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Bingo Wings

Written by: Becki Murray

Updated by: Alice Hart-Davis

Last Updated: 15 January 2024

You know a body concern is particularly irritating when it gets its own nickname, and that extra ‘jiggle’ you have around the underside of your arms has a rather unflattering one – ‘bingo wings.’ Often an area that’s on display (and without a clever Spanx alternative on hand to help disguise it), if your arms feel untoned or wobbly when you move them, our FAQs provide detailed advice on what causes the annoying condition and how to improve your arm’s general appearance.

 



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What are bingo wings?

“Bingo wings” is a colloquial term used to describe the loose and flabby skin on the underside of the upper arms. The condition typically occurs due to a combination of a loss of skin elasticity and reduced muscle in the area as we age, which results in reduced skin quality and sagging. It gained its nickname as it tends to look like the flapping motion of a bingo bird’s wings when you move your arms. 

What causes bingo wings?

  1.  Ageing: As we age, the skin’s natural collagen and elastin production decreases, leading to a reduction in skin elasticity. Over time, gravity also pulls down on the arms, adding to this sagging effect.
  2.  Hormonal Changes: Decreased oestrogen levels triggered by health conditions, or the menopause further decreases collagen production. This impacts skin all over the body, including the arms.
  3.  Muscle Loss: Lack of regular physical activity, especially muscle-strengthening exercises, can result in muscle atrophy in the arms. This makes them appear less toned and exacerbates the appearance of sagging skin.
  4.  Weight Fluctuations: Repeated weight gain and loss stretches the skin, leading to an ‘excess’ that looks loose and lacks firmness. On the arms, this can cause the signature ‘bingo wing’ appearance.  
  5.  Sun exposure: Spending lots of time in the sun can accelerate collagen breakdown due to exposure to UV rays, as well as reducing overall skin quality. On the arms, this can cause slack skin to resemble ‘bingo wings’.
  6.  Genetics: Some individuals may be more genetically predisposed to developing ‘bingo wings’ due to a combination of the above factors.

 

Bingo wings

How to get rid of bingo wings?

There are a range of options for getting rid of bingo wings, ranging from non-invasive to surgical. However, minimally invasive tweakments are a particularly good option for minimal downtime and discomfort, while avoiding the risks associated with anesthesia and surgical incisions. Many of these treatments focus on stimulating collagen production, to gradually improve skin texture and tightness over time, for gradual and natural-looking results.

  1. Radiofrequency: Non-invasive RF devices use radiofrequency energy to heat the deep layers of the skin. This can stimulate collagen production, tighten the skin, and improve skin texture, making it particularly effective for tightening sagging skin in the upper arms without surgery. Examples include BTL’s Exilis Ultra360, Endymed Body, Tempsure Envi, and Accent Prime from Alma Lasers that combines radiofrequency with ultrasound (more on that below) to target sagging.
  1. Radiofrequency Microneedling: Bringing together the skin tightening benefits of radiofrequency and the collagen-boosting, skin-smoothing effect of microneedling, this 2-in-1 treatment can improve skin quality from head-to-toe, including for your arms. Morpheus8 has probably garnered the most column inches, but Cutera’s Secret RF and Profound RF from Candula also offer great results.
  1. HIFU: Ultrasound devices can directly target ‘bingo wings’ by delivering focused energy beneath the skin’s surface to promote collagen synthesis and tightening. That includes high-intensity focused ultrasound technology such as Ultherapy, the only ultrasound-based device with FDA clearance for lifting, and the super-fast ULTRAcel Q+. Trained practitioners may also use Sofwave – a device known for its impressive facial skin-tightening effect.
  1. HIFEM: A non-invasive tweakment alternative to a workout, high-intensity focused electromagnetic technology can be used to trigger contractions in the muscle tissue to build muscle mass and tone your arms, improving the appearance of bingo wings. A leading example is the body sculpting device Emsculpt Neo by BTL Aesthetics.
  1. Dermal Fillers: Injecting dermal fillers into the upper arm can help restore lost volume and improve skin texture by stimulating collagen production and firming your skin over time. A highlight is Lanluma, an innovative body filler that doesn’t just ‘fill up’ the target area, but activates your body’s own natural collagen response, for long-lasting benefits.
  1. Fat Freezing: Fat freezing technology – which includes Cristal Pro that targets stubbon pockets of body fat and CoolSculpting – can indirectly help with mild cases of bingo wings by reducing localised fat deposits. This can make your arms appear contoured and smooth.
  1. Laser Skin Treatments: Fractional laser treatments use targeted beams of light to remove the outer layer of damaged skin, improving skin texture and tightening loose skin, making it beneficial for targeting bingo wings and overall arm appearance. Two brands we love are BBL Hero, a powerful broadband light treatment, and the non-ablative fractional laser, Moxi.
  1. Thread Lift: By inserting threads under your skin, your practitioner can lift and tighten sagging tissues, including on the arms, while also helping stimulate collagen production. Brands to look for include APTOS and Silhouette Soft threads, as recommended by the thread lift expert Dr Leah Totton.
  1. Mesotherapy: These injections, which are characterised by containing blends of vitamins, minerals and other skin-boosting ingredients, won’t address significant bingo wings alone, but they can contribute to overall arm appearance via their firming and collagen-stimulating effect. Two examples are Fillmed NCTF and Mesohyal.

 

Brands We Recommend


ExilisUltra360LogoStackedSecret RF Logodownloadlanluma logo

What surgical options are there?

For more severe ‘bingo arms’, surgical solutions may be needed to see noticeable results.

  1. Brachioplasty (arm lift surgery): This surgical procedure involves removing excess skin and fat from the upper arms. It is an effective but aggressive option for arm toning.
  2. Liposuction: Liposuction can be used to surgically suction out excess fat from the arms, which may be the cause of your ‘bingo wing’ appearance.

Can you get rid of bingo wings without surgery?

As muscle atrophy can contribute to developing the condition, regular resistance and weight training exercises targeting the arms can help by building muscle and tone. A balanced diet can also avoid weight fluctuations and keep your skin in good overall condition, which may reduce your likelihood of developing or worsening your ‘bingo wings’.

Could ‘bingo wings’ be a sign of a medical issue that needs further investigation? 

Bingo wings are primarily a cosmetic concern. However, if the loose skin is accompanied by pain or discomfort, seek the advice of your doctor.

Are there skincare options that can improve the concern?

While there are firming body creams on the market which may offer some mild improvement – especially if they contain collagen-boosting actives such as retinoids or peptides – topical products won’t produce dramatic results.

Which at-home use devices can help with this concern?

There are at-home radiofrequency or LED light therapy devices that claim to improve skin firmness. However, for bingo wings these are likely to have limited effectiveness compared to professional treatments. 

How much, on average, would treating the concern cost?

The cost of treating bingo wings varies depending on your location and the expertise of your practitioner. You can expect to pay from around: £350 for radiofrequency; £400 for laser; £1000 per vial of filler; and £1500 for HIFU.

 

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