Armpit Fat & Back Fat: Can you SPOT reduce body fat?


Armpit fat – it’s more on the side of your torso, between your bra and your arm, than actually IN your armpit. It’s essentially the fat “rolls” that have accumulated around the side and back area of your upper chest (just above what’s called a ‘side boob’).  When it comes to being unhappy with your armpit fat & back fat appearance, the first things you probably start to notice are:

  • just how uncomfortable it feels when your bra digs into your upper torso
  • the way you can’t wait to take off your bra and ‘relax’ your skin because it’s feeling scrunched up and bunched up by the bra

The second thing you probably notice, especially in a 3-way mirror or certain outfits:

  • is how the excess fat and skin leaves you with armpit fat or rolls and bulges above the bra line
  • how this impacts what you wear
    • such as how comfortable or uncomfortable you feel when wearing a swimsuit in summer, or
    • how comfortable or uncomfortable you feel wearing sleeveless shirts with wider armholes
does liposuction work for armpit-fat-rolls-around-the-bra-area.

So when it comes to armpit area fat and back fat (back rolls), what, if anything, can be done?  And does Liposuction help at all?

The first thing you need to do is try a non-surgical method, such as dieting, exercising, building muscle strength and getting fitter. However, sometimes it’s a matter of how your body genetically likes to store fat across the body.

Every person’s different.

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If your exercises and weight loss fail to yield the results you’re wanting, then liposuction or a breast reduction or upper back “body lift” might be an option.

Also, you might also consider if you’re breast volume is heavy enough, or sagging enough, to warrant a breast reduction or breast lift procedure.

Exercise: Can you spot reduce arm fat or back rolls with exercises?

Sadly, the answer is NO.

armpit-fat-rolls-around-the-bra-area and lipo or liposuction - work?

But if your bra-area bulges are a result of being overweight, then getting fit SHOULD help you have a better physique, all over.

If you build muscle and reduce fat stores, you’re likely to see at least SOME results.

But again, spot reducing is not usually an option to reduce fat bulges, e.g., using exercise alone.


And that’s why some people who try to get fit, still have bulges in certain areas.  They end up looking investigating liposuction options or a body lift and skin reduction procedure.

Here’s why exercise doesn’t ALWAYS help, although losing weight and getting fit should ALWAYS be your first step, before or in lieu of having surgery.

  • You can lose weight and tone up, building up your muscles and reducing body fat, but you can’t SPOT reduce fat by exercise alone.
  • You can eat more healthily and watch your caloric intake
    • Some people swear by the 2/5 eating system or low carb diets, but be careful to check the health ramifications of diets as MOST diets are unsuccessful or too drastic to be healthy
    • You might be better off making lifestyle changes and better choices than following the latest fad diet.
  • You can try some forms of lymphatic drainage if your problem relates to a sluggish system (be sure you choose carefully) to see if that helps also, along with losing weight and firming up your muscles (increasing your MUSCLE to FAT ratio to improve your metabolism).
  • But depending on your body, the fat may still linger in those areas where you’re prone to store adipose cells (body fat).

ARMPIT FAT – Definition and Meaning of those bulges around the bra line or back area.

There’s also upper arm fat, which can lead to wanting Brachiaplasty surgery.

armpit fat definition - arm pit fat, back fat definition and meaning

Definition of Armpit fat or fat around the Bra Line (and Skin Folds on your Back)

The term Armpit fat means the bulges or skin folds containing excess adipose tissues. This type of excess fat tends to accumulate around the side of the chest wall, essentially between the side of the breast area and the armpit area. These fat ‘pads’ can extend to ‘back fat’ or ‘back fat rolls.’

What this ends up doing to the physique is creating body bulges under the armpit area, or along the back bra area, when support bras are worn. That’s because these garments often restrict parts of the skin and force excess fat stores in one of either of two directions – up, under the armpit, or down, which often shows up as ‘back fat.’  Some people end up with rolls on either side, meaning fat bulges appear around or under the armpit area and along the circumferential bra closure area.

BACK FAT – definition and meaning

  • Back fat essentially has the same meaning, and like armpit fat, relates to excess fat tissues
  • Unlike armpit fat, which mostly exists along the side of the chest wall, between the breast area and the armpit or underarm area, back fat can leave you with more than one set of body bulges or back rolls – sometimes above the bra line, and near the armpit; and other times under the bra line, along the upper torso area or upper waist area.
  • Armpit fat means excess adipose tissues that end up bulging out above, or below, the circumferential bra line area.

They are often referred to as ‘fat rolls’ and they can leave you feeling uncomfortable wearing certain bras or more revealing upper body fashions.

Does exercise work to reduce armpit fat and back fat (back rolls) or bulges around the side or back area of your bra?

  • Everyone always asks, can you spot tone armpit fat or back fat?
  • Sadly, no. Exercises are NOT effective in removing fat that has accumulated in certain spots on the body, as these relate to genetics and, often, to being overweight.
  • Even so, there are some good upper body strengthening exercises that can help.

