The backs of the upper arms are a favorite destination for fat to accumulate. Since these muscles, also known as the triceps, are not usually used during day-to-day activities, they tend to get soft and flabby with time. And, as we begin to lose muscle tone and the skin becomes less resilient, it becomes even more difficult—although not impossible—to keep the arms looking taut.
For some, decreased levels of collagen and elastin are the main culprits behind saggy arms; others are unable to get rid of flab because of weight gain. “Liposuction is an excellent choice for those with minimal skin laxity and excess fat that is localized to the upper arm area that’s resistant to change with diet and exercise,” says Seattle plastic surgeon Richard A. Baxter, MD. “But, for those with a minimal amount of excess fat and mild to moderate skin laxity, skin-tightening technologies such as Thermage might be more appropriate. It targets collagen production and tends to work better on younger patients before collagen levels diminish too much.” When there is a lot of excess skin, especially after weight loss, an arm lift, or brachioplasty, which unavoidably results in a scar along the inner part of the upper arm, may be more suitable.
If you’re not quite ready for surgery, the right exercises can still make a difference. The quickest way to tone loose, flabby skin on the under side of the upper arms is to exercise with small weights. While results may not be as dramatic, skin-firming creams and lotions can give the illusion of more toned arms.