Armpit Fat: Scooping And Swooping Is Not Working

I got this in my inbox recently:

   "I have unsightly migrated breast tissue at my underarms and underneath them, as well as some on my back. This "swoop and scoop" method doesn't work for me. The tissue refuses to stay in my bra. I recently got my bra size measured at Victoria's Secret and got some, but something still doesn't feel right. What should I do? -- Sarah"

   This is a problem that many women have, so my answer is addressed not only to Sarah, but to everyone with armpit roll issues. If you are new here, first read about breast tissue migration and watch a nice demonstration of scooping and swooping here. Here are my suggestions for dealing with armpit fat:

Snugger band, bigger cups

   A Victoria's Secret fitting is not reliable -- the fitters get approximately 5 minutes of training (I know this from a real VS fitter), and they will fit you only into the sizes that the store carries. (This goes for most stores with a limited size range, btw). So, you might not be wearing the best size for you. I really recommend measuring yourself according to my  instructions.
   Scooping and swooping will not work if your band is too big and your cups are too small -- a mistake which almost all women I have fitted make. A cup big enough will ensure that the migrated tissue has somewhere to go to. An underwire that encircles the breast will keep the tissue in. And a snug band will not allow the tissue to escape from underneath the underwire. So it is very very important that you are wearing the right size bra!

Choose high underwires

   Are you wearing bras with underwires that go rather high up? These usually help. Look for plunge styles, many half-cups also have underwires that go up high under the armpit. The bras from Braologie are really great for migrated breast tissue. More recommendations here. If you are tall, you might need extra high underwires.

 Don't hate your Tail of Spence

    A little bit of loose tissue over there is normal. Any place that has soft tissue (as opposed to bone and pure muscle) will form rolls and creases.
   Migrated breast tissue is usually malleable, and might look like a big roll (or be spread all over the area). It can be scooped into the cup with your palms. Over time, it should migrate back to the breasts. If the tissue does not want to rejoin the breast in spite of scooping and swooping and high underwires, it is probably the axillary tail.
    I've also had a couple of friends who were quite unhappy about a very tiny roll they found near the armpits -- but a small roll is perfectly fine! Often it is appears only when the bra strap presses on the tissue in that area, or the edges of moulded cups. It is probably also cause by the fact that armpit creases in the media are heavily photoshopped: almost nobody has just one smooth crease over there. Here is a nice example. And here is a whole gallery that shows how Victoria's Secret Touches up armpits and other parts. The Photoshop also hides symptoms of the badly fitting bras. Here, the model is very skinny and has almost no rolls on creasing, still they retouched her to give her Barbie armpits:

via Debenhams, who at least is honest about the retouching

   Of course if you have a high percentage of body fat, the fat might be distributed evenly all over your body, including the back. I'm talking here about the proportions of muscle to fat, not about whether someone is skinny or fat (a person that weighs less might have very few muscles as compared to fat).
    When looking at anatomy pictures I think that training the lats (Latissimus Dorsi muscles) might make things firmer and smoother under the area. But I'm no fitness expert. (If you are, please chime in!)
   Another thing that comes to mind is a blockage in the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes in the armpit drain lymph from the entire upper abdomen, which is incidentally why antiperspirants are bad for you. You might want to look up lymph drainage massage that you can do at home. Dry brushing your upper torso  in movements towards your armpits is a good start.

    Over to you. What are your experiences with migrated tissue and fat in the armpit and back? And advice for Sarah?

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