Many would probably say that their hands betray their age. They typically receive as much exposure to the sun as our faces, but we devote a lot less self-care to the them. (Anti-aging creams and skin-care serums aren’t cheap, after all.)
But I’d venture to say that even more of us are self-conscious about the varying degrees of excess fat and loose skin that began to appear on the underside of our upper arms sometime during our forties and only seems to have worsened since, no matter how much we tighten the screws on our diets and exercise routines.
Unfortunately, we’re waging a losing battle. As we age, the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that help our skin stay plump, firm, and smooth, slows down, which results in areas of lax, aging skin. We usually notice it first on our faces and necks, but it can occur anywhere on the body. Similarly, our metabolism also slows with age, making it harder to shed pockets of unwanted fat.
That said, with the right tools, there are ways to regain the upper hand over Mother Nature—and shave years off your appearance in the process. One of the most effective among them is a procedure called a brachioplasty, more commonly known as an arm lift. Usually performed as an outpatient surgery, an arm lift permanently recontours the upper arm, tightening loose skin that stems from aging or a significant weight-loss.
The surgery is often combined with liposuction to remove excess fat and give arms a more toned look. The reason why liposuction alone isn’t enough to remedy so-called “bat wings” is because it doesn’t address sagging skin. To achieve a successful result with just liposuction, you need skin that’s essentially going to shrink-wrap itself once the fat’s removed. In order to do that, the skin needs to be thick, young, and have minimal sun damage and stretch marks. Which, of course, is asking a lot.
If you can check all those boxes, a less invasive procedure, like CoolSculpting, may be a better fit for you.
There are also a number of minimally-invasive treatments that address loose, sagging skin, such as radiofrequency tightening, but they generally don’t yield the dramatic results that surgical procedures, like an arm lift, do. And that’s because the surgical procedures remove some skin in order to recontour the area.
I’ll discuss what exactly happens during an arm lift, as well as what the recovery’s like, in my next post. In the meantime, as you continue to read up on arm lifts, look for board-certified plastic surgeons who offer both surgical and non-surgical solutions. Universal as “bat wings” may be, you deserve to have a treatment plan tailored to your particular needs and goals.