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Avatar universal

Sudden onset of skin wrinkling and sagging in arms

Hi all. New to this. I am a 44 year old woman who is physically fit (gym 5 days a week) and eats pretty well.

Approx 5 weeks ago I developed veins showing on both hands. They have not gone away and infact they are bulging most times, and I can "feel them". They have increased and I can see some starting to climb up my forearm now. Before this, my veins barely ever showed.

Approx 2 weeks ago, I developed wrinkling (crepe paper look) on my forearms (near connection of elbow) and on my upper arms. My arms have gone from 44 years old to looking like those of a 60 year old woman.

Approx 5 days ago my skin started sagging and I have now developed that "flap" by my triceps. My arms have always been my pride and joy..I work so hard at them, and they have been so tone,..now they look flabby and sagging with wrinkles.
I am in a panic. Have a doctors appointment for Friday.

Yes, I am fair, Yes, I have been sunburnt many times over the years. My mother had wrinkles also, but to have this come on so very sudden, I don't know what to think.

As far as periomenopause, it sounds like this shouldn't happen so suddenly and usually the elasticity is after menopause. I don't have any symptoms yet, except for my period being early once in a while.

I am 44 years old, and have gone, in 2 weeks, from having 44 year old skin to skin of a 60 year old. Could someone please help? I'm very distressed.
568 Responses
Avatar universal
You're right in saying that these changes shouldn't be quite so sudden and that tells me that it's not likely to be due to menopausal changes as much as possibly something else going on.  

I'm wondering if perhaps, you may be chronically dehydrated in recent weeks?  Since water makes up a good portion of our body and fills out our skin, I'm wondering if this why your skin has suddenly become so drawn?  

Try keeping yourself very well hydrated (not overly as that can create some really bad problems in and of itself...perhaps, 8 oz per hour for a bit).  Perhaps, something with electolytes in it like a sports drink (NO cafeine).  Gatoraide or one of those might work.  Don't overdo those either.  One or two per day and lots of water.
Please keep us updated as to how you are doing.  
Avatar universal
Thank you, nice to have someone acknowledge my post.......it has been the hottest summer on record...and I have definitely suffered sun damage over the years but to have this sagging come on so suddenly! I've been to the doctor and she has basically said "welcome to old age". I lost 25lbs over 6 years ago and toned my arms up completely as I go to the gym faithfully. Why is this happening?? My arms under my biceps have dropped dramatically, to the point where I am covering up my arms. My veins bulge all the time....I'm panicked...my skin is so loose. I just want to curl up in bed and cry and cry.
Avatar universal
Hi - Even though I'm a little older than you and am in menopause, I had very similar issues with my skin and muscles, seemingly overnight.  I have yet to find a definite answer, though I have had my hormones tested and discovered all of my hormones are out of balance.  I'm in the process of trying bioidentical hormone replacement to see if that helps.  Hope you find some answers.
Avatar universal
I hope I do too. I just noticed tonight that my upper thigh area is starting now.  I need to cope with this, and I am not doing a great job at the moment. I lay in bed and cry. :(
An arm lift does wonders. Minimal recovery time too
I had one altho I’m younger one day yup. Bat wings. They still look good even tho I had surgery decade ago . Don’t know where you located but I can give you some top surgeons reference
Bat wings.  ha. It is so true that my arms are not looking good.  Never heard of an 'arm lift'.  You had the surgery 10 years ago? And it lasted all this time?  Do you also work out now?
1022991 tn?1251737991
I'm so sorry that you're suffering so.  I know that "out of control of the body" feeling, and it *****!  I hope you have people in your life that you can talk to, because support from loved ones can go a long ways.
Avatar universal
I know the feeling. I am 51 and have recently lost about 25 pounds, but have consisently exercised and taken buku supplements. I have noticed my tricep skin puckering at different angles as well as my thighs. You feel like "this is the thanks I get for watching my weight and taking so many supplements that my stomach is screaming!" Forgive me, but at least on a forum, I can be a "crybaby" rather than put up the good front that I do throughout my real day. I have a doctor's appointment today to discuss this as well as mood swings, hot flashes, zero libido and any other symptom one can think of that is associated with menopause. I don't want to think that I must start covering up my arms and legs like the "sterotypical older woman". I hate to think of surgery as the only alternative, as in the past I considered this option as vanity. I guess it's vanity when it's everyone else! LOL
Avatar universal
Hi Jnine...  I, too am 44 yrs old and have had the EXACT same issues you're sharing about with sudden sagging and crepey skin in arms, then starting in uppper thighs.  I, too have been physically fit with a very active job, so lack of activity cannot be the culprit. I wanted desparately to share that it's happening identically to me to let you know you're not alone... but other than the fact that we're the same exact age, I've just started investigating what we're dealing with. I have heard DMAE supplements are helpful, as well as MSM and vitamin E. I'm ordering them now. Have you had any developments since your posts here?  Please let me know. The "curl up and cry feeling" IS huge and overwhelming isn't it? .  (((BIG HUGS)))  B
Avatar universal
I am very sorry to hear about your unhappy experience—I have been dealing with similar vein and skin issues.

