Does cool sculpturing leave extra skin hanging when done on upper arms or thighs?

Doctor Answers 13

The new coolsculpting petite applicator ideal for arms and inner thighs

Coolsculpting is ideal for the patient with firm skin over excess bulges of fat including the upper arms and inner and outer thighs.  The fat is reduced and the skin shrinks back with it.  Even someone with a hanging fat pad will find the area is flatter overall.  It is important to note that patients with a significant amount of lax hanging skin over the fat wont be worse after coolsculpting but they wont necessarily lose all of that laxity.  Those patients need to expect to have some other tissue tightening procedures like thermage or ulthera afterward.

For the arms or upper inner thighs, look for an office that has the new petite applicator in addition to the other cooladvantage coolfit applicators.  That way they can find the ideal fit for your size. 

I hope this answer was helpful.  Best wishes

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


I prefer Coolsculpting of the arms over liposuction (even though I do both) because the slow fat loss with Coolsculpting allows time for the skin to retract.  Sometimes, when the skin is not very elastic, you can get saggy looking skin after liposuction.  Discuss with a plastic surgeon to see which he or she recommends.

Best of luck,

Sheila Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

CoolSculpting and skin laxity

Zeltiq, the makers of CoolSculpt have released an applicator that can be used on the upper arms. We have seen good results with this applicator. Typically the skin does not hang down afterward.  This is true of the thighs as well.   Every patient is different, so best to get a consult from a certified, experienced CoolSculpt office. It is a very nice non-surgical option, especially for those who cannot have post surgical downtime. We also do liposuction, brachioplasty, (arm-lifts), and thigh lifts. There are benefits and downsides to each procedure. Best to see a board certified plastic surgeon who does these procedures and together you will make a plan that is right for you.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Coolsculpting and skin

Coolsculpting is a gradual process whereby you lose weight in a particular area, approximately 20% for every procedure.  Since the weight loss is limited and gradual to one area, sagging skin is not left behind.  Liposuction may have this side effect but we have not seen this with coolsculpting.  

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Does cool sculpturing leave extra skin hanging when done on upper arms or thighs?

In general, when fat cells are removed (by any method) the skin tends to shrink up. Of course some patients can develop loose skin no matter which treatment is done. We have not seen loose skin in CoolSculpting patients. The more loose skin you have prior to the treatment, the greater the chance for saggy skin.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

CoolSculpting and Excess Skin

That's a good question. CoolSculpting® should not leave you with excess skin after a treatment. In fact, it has been found that the skin does slightly contract after a treatment. It should be pointed out that the skin in the thighs and the upper arms is more lax than in other areas and will probably not shrink as much after the procedure. This is true with respect to liposuction in these areas, as well. Because of the excess skin in these areas, you may not see a dramatic result with either liposuction or CoolSculpting.

Louis C. Cutolo, Jr., MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Cool sculpting is not a treatment for sagging skin

Cools sculpting is an excellent noninvasive treatment for fat volume reduction. If your problem really is compounded by sagging excess skin, then there may be other alternatives that are more suitable including surgery. We spend a lot of time counseling patients on realistic expectations with this and any procedure. If a patient understands the benefits and limitations of any procedure they can make the best decision. If one is willing to accept less than flawless results, Cool Sculpting can be an option even in less than optimal candidates. 

Arthur N. Falk, MD
Albany Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Skin Tightness after CoolSculpting

Simply no. CoolSculpting does not leave extra skin hanging, but liposuction often does. What is the difference? CoolSculpting is a gradual elimination of fat cells over time. There is collagen healing in the fat as well, so the collagen tightens and the fat disappears at the same time. Let’s look at liposuction, and it doesn’t matter whether this is laser lipo or surgical lipo, the fat is gone almost in minutes and the skin is left hanging. It is a challenge to tighten this skin after liposuction, especially on the arms and inner thighs.

Douglas J. Key, MD
Portland Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

CoolSculpting is effective at reducing fat

CoolSculpting is a very safe and effective treatment that is designed to non-invasively reduce excess fat. While the most common areas treated involve the abdomen and flanks, some have found it to be very effective at sculpting and contouring the arms and inner thighs. As with any treatment, patient selection is the key; this is why a very experienced CoolSculpting provider is essential. While some patients could possibly notice some skin excess in the arms after treatment, this is uncommon in patients who do not have loose skin in this area.

Ryan Greene, MD, PhD
Fort Lauderdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Coolsculpting and skin quality

Coolsculpting is FDA approved for fat reduction. It does not tighten the skin. If a person has loose skin, it is possible that Coolsculpting could make it looser. This is important to have an experienced Coolsculpting provider perform an evaluation. You will learn whether or not CoolSculpting is right for you. May men or women with excess fat are delighted with Coolsculpting results

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 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.