for you if the underside of your upper arms are sagging or appear loose and full due to excess skin and fat.

I recommend to seek for a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a person evaluation. Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Arm lift

Based on your photos, an arm lift would give you the best results.  This procedure will remove excess fat and skin in order to contour the arms.  The result is a thinner, more proportionate upper arm.  The down side is the scars that can extend from the underarm to the elbow crease.  
I advise meeting with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area who can discuss the pros and cons of this powerful procedure.
Best of luck!

Camille Cash, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Do you need an arm lift?

It seems evident from your photographs that you need a full brachioplasty. You simply have too much skin and there probably aren't any other options that can deal with this. You need to see a board-certified plastic surgeon for a good evaluation. Unfortunately, I think you would get the same advice. Most of the pessimism over an arm left is the fact that it needs a scar, which could be quite noticeable, and make the patient self-conscious.

Ira H. Rex lll, MD
Fall River Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


Hi - unfortunately you have a difficult problem to solve, without surgery.
You would benefit from a brachioplasty, where the excess & wrinkled skin is excised, leaving you with a scar along the inner aspect of your upper arm.  Thus, you need to decide if a scar is a preferred outcome to your current excess skin.  Seek a consult with a surgery experienced in body contouring procedures.  All the best

Kim Taylor, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Prematurely aged arms

Gerri, thanks for your question.  Your photograph demonstrates excess skin and poor skin quality.  An optimal result would be achieved by a formal brachioplasty, or arm lift, but as you are probably aware, surgery exchanges improved contour for scars.  There are technologies, based on ultrasound energy, laser, or radiofrequency, which have been purported to tighten skin, but they do not substitute for the removal of excess skin, and are not likely to produce results that are as favorable as an operation.  I would not recommend CoolSculpting or liposuction, as those technologies are aimed at fat reduction, and do not directly address the skin.  In fact, those procedures would risk a more loose skin envelope.  I would encourage you to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.  Good luck!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

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.