CoolSculpting gets rid of fat but what happens to the excess skin?

Specifically I am a 60 year old women that weighs about 125 lbs but I have the dreaded under arm fat that just hangs when arms are held straight out. Beyond fat there is also loose skin. Will there just be less fat but more loose skin hanging after the full results of the coolsculpting are complete or does the skin also tighten with the procedure?

Doctor Answers 16

Cool Sculpting and Loose Skin for Arms

You ask a great question. Sounds most likely that you would not be happy with cool sculpting of the arms. I am very skeptical with cool sculpting on the arms bc most clients suffer with loose skin as well at your age. Most likely for true improvement you would need a surgical procedure. Without a picture it's hard for me to give you a true opinion but if you decide to do a consult seek one at a board certified plastic surgeon's office who can give you all the information necessary for best decisions! Best of Luck 

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Lax Skin After CoolSculpting

Thank you very much for your question. CoolSculpting can provide excellent results when addressing isolated deposits of fat. Each session will provide about 20-25% reduction in fatty tissue, and a second procedure can be performed for even greater results. However, CoolSculpting cannot improve stretched, lax skin. A brachioplasty can address both the fatty tissue and the lax skin, smoothly sculpting the upper arm. Despite the fact that a brachioplasty will result in a scar, running from the elbow to the axilla, most patients are extremely happy with their results. My recommendation is that you schedule a consultation appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon. He/she can determine the most effective arm lift options to achieve your desired results.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

CoolSculpting and Excess Skin

CoolSculpting is for excess fat and not for skin tightening. Depending on how much loose skin there is there are different treatment options available. For extreme cases, a surgical procedure may be required, for smaller areas there are many different skin tightening devices we use at your offices such as ThermiSmooth, Thermage and Ultherapy.

Joshua L. Fox, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

CoolSculpting and underarms

The underarms is a tricky area when it comes to CoolSculpting mainly because the provider needs to differentiate between skin laxity and excess fat. CoolSculpting is a fat reduction procedure and not a skin tightening procedure. That being said, the inflammation associated with CoolSculpting does result in some  skin tightening. If skin tightening is your issue then I would probably consider a different non-surgical skin tightening procedure (usually RF or Ultrasound based) or a surgical procedure (brachioplasty). If fat is the concern, then CoolSculpting will work well.

CoolSculpting arms

In my experience, CoolSculpting will not worsen the appearance of loose skin.  Occasionally, patients even notice a mild amount of tightening.  Although, the procedure is not indicated for skin tightening.  It is imperative to be evaluated by an experienced provider who can determine if CoolSculpting will meet your needs.  If you have more excess skin than fat, CoolSculpting may not be the best treatment.  For patients with small areas of excess tissue and minimal amounts of loose skin, CoolSculpting can be extremely effective at improving the appearance of the arms.  If a patient is adverse to surgery, you may benefit from CoolSculpting followed by a skin tightening procedure.  While the results of a non-surgical treatment will never match the results of surgery, for many patients avoiding the down time and scars are worth the trade. 

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Arm Lift

Thank you for your question.  You sound to be in excellent shape.  It is not uncommon to have stubborn areas of fatty tissue despite strict diet and exercise.  For these areas, there are several options including surgical and nonsurgical.  One great nonsurgical option is Coolsculpting which can decrease the amount of fatty tissue by 20-25% in each treated area.  However, the treatment does not do anything to tighten loose, hanging skin.  If your main problem is loose skin of the upper arms, a brachioplasty or arm lift may be your best option.  I suggest you consult with one or more board certified plastic surgeons experienced in both the brachioplasty procedure as well as Coolsculpting so that he or she may recommend the most appropriate treatment.  Hope this helps!

CoolSculpting gets rid of fat but what happens to the excess skin?

Thank you for your question. CoolSculpting does not tighten skin. If you are interested in removing loose skin, I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person assessment. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 414 reviews


Coolsculpting is an excellent form of non-invasive  fat reduction for the right patient. Some applicators take 1 or 2 hours but the new advantage applicators take only 35 minutes and have significantly less risk for delayed onset pain (especially in the abdomen). Results are seen at 2 months and typically 1-3 treatments will be necessary on each area to achieve ideal results. The number of treatments depends on the amount of fat there and the patient's goals.  There is not downtime and the results can be impressive in the right patient.  We also use the Zimmer Z-wave for improved patient comfort and added results. The best candidates are those who are in pretty good shape with areas of stubborn fat that won't go away no matter what. coolsculpting targets the fat cells; however, since the fat reduction is a gradual process over three months, the skin has a chance to retract itself to some degree.

My best,

Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM

Beverly Hills, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Excess skin

CoolSculpting only targets the fat cells. That's why it's important to talk about what your true expectations are. If you want the fat to be gone and the skin to look better than CoolSculpting is not the option for you. There are other options like Pro-Lipo or Laser Lipo and/or Brachioplasty.

Robert G. Aycock, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Underk Arm Skin After Coolsculpting

We all hate the hanging skin and fat under the arms. Your question gets to the struggle in treating this area.  That is, to get excellent results we want to 1) get rid of the fat, and 2) tighten the skin.  Treatments such CoolSculpting are effective at reducing the fat.  We see some skin tightening with the procedure, but it is variable between patients.  The same can be said about SculpSure and liposuction.  Various laser treatments can help with skin tightening, but won't reduce the fat.  Surgical options will reduce the fat and tighten the skin but will leave a large scar.  Bottom line:   There are pros and cons to each option, with none being the definitive choice.  You will need to sit down and talk with one or several physicians to help decide what is the best option for you. 

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.