After significant weight loss, it is common to have excess skin on the upper arms. Excess skin can make some people feel uncomfortable or hinder their physical activity. Depending on the extent of excess skin, there are several strategies to reduce the appearance.
Give It Time
Before you make any decision on how to reduce excess skin, you need to give the process time. If you are still losing weight, you will not know the extent of the problem until you reach your goal weight and are stable at your weight. Some people have minor amounts of loose skin that may retract over time, but this process could take a year. Generally, plastic surgeons will prefer if your weight has been stable for a while before you have a consultation. This way, you are less likely to regain the weight and need future surgeries to correct new issues.
Ideally, you will work on building muscle as you lose weight, which can make any loose skin you have appear less dramatic. While you are waiting for your weight to stabilize or making a decision about surgery, engage in diet and exercise to build and retain muscle. People with small amounts of loose skin are the most likely to benefit from training their biceps, shoulders, and triceps. Since gaining muscle does not happen quickly, you will need to train a few times per week and eat a diet high in protein to see results.
Brachioplasty is the surgical procedure used to reduce excess skin on the upper arms. There are different approaches to the procedure, such as an extended brachioplasty, which also removes loose skin from the side of the chest. One consideration when choosing a surgeon will be the approach they use. Every patient is different and has different needs. There are also major differences in how the surgeon handles scars. For example, some surgeons do not make a linear incision for some of their patients because a zig-zag incision will be less obvious once the incision heals. Some surgeons can also hide scars in the armpit to conceal them.
Once you notice loose skin in your arms, do not panic. Many people have minimal excess skin that can be filled up by gaining muscle or they find they become adjusted to the look of their skin. In other situations, plastic surgery may be the only way you feel more comfortable with how your body looks after weight loss.