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How do you get rid of Crepey arm flab?

What causes crepey arm skin?

Crepey skin on the arms is caused by a loss of elasticity in the skin, allowing it to appear thin, wrinkled and fragile like crepe paper. This can happen for several reasons:

  • Aging – As we get older, our skin naturally loses collagen, becomes drier and loses elasticity. This leads to loose, sagging skin on the arms.
  • Sun damage – Years of sun exposure can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, making it more likely to wrinkle and sag.
  • Weight loss – Losing a significant amount of weight can cause the skin to sag. The skin was once stretched taut across more fat and muscle, and then was left with excess skin after weight loss.
  • Genetics – Some people are just genetically prone to having thinner, more fragile skin that is more susceptible to crepiness.
  • Smoking – Chemicals in cigarettes damage collagen and elastin, causing the skin to wrinkle and thin.
  • Dehydration – Not drinking enough water can cause skin dryness, making it appear thinner and crepey.

As we age, the skin on our arms naturally loses fat and elasticity. For some people this happens more quickly than others, leading to loose, thin, wrinkled skin. The aging process combined with years of sun exposure, weight changes, genetics, smoking and dehydration leads to a crepey appearance.

How to tighten crepey arm skin

If you are dealing with loose, crepey skin on your arms, there are several ways you can help improve its appearance and elasticity. Here are some methods for tightening crepey arm skin:

Moisturize daily

Keeping your skin well-moisturized can plump up crepey skin on the arms and make it appear smoother. Look for a moisturizer that contains ingredients like:

  • Hyaluronic acid – This molecule attracts and binds to water, helping skin stay hydrated.
  • Ceramides – These fats help retain moisture in the skin and reinforce the skin barrier.
  • Glycerin – A humectant that draws moisture from the air into the skin.
  • Dimethicone – Forms a protective barrier on the skin, locking in moisture.

Apply your moisturizer after bathing when skin is still slightly damp, to seal in more moisture. Reapply throughout the day as needed. Drinking plenty of water will also improve skin hydration from the inside out.

Exfoliate regularly

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells that can give skin a dry, crepey appearance. Use a gentle scrub or chemical exfoliant 1-2 times per week to slough off dull skin. This will reveal the smoother, tighter skin underneath.

Look for exfoliants with:

  • Glycolic acid – An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that dissolves the bonds between dead skin cells.
  • Lactic acid – An AHA derived from milk that smooths rough skin.
  • Salicylic acid – A beta hydroxy acid that penetrates pores to exfoliate inside and out.
  • Jojoba beads or ground walnut shells – Gentle physical exfoliants to buff away dead skin.

Be sure to avoid harsh scrubs with particles that could cause microtears in crepey skin.

Apply retinoids

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that increase collagen production in the skin. This can improve skin thickness, elasticity and smoothness. They also thicken the epidermis, or outer layer of skin.

Over-the-counter retinol creams and serums are gentler than prescription strength options. Start by applying them 2-3 nights per week and work up to daily use as your skin tolerates it. You should see results in 2-3 months.

Try skin-firming creams

Look for body lotions and creams containing ingredients like:

  • Caffeine – Constricts blood vessels under the skin to firm and tighten.
  • Peptides – Amino acid chains that signal to your skin to produce more collagen.
  • Ceramides – Help the skin retain moisture and reinforce the skin barrier.
  • DMAE – An antioxidant that helps tighten skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid – Attracts moisture to plump up crepey skin.

Massage skin-firming creams into your arms and any other areas of concern. Be patient – it can take 3-6 months to see results as collagen rebuilds.

Eat collagen-boosting foods

A diet high in foods that support collagen production can help improve skin elasticity. Make sure to eat plenty of:

  • Bone broth – Contains collagen, amino acids, and minerals that support skin health.
  • Vitamin C – This antioxidant boosts collagen synthesis. Get it from citrus fruits, bell peppers and strawberries.
  • Dark leafy greens – Rich in vitamin C and collagen-forming vitamin A.
  • Soy – Contains isoflavones that may help skin elasticity.
  • Nuts and seeds – Contain skin-healthy fats and minerals like zinc.
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene protects skin from sun damage.
  • Avocados – Full of moisturizing fats and vitamins C and E.