Try reading these great fitness blogs on best exercises to reduce back fat and armpit fat:

The Best Pilates Moves to Get Rid of Stubborn Back and Armpit Fat (from Andrea Speir, Pilates Guru, in an article written by Shape’s Kylie Gilbert)


How Can I Get Rid Of My Armpit Fat?’  It’s complicated (published in Women’s Health Magazine by April 2017)


Why do I have excess fat in some areas of my body, but not in others?

armpit-fat-rolls-under-bra-backfat liposuction of arms, breasts, breast reduction liposuction

Fat distribution associated with weight gain varies from person to person.

  • Everyone gains weight differently.
  • Often, weight gain and excess body fat distribution is genetic.
  • You may store excess fat on your thighs or abdomen, or all over the body equally, or perhaps only in certain parts of your physique (like your hips or legs, and lower body).

How and where your body stores fat is related to a combination of factors, some lifestyle, some genetics, some related to exercise (or lack thereof) and others to hormonal changes in the body.

So what can be done to reduce armpit fat or remove back fat rolls above the bra line?

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  • You can lose weight. Contact our office and ask for the number of a good dietitian or weight loss Surgeon in Melbourne.
  • You can firm up your underlying muscles.
    • Gaining strength through weight training means your body will also have a higher metabolism, as well as looking firmer.
    • Exercising has a number of other health benefits, both physical, mental and social.  Start exercising (but see your Doctor first if you are very overweight or have a health condition that limits your ability to safely exercise).
  • You can eat more healthily and do certain exercises to improve your overall body fitness levels.

excise ideal weight before surgery

When exercise fails to yield results, then surgery and liposuction might be the answer.

There is liposuction of the arms as well as upper arm reduction, and body lift surgery (Body contouring) to reduce fat and excess skin, and these work well for some patients.  Surgery will, however, leave scars, but it can result in reducing those body bulges and fat rolls that you find so annoying, unattractive or uncomfortable.

You can explore liposuction for fat reduction of armpit fat and back fat or fat rolls (excess adipose tissues that bulge out from near your under arm or bra-line area on your upper torso).

  • Surgeons can provide you with a no-obligation consultation, or phone our office for some FREE downloadable Guides to surgery.
  • Phone 1300 264 811 and ask for skin reduction or liposuction surgery guides.  Or visit our Guides to Cosmetic Surgery page.

Breast Reduction and Armpit Fat, Back Fat Reduction Surgery

Often, women with very noticeable armpit fat bulges or back fat bulges or skin folds, also have heavy breast tissues or are subject to weight gain.

Breast Reduction by liposuction or by surgical excision along with shaping via liposuction can really help with:

  • reducing heavyweight volume in the breast area or upper torso
  • reshaping the breasts to a more exercise-friendly and bra-comfortable shape
  • reposition or resize and reposition nipples (nipple-areola complex) to a more central position on the chest wall
  • combined with a Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty, the procedure is called the “Mummy Makeover” option; however, it is usually best performed sequentially rather than all at once – ask a Surgeon for details.

At an initial Plastic Surgery consultation, you’ll be assessed as to whether or not you’re a good candidate for these body contouring or fat reduction and armpit or back bulge reduction procedures. 

  • Ask us about our excellent Surgeons and how to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our amazing team.
  • Read our blogs about First Consultations so you know what to expect.

Liposuction Options for Armpit Fat and Back Fat or Skin Rolls

Want to know more about your liposuction options or about our weight loss team, including nutritionists and dietitians and surgeons in Melbourne who offer assistance with weight loss?

Visit and call us on 1300 264 811 for information.

You can also request a FREE guide to Liposuction Surgery.


And ask us about our team, consisting of some of Melbourne’s best Plastic Surgeons for Breast Reduction surgery (with Liposuction shaping) and Body Contouring after Weight Loss or after Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery as a treatment for Obesity.

Our caring and respectful Patient Coordinators and Specialist Plastic Surgeons will help you understand your best cosmetic surgery options to reduce uncomfortable body bulges or sagging skin folds.  Meet our Body Contouring Surgeons at one of our monthly events or phone today on 1300 264 811 for a no-obligation assessment of your suitability for armpit fat reduction using liposuction, body contouring and back fat reduction, breast reduction or other body shaping surgery procedures.


Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

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Download our free guides or phone 1300 264 811 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.



Further Reading about Liposuction

Last updated: 12/05/2022
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Dr Patrick Briggs - FRCS, FRCSI (Plast. Surg)
Dr Patrick Briggs is an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon Now based in Melbourne, Australia. He is an expert in Breast, Body and Face Surgery with a special interest in Gender Assignment Surgery. Dr Briggs has been published widely in surgical literature; he is trained and experienced in all aspects of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. Dr Briggs’ extensive experience across multiple surgical fields has allowed him to refine his skills to produce optimum results for his patients. Combined with his experience, Dr Briggs continually attends conferences and seminars to extend his knowledge and training surrounding the latest and best surgical techniques and equipment. By doing so he is able to provide his patients with the highest level of care and skill ensuring quality results.

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.