What's the Best Procedure for Wrinkled Aging Arms?

I'm 70. My arms have protruding veins, completely wrinkled, age spots. But the worst part is the inside of my forearms. The skin sags terribly with completely crepey skin. I want to cry whenever I look at them. There must be something that can reverse all this. And of course I have saggy upper arms. Sorry, I don't know how to upload pictures yet.

Doctor Answers 14

Loose upper arm

Thank you for your question about your arms and arm skin.

  • An arm lift will remove the upper arm sagginess inside the forearm.
  • Topical TCA skin peels or laser treatments reduce the skin wrinkles.
  • No sun - sun block is not enough - long sleeves over your arms when in the sun. 
  • Fat injections and vein injections may help the prominent veins.
  • See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to get started. Hope this helps. Best wishes.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Treatment Options for Aging Arms

Many people in your age group (because of sun damage, genetic predisposition and other medical problems) have problems with their upper arms and forearms. The problem of the forearm laxity is a vexing one for the patient as well as their treating plastic surgeon. I strongly council you to consider doing nothing surgical for the severe laxity of the forearm, because the trade-off of scarring and contour improvements are not as good for your upper arms. Scar positioning is a challenge in forearm laxity. Also forearm laxity procedures are more likely to result in sensory and hand function problems postoperatively. In the forearm, the best technology I've seen for non-operative improvement for laxity is SkinTyte™. One treatment a week for 6 weeks will make a dramatic improvement. You may need some maintenance treatments throughout the year as well to maintain your improved contour.

Plastic surgery is the trade-off between nearly imperceptible scarring and contour improvement. Extreme laxity of the upper arm can be tremendously corrected with the surgical technique called brachioplasty or arm lift. Brachioplasty surgery takes about 2-3 hours depending on the patient's size. Patients who have very thick upper arms, may benefit from simultaneous Vaser Liposuction, while at the same time removing the excess skin with the brachioplasty. That would be decided upon in your consultation, depending upon your goals. Most patients do not require post-operative compression garments after their surgery. The incision is a woven suture with almost no outside suturing. I typically do not require drains to be placed for this procedure. Many patients benefit from postoperative massage therapy to soften the operative tissues and desensitize the incision. Persistent arm swelling is rare. Patients can resume normal exercise and activity in 2-3 weeks. I allow my patients to shower the next day. Usually my patients are fine to drive a vehicle 4-5 days after surgery.

Representative photos with great results are available on my website for your viewing.

Paul Vanek, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Arm treatments

Thank you for your question (s).  As a plastic surgeon I will always say that the best results will be from surgery IF you are the right candidate.  It is imperative that you have a full consultation with a board certified surgeon.  There are non-surgical options as well which can address tightening of the tissue as well as the pigment concerns you have.  Again, it is important to have a consult to see which options are better for you.  Either way, there will be a solution that can give you some good clinical results as long as your expectations are clearly stated to the physician.  

Good luck with your treatments.

Dr. M.

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

The Management of Aging Arms

A large number of treatment options are available to treat aesthetic deformities of the arm. The specific option chosen will depend upon the patient's anatomic findings and aesthetic goals. It's important to remember that no two patients are ever exactly alike and for this reason, procedures need to be tailored to meet their specific needs.

Although your history is helpful, it's virtually impossible to make a specific recommendation without pictures or a physical examination. Based on the available information, your biggest concern is loose saggy skin on the insides of your arms. This problem usually always requires removal of the excess skin with a procedure known as a brachioplasty. The procedure involves a trade-off between excess skin and scarring along the inner aspect of the arm. This approach may require secondary maneuvers to address changes in your skin because of solar damage.

If you're considering treatment of your inner arms, it's appropriate to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plant that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Arm Treatments

There are a few different procedures that would be able address all of your cosmetic concerns on your upper arms. First, an arm lift, medically known as brachioplasty, would be the best option correct lose and sagging skin in the arms. The skin removal could be extended to your forearms to remove the excess skin there as well. Laser treatments and peels would enhance the texture of the skin by targeting the wrinkles and sunspots. To reduce the appearance of veins in the arms you may want to consider both sclerotherapy or laser vein removal. I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to devise a plan that would tackle all of your concerns.

Scott Chapin, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Arm Lift for Aging Arms

Thank you for your question regarding wrinkly forearm and upper arm skin. It is difficult to answer accurately your question without pictures, but I will try my best.

It sounds like you have extra forearms and upper arms skin with minimal fat. This is common with normal aging. Unfortunately, as we age, we all lose skin elasticity. If you had just excess arm and forearm fat and had good skin elasticity, I would suggest forearm and arm liposuction. Unfortunately, due to your loss of skin elasticity, absence of forearm and upper fat, and presence of excess arm skin, I would suggest skin excision.

Due to the presence of forearm and upper arm skin, I would suggest a combined procedure addressing both the arms and forearms. The procedure would remove skin from the upper arm and the forearm. Depending on physical examination, the incision would extend from the armpit to the mid-forearm or the wrist.

Good luck with your quest for skinnier forearms and arms.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely, Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Arm lift

with aging skin loose its elasticity and hangs.

the best procedure to correct is skin removal.

we call those procedures: lifting.

arm lift or brachioplasty is very effective surgery for this deformity

Jacques Haddad, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Arm lifts in aging patients

Your best option is to tighten the skin with some type of arm lift.  Definitely consult with an expert in the field to understand your best options.  The good news is that scars tend to look great in older patients.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Aging Arm treatment

How to Treat Aging Arms
There are several different options that may help  but all to a degree. An exam would be necessary. Prescription strength skin lighteners and or certain lasers will help with the sunspots as well as using sunscreen daily. Their are procedures like RF, radio frequency that may help but only a  small amount in my experience. See a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for further advice. 


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Brachioplasty for wrinkled arms...

If you are experiencing sagging, wrinkled arms then having a brachioplasty performed would be an excellent option to consider.  A brachioplasty can help reduce excess skin and the fat between your underarms and elbows, and the forearms as well if needed.  Exercising can help sometimes, but as we all get older, the collagen and elastin in the skin become less organized, allowing the skin to droop.  So undergoing a brachioplasty can result in a much smoother appearance under the arms.


Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 83 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.