A balanced diet helps nourish your skin from within, combating crepiness.

Wear sunscreen

UV exposure is one of the main reasons skin loses elasticity and becomes crepey. Be diligent about wearing SPF 30 or greater sunscreen on your arms whenever you go outside, even when it’s cloudy. This protects existing collagen from breaking down and prevents further photodamage.

Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if spending prolonged time in the sun. Also cover up your arms with lightweight fabrics or UPF clothing for extra protection.

Quit smoking

If you are a smoker, quitting can greatly improve your skin’s health and appearance. Smoking restricts blood vessels, depriving your skin of oxygen and nutrients. It also damages collagen and elastin.

Within a few months of quitting smoking, you should notice improvements in skin smoothness, tone and texture. Your arms will thank you.

Try fillers

Dermal fillers like Juvederm Voluma and Restylane Lyft can be injected into the arms to gently plump up crepey skin and smooth out wrinkles. See a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss whether fillers are right for your needs.

Results from properly administered fillers can last 1-2 years. While not permanent, fillers offer quick improvements. They can also stimulate collagen production for some continued skin tightening over time.

Use radiofrequency treatments

In-office radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening treatments use energy waves to heat the deeper layers of skin, stimulating collagen regrowth. This helps smooth and tighten crepey skin on the arms, improving texture.

A series of 4-6 sessions is usually recommended, with monthly maintenance afterward. You should notice some tightening after the first couple treatments, with gradual improvements over a few months. RF is non-invasive with minimal downtime.

Try ultrasound or laser skin tightening

Like RF, focused ultrasound and some laser treatments heat the dermis to stimulate collagen growth. This causes mild injury that triggers the skin to repair itself.

Multiple sessions are needed initially, followed by annual maintenance treatments. It may take a few months to see results. Side effects are usually mild like redness and swelling. More dramatic tightening requires surgery.

Lose excess weight

If you have crepey arms due to moderate weight gain, losing excess weight can help tighten skin. As the arms become more toned and fat deposits shrink, skin retracts closer to the muscle contours underneath.

Aim for slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week through healthy diet and exercise. This gives your skin more time to adjust than rapid weight loss. Be sure to also incorporate strength training to help build muscle.

Try skin-tightening surgery

For severe crepey skin on the arms, plastic surgery is an option to remove excess skin. An arm lift or brachioplasty surgically tightens from the underarm down to the elbow.

During surgery, excess skin is removed and remaining skin pulled taut. This dramatically reduces sagging and wrinkling. There will be scarring along the inner arm, but it can usually be hidden.

Full recovery takes several weeks, but the results are longer lasting than non-invasive treatments. Surgery is a last resort after trying other tightening methods.

Preventing future crepey skin

Once you’ve firmed and tightened your arm skin, maintaining results involves diligent skincare and healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some tips for preventing crepey arms in the future:

  • Use a daily SPF 30 or greater sunscreen on your arms.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Eat a skin-healthy diet with collagen-boosting foods.
  • Don’t smoke or quit if you currently do.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do strength training to keep arm muscles toned.
  • Apply moisturizer daily.
  • Use retinoids to boost collagen production.
  • Exfoliate regularly to reveal newer, tighter skin.
  • Consider preventative skin-tightening treatments like ultrasound or radiofrequency.

With diligent skincare and smart lifestyle choices, you can help support your skin’s collagen and elasticity. Preventing future crepiness is easier than trying to reverse it later.


Crepey arm skin is a common sign of aging, but there are ways to improve its appearance. Using collagen-boosting skincare products and eating a skin-healthy diet can help plump and smooth crepey skin over time. Non-invasive tightening treatments like radiofrequency and fillers offer more dramatic short-term improvements.

For significant crepeiness, surgery may be required to cut out excess skin. But combining multiple non-surgical tightening treatments while also minimizing sun damage, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight can often delay the need for surgery. With time and diligence, most people can noticeably improve the tone, texture and elasticity of their arm skin.