How to Treat Sagging Arm Skin? By Joseph M. Brown, MD, FACS on March 01, 2021

With summer just around the corner, it’s almost time to pull out your warm-weather wardrobe. For many of us, that includes pulling out breezy sundresses and comfortable tank tops. Unfortunately, these same clothing choices can make you feel a bit self-conscious if you’re dealing with sagging arm skin. The result is often that we choose clothing that covers our arms even when it makes us uncomfortably warm. But you can treat sagging arm skin with surgery.

The truth is that sagging arm skin is just another part of aging. You can reduce the appearance of sagging skin by maintaining a healthy diet, caring for your skin, and staying physically fit, but everyone will eventually develop it to some degree. This is largely due to the fact that our skin loses elasticity as we age. In our younger years, collagen and elastin work together to hold our skin firmly against our muscles and fat, but we produce these compounds less as the years go on allowing the skin to pull away from the underlying tissue.

Sagging Skin and Weight Loss

In addition to aging, people who have undergone dramatic weight loss are also more likely to develop sagging skin as a side effect. It’s unfortunate. But years of being stretched to accommodate the additional mass has an effect. Many formerly obese adults realize that their skin cannot return to its original shape. This side effect can be mitigated by controlling the speed of the person’s weight loss and taking extra care of the skin as the weight comes off. These measures may reduce the amount of extra skin left over when weight loss is complete, but the patient will most likely still need to have skin surgically removed.

Treat Sagging Arm Skin With Surgery

Luckily, the surgeries required to remove sagging skin are relatively basic in comparison to other plastic surgery procedures. During your initial consultation with your local plastic surgeon at Tampa Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss areas that bother you. Based on the condition of the skin and surrounding tissue, your plastic surgeon will be able to help you pick the procedures that are best suited to your needs. In the case of sagging arm skin, a simple arm lift (brachioplasty) is usually enough to remove extra skin and pockets of fat.

What is an Arm Lift?

An arm lift in Tampa Bay is an aesthetic procedure to improve the silhouette of the upper arm. In some cases where there is only a small amount of excess skin and fat, a mini arm lift can be performed. However, patients who have a significant amount of excess skin will need a complete upper arm lift to achieve their desired results. Some patients have undergone significant weight loss. For them, the incision for the arm lift may have to extend onto the chest wall. This ensures a smooth contour from the chest through the arm once the incision has healed.

What is Recovery Like?

Fortunately, the recovery for an arm lift is relatively mild. Although patients are put under general anesthesia, most are allowed to go home from the hospital the very same day. When you go home, you may have a drain placed to prevent fluid build-up. You will also need to wear compression bandages for up to three weeks after surgery.

From there, you will want to give yourself time. It can take a little while for the swelling to go down and even longer for the scarring to heal. During this healing process, your plastic surgeon will walk you through the steps of scar care. He does this to ensure that their carefully hidden incisions heal so scars will be barely visible in the years to come.

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Dr. Joseph Brown

Plastic Surgery

A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Brown strives to provide patients with transformative, yet natural results in a safe and comfortable environment. When you choose him as your provider, he will develop a patient-doctor relationship based on honesty, trust, and a clear understanding of a common goal. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Florida Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons

To get started, request an appointment using our form or call (813) 258-2425.

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