I would like to know whether In the weeks, months, or even a year or so before this happened had you been prescribed one or more of these antibiotics— Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox?
Avatar universal
Just discovered this thread as exactly the same is now happening to me. I'm very depressed about it as I've always been slim,fit and had enviable arms. I've now moved to a hot climate where long sleeves are out of the question. My face looks young but now the granny arms are getting worse - don't even get me started about additional sagging and ugly elbow skin.
Is any of this reversible,do any supplements or hormones help? Notice his thread is old, did things deteriorate further or did anyone find any solutions - help please.
Avatar universal
Ughhh dont get me started on Levoquin or Avelox and Cipro. Dreadful Antibiotics and they should be taken off the market.. I only took one  Avelox and experienced some alarming side effects.levoquin was a littel easier but after 5 days i could hardly get out of bed because i hurt so much and the nightmares where just alarming.Ok nothing to do with Menopause i know..sorry..I,m also going through Meno and my skin has gotten very dry and kinda saggy... Miserable isnt it.
641559 tn?1250443489
I know, menopause is not fun...but it is a natural progression.  I think of the pains as growing older pains, much like growing pains when we were kids.  It will pass as our growing pains did.  Then we will be feeling great...it just takes some time to get here.  We are in the 3rd stage of our lives and we have to go through crap to get there.  I, too, cannot WAIT for it to be over.  But, I'm trying my best to put a positive and humorous spin on it...or else I may have to bite someone's head off!
Sorry for making light, it's the way I can get through the body aches, mood swings, etc.  However, I have been on Menersa for about 5 or 6 months now and it has made a DRAMATIC difference in how I feel.  It is all natural and that, for me, is a good thing.

Best to everyone,
641559 tn?1250443489
BTW...my skin is doing the same thing.  Yuck!  I'm going to try Gold Bond's cream.  They have something for, what sounds like, that kind of thing.  I know that hydration and using lotion everyday seems to help some.  I am trying to make friends with my older self...it's the only way I'll ever be happy!  It's not easy. :)
Avatar universal
OMG I just had the same thing happen! I was unhappy, lost weight but now am ok, just a few pounds under still and thin BUT whoa, what is up w/ the sagging skin by the elbows?? I HATE IT. Seems like it happened overnight!!  I am 49. Used to work out a ton but stopped so it is good to hear that it happens to those that still work out. It has to be hormonal? UGH UGH UGH. Loose skin even though I have always had thin arms. Is it lack of estrogen? Will hormone replacement drugs make  it tighten up?  Please post if you find out!
641559 tn?1250443489
I don't have a solution for sagging skin, but I did try the Gold Bond lotion and it works wonders!  The crepe-like skin is nearly gone!  Hydration was what my skin needed.  I've also been using it on my chest area and it is working great.
If I come across something for the loose skin I will certainly share.
Good luck ladies. :)
Avatar universal
OMG!!  46, will be 47 in June.  Can't even tell you how everything seems to be failing, wrinkling, etc. & yes, it seems like it happened overnight.  Perimenopausal as well.  Had complete check up recently & no major health issues. However, my gyno has me hrt's(which I REALLY want to get off of).  Added into the mix of all the skin issues mentioned, I am losing my hair like CRAZY.  Anyone else having hair loss issues?  Thought it might be a thyroid thing, but had full work-up done on thyroid & apparently it is functioning normally.  
Avatar universal
Yes! All of this - and glad to hear about the Gold Bond, which is an ancient product someone gave me while I was in the hospital and I couldn't believe how great it worked and smelled great!  I've just recently noticed the elbow thing and am FREAKED OUT! I do believe it's related to hormones but could also be illness and weight loss... But the good news is that I do find that my hands really respond when I moisturize and - a big help - use gloves when I wash dishes.

