Arm Sagginess
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Arm Sagginess

We might have all noticed our grandparents with sagging skin. They would have loose skin around the neck, arms, legs, and abdomen. The primary reason for loose or sagging skin is aging. As an individual reaches old age, the elasticity of the skin reduces drastically. No longer will the skin be firm and toned. Loose skin can begin in late adulthood or just earlier to it. The fact is that it is inevitable and it affects both men and women. While a sagging skin would have no medical concern to anybody, it would affect one’s self-esteem. There are ways one could work on the sagging arms. 

The good news is that aging can be delayed with appropriate exercise and diet. This will in turn reduce the chances of sagging arms. Athletes who are into swimming and running are known for their well-toned muscles even to their old age. Research states that an active lifestyle will reduce the chances of aging by around 20 years. In an era where individuals are struggling with making time for themselves, it might not be possible to match one’s fitness levels to that of an athlete. But it is not necessary that one should be worried about the sagging skin or arm. 


Below are the common symptoms or indications of a sagging arm

  • Loose skin around the upper arm that droops down 
  • The sagging arms shake while doing daily chores 
  • Under confidence and low self-esteem to lift the arm and wave 
  • Avoiding exercise in public 
  • Inclination to wearing fully covered sleeves to hide the flappy skin 


  • Ageing

The body gets its firmness and structure due to the protein called collagen. It is present in the tissues, tendons and cartilage and keeps it firm. As individuals age, the collagen production decreases and as a result there will be less firmness to the skin. The muscle mass of the body decreases and there is an increase in fat as well. The metabolism of the body also goes down with age. There is lesser calories burnt and hence more accumulation of fat. These factors contribute to loose skin and fat in the arm. 

  • Genetics 

The nature of fat accumulation and the areas in which it is concentrated are mostly genetic. If there is a family history of sagging arms, the individual might develop this inspite of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. If obesity is common in the family, there is a higher chance of being obese and developing fat which can lead to sagging arms.

  • Weight loss 

If there is a sudden loss in weight, it can lead to sagging arms. The primary reason for this is that the skin that expanded while there was more body fat does not contract to the same extent after that weight is lost. This will lead to sagging arms and other regions. 

  • Excessive exposure to sunlight 

Being exposed to the sun too much can cause damage to the skin. The elastin and collagen production can decrease significantly causing sagging skin. 

  • Increase in body fat mass 

Ageing and lesser physical activities make the fat accumulation in the body to increase. This in turn increases the overall body fat mass. Excess fat is a reason for 


Sagging arms can be treated effectively. A cosmetic surgeon would help in identifying the exact causes for the sagginess and help with the treatment options. 

  • Healthy diet and lifestyle 

Exercises such as tricep dips, bent arm dumbbell pullover, french presses and others help in reducing upper arm and under arm sagginess. Burning more calories than what is taken in is the best way of reducing the sagginess if its caused by weight gain/obesity. One should have a fiber and protein rich diet and must cut down on all extra calories that come from carbs. Sugar, carbonated drinks and fat rich food must be completely eliminated. Swimming can help with toning the arms too. 

  • Arm lift / Brachioplasty 

Brachioplasty, also known as arm lift surgery is a surgical cosmetic procedure used to remove excess skin from the upper arm. A surgeon will make incisions in the underarm to elbow region and remove excess skin. The remaining skin is tightened and a neat contour is ensured in the region. At times, a liposuction (fat is suctioned out) is combined with the procedure to improve the results. The treated area will be covered with medical grade bandage for a few days to promote recovery. Patients will be asked not to exercise or lift objects for a few days following the treatment. Short scar brachioplasty ensures that the scarring is well hidden in the underarm region. The doctor would be able to decide the right type of arm lift surgery and the type of anesthesia required, depending on the extent of sagging skin in the person. 

  • Invasive RF skin Tightening (Body Tite)

Body tite radio frequency assisted lipolysis (RAFL) is a technique used to tighten the skin and remove excess fat. This FDA approved treatment works by heating the region and removing excess fat. While liposuction also would deliver the results, it would not tighten the skin significantly. With the body tite technique, both fat removal and tightening of the skin is obtained. The procedure is done with the use of two wands of which one is placed under the skin and the other is used to pass RF waves. The results of the procedure show up in five months and the production of collagen continues for a year. Patients can return to their normal daily activities in 5 days after the treatment. 

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