Make your goal this summer to achieve sexy, age-defying arms. You may be long past the short-shorts phase of life. Perhaps you won’t be baring your midriff or wearing navel-plunging necklines. Your arms, however, are another story. No more hiding beneath long sleeves. No blotchiness, liver spots or bumps, and especially, NO bat wings!
Common Issues and Treatments
Keratosis Pilaris (aka "Chicken Skin" Bumps)
This genetic disorder affects one out of every two people on the planet. Arms, thighs and bum are most affected. Skin has unsightly red polka dots and rough "chicken skin" texture. See a dermatologist; treat keratosis pilaris to clear it, then use maintenance just to keep it under control as needed. For more information on treatment, click here.
Underarm Skin Discoloration
It is incredible how common and how embarrassing this problem is, especially for those with naturally deeper skin tones. Causes include eczema, irritating ingredients found in deodorants and antiperspirants, a predilection to eczema or diabetes (acanthosis nigricans), as well as friction triggered by movement and activity. No matter the cause, ultimately inflammation leads to the development of skin discoloration. Make certain your antiperspirant is a water-based roll-on free of fragrance and dyes.
Years of unprotected sun exposure lead to over-productive pigment-producing skin cells (melanocytes). A multitude of OTC and Rx bleaches exist to help even out skin tone. The additional use of a nighttime vitamin A cream containing retinol can help speed along results. A broad spectrum SPF 30 for sun protection is mandatory. Be patient; bleaching with any regimen usually takes 6-12 months or more.
Excessive, dark hair on the forearms isn’t the “in” look. More common in women of color (African Americans, Asians and Hispanics) or of Mediterranean descent, forearm hair can be bleached, waxed or eliminated by laser hair removal.
Triceps (or lack thereof) are mostly to blame for bat wings. Building and toning them as well as getting your biceps into shape are important to keep arms looking lovely. Daily exercises are simple to do to keep arm muscles toned or get them quickly into shape. Soup cans and exercise resistance bands are effective, inexpensive items to get rapid results. Work up to performing 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 reps each.