The other thing is I recently lost a bunch of weight too, and that's when I noticed the skin on my elbows. I think at least some of the problem is from the weight loss, which makes some sense. I figure if I exercise my arms, it'll "pick up" some of the slack, so to speak!

As far as cipro and levaquin - have you been really sick lately? These antibiotics are often given for heavyduty infections. So maybe your issues will resolve when your body regains balance?
Avatar universal
RE: Cipro & Levaquin:

No, I was given a heavy-duty dose as a prophylactic against a possible infection and was in excellent health, which is no longer the case since I got hit with systemic damage from these meds. I started noticing what had always been relatively oily skin drying out — permanently — within two weeks  of finishing the drug and within a year I had gone from having very youthful skin to extremely dry, loose skin everywhere: face, neck, elbows, hands, knees, eyelids, you name it. Awful. Vein and joint damage too.  I remain interested in knowing whether anyone else reporting skin problems here was prescribed a quinolone within the year or so before they surfaced.  These drugs attack collagen, elastin, and apparently send free radical formation into overdrive, all of which contribute to aging. These effects are all documented; wish I'd known, not to mention my doctor, before I took the meds.
Avatar universal
Ladies, I empathize with all of you completely. I am a post-menopausal 60 yr old who, I am told by everyone I know & many I don't, that I look 45 - which is great to hear, but when the summer clothes come out I could just cry (and do). Weigh 112, but my butt, thighs and upper arms are a disaster. The saggy skin, dry wrinkly skin, bumpy skin....where did it all come from? I'm actually embarrassed to show myself naked in front of my husband of 29 years, who assures me I'm still gorgeous - until I see his eyes sneak to my upper arms or thighs and quickly away. I'm due back to my naturopath to have another hormone balance test - but am stopping at the drug store this evening to get some Gold Bond - have heard it does help a lot and all these lotions I spend a fortune on don't seem to help much. I do know that hydration is extremely important - evening primrose oil taken in capsule form (be careful of too much tho; can cause diarrhea) can help somewhat. I refuse to accept this as part of the aging - I've had fantastic skin, legs, arms all my life so this is really really hard to take. Guess it's a fight that will continue to the end of our days!!! I say, accept who you are but by god, if you're not happy with how you look, keep active, eat organic, drink lots of water (I'm working on the no caffeine) and above all, a positive outlook is huge! I still go sleeveless and it's not easy but I refuse to do the "mature woman" look. The thighs are another story....
Avatar universal
hi ladies,
anyone have issues with excessive hair loss during all this???  losing it like crazy & no drs. can figure out why!!  HELP!!!
Avatar universal
Stress will cause hair loss.  A friend tried the supplement "Biotin" and it worked for her.  Although, she did complain that 'all her body' hair grew. LOL
Avatar universal
I have the same problem and just recently I had the Afirm Laser procedure done on my neck and my arms from hand to shoulder completely.  After that I had a peel done on them.  I notice a HUGE difference.  The Affirm laser tightened and the peel did even more.  It cost $450. for the laser and then $100. for the peel so it was not cheap but I feel much more comfortable showing my arms now.   I was told that the tightening of the skin will continue over the next few months.
Avatar universal
Regarding the hair loss, when I started going through menopause at age 47 I would find a hair ball in the shower.  Lasted for a while and then stopped.  I've read that hair loss can be attributed to a lack of estrogen. So not sure if you're at that age or not.  Hair loss is also a symptom that some people with lupus deal with.  I've had some estrogen issues just recently and have noticed my skin is a lot drier than usual, probably a result of the lowering estrogen.
Avatar universal
For tightening skin a bit, I suggest Nourish Skin Tight.  It has helped my arms (esp by the crease when you bend your elbow) and my knees!   I began using it 5 years ago, and to me it has made a world of difference.  It USE to work better,however, when it had more DMAE (which is a skin tightener), but I am still pretty happy with the results, as my skin does NOT sag when I lean over in bed to put my arms around the chest of my 41 year old man (and I am 58!) ;-)  
Avatar universal
I also want to add that it doesn't work for everyone, but for me most definitely.  However, I do use it 3 times a day! AND I also want to mention that after 2 weeks, I had noticed a difference.  I really cannot live without it and when I went to Europe for 6 months, I took 8 bottles!!!! :-)
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