Flabby arms or bat wings are especially common in women because of their muscle structure. Below are the causes and the different skin tightening remedies you can employ.
What causes a loose skin on arms
There are various factors that cause the loose skin on arms which include aging, weight, exercises, smooking and UV light. Here is how they may cause this problem.
- Aging: As we age, the elasticity in our skin begins to dissipate because our body produces less and less collagen. This makes the skin on the arms appear saggy and loose.
- Weight: Gaining weight naturally causes the skin to sag. However, rapid weight loss doesn’t give your skin time to adjust and thus leaves it looking crêpey.
- Exercise: Lack of exercise leaves “lack of muscle tone and tension” which leaves the skin looking and feeling loose.
- Smoking: of the 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, plenty cause destruction of collagen which is responsible for skin elasticity. Smoking also denies essential nutrients and oxygen to the skin causing it to sag faster.
- UV light: too much sun exposure also leads to the breakdown of elastin and collagen and breaks down fibers in the skin. This leads to wrinkled, crêpey, loose skin.
Treatment for sagging skin on arms
There are many natural skin tightening remedies one can find. However, it’s important to note that they are not the most effective means to treat sagging skin on arms.
“While we all (myself included) wish that there was a great non-invasive way to treat sagging skin; currently there is not. ALL of the non-surgical procedures will, at best, improve the skin sag.” Matthew J. Nykiel, MD
That being said, plenty of people want to know how to tighten skin naturally without surgery. Here are some proposed natural remedies to improve the appearance of sagging skin.
1. Drink plenty of water
Basics first: lack of water causes dehydration of the skin and actually damages it. Water is also responsible for cleansing dangerous toxins in the skin, maintaining elasticity, and preventing wrinkles. Drink lots of water (8-10 glasses a day) to restore the skin plumpness and elasticity.
2. Avoid the sun
Sunbathing in summer may be wonderful, but even with sunscreen, as you get older, it’s important to avoid UV light. Sit in the shade or under a parasol to prevent the damage the sun rays cause to your skin.
Eating healthy creates antioxidants in the body and keeps your skin healthy. Though it may not drastically improve saggy skin, it will help keep the skin nutritional. Eat a diet of fiber, vegetables, lean meat, low fat, whole grains and fresh fruit.
Note: Do not fall for rapid weight loss diets because this will only make the problem worse. The aim isn’t to lose a bunch of weight but to maintain it and provide your body with essential nutrients.
Along with a healthy diet, it’s important to exercise to maintain muscle tone and skin elasticity.
Here are a few exercises to improve the tone of your muscles and reduce flab:
- Triceps dips
- Dumbbell bicep curls
- Triceps extensions
Do these exercises at least three times a week. Swimming is also a great supplemental work-out for reducing the flab on your arms.
5. Natural Remedies
These are also not proven to work effectively but if you want natural skin tightening or a natural arm lift, these are a few of the suggested options
Lemon is rich in Vitamin C and as mentioned above, Vitamin C is wonderful for collagen production. Lemon for improving skin elasticity is recommended across the board with the added benefit of reducing wrinkles.
Apply the lemon juice (You can add flaxseeds that have soaked in water overnight) on the skin and leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with plenty of water then moisturize as lemon can leave the skin dry. Repeat at least twice a day.
b). Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is another tried and proven a natural remedy for skin tightening. It has many antioxidants and plenty of nutrients to build the skin.
If you can find natural Aloe Vera, that would be best. Scrape the gel from the plant and rub it all over your arms. Leave it on overnight for best effects.
c). Egg whites
Egg whites are a natural astringent and can be wonderful for skin tightening.
Whisk 1 or 2 egg whites together (add a tablespoon of honey for extra effect) and rub over your arms. Leave the mixture on for 20 -25 minutes and then wipe with a washcloth or rinse It off with cold water.
There are plenty of other remedies like fuller’s earth, drinking green tea, using turmeric, apple and watermelon juice, avocado, mustard oil and almond oil.
If you opt for any of the oils, then massage them into the skin well. Massaging skin helps to improve circulation.
6. Medical treatment for skin tightening
There are medical options that offer a longer lasting solution to lose skin, although a majority of people are hesitant to use them. This is a valid option especially for excessive skin caused by rapid weight loss, or aging.
a). Laser skin tightening
Laser skin tightening is a non-surgical process and is also minimally invasive. A laser is used to heat the collagen in the skin causing it to contract reducing skin laxity and to cause skin tightening.
It also helps to promote collagen regeneration even in the surrounding areas that are not treated. This is a popular method because it requires little to no recovery time and doesn’t cause bruising, bleeding or scarring
Laser treatments cost between $450- $2000 and may require more than one session.
b). Topical creams
There are plenty over the counter creams that promise firming effects for the saggy skin. Keep in mind though that these creams can sometimes be pricey. They are to be applied once or twice a day for maximum improvement.
Look for creams with the following ingredients:
- Vitamin C and E which are antioxidants that reduce damage to the skin and stimulate the production of collagen
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 to promote synthesis and prevent collagen dilapidation
- Alpha or beta hydroxy acids which target the top layer of the skin for exfoliation
- Hyaluronic acids help to improve skin hydration
- Retinol revitalizes the skin and helps in the building of collagen
Arm lift surgery is like a facelift for the arms. It is also known as brachioplasty. It removes the excessive sagging skin and tightens the supportive tissue to improve the shape of the upper arms.
There are two types of branchioplasty: standard and limited option.
In the standard branchioplasty, an incision is made from the armpit to the elbow, removing excess skin and fat. This procedure leaves a long scar which is always visible even though doctors try to hide them.
For those whose excess skin doesn’t extend all the way to the elbow, a limited incision branchioplasty is done. This leaves less scarring as the incision is only made in the “underarm area.” This option has less visible scarring.
The cost of either surgery is about $4300 with varied recovery time from no days up to two weeks. The surgery has a few side effects, but complications are rare.