Is there anything to do for wrinkley, crinkley skin on the arms?

What do you recommend for arms, specifically the bicep/tricep area, that have become wrinkled and crepey? I have been a fitness instructor for over 25 years, and my arms are strong, but this look has prevented me from wearing anything sleeveless, even short-sleeved! Any advice you can offer will be much appreciated.

We all know what you mean!!  It’s frustrating to go to the gym, lift those weights, do yoga and/or pilates and end up very strong (a great thing!!), but that skin is still not cooperating.  Okay…….if you’re 25, you do not have this problem, but many women over 40 do!

First things first –  no sun on this skin without clothing over it or a high zinc sunscreen.   You must prevent further sun damage.    Then, you have to moisturize your arms (and legs) every single day and twice a day wouldn’t hurt.

Second, start thinking of your arms more like the skin on your face and neck.   It needs attention.   Start using a glycolic based skin care product at night (in place of moiturizer) to help speed up cell turnover and slough that dead skin faster. 

After you’ve done those things for at least 2-3 months, then start to consider other options:

  • Light peels may help –  only go to very experienced doctors or aestheticians though – these can go terribly wrong if not done correctly.
  • Fraxel laser on the arms both for texture and brown spots 
  • Exilis (sound wave) helps to tighten but you will need a series of 4-8 treatments – not uncomfortable and no downtown though.  Some offices like ours are beginning to use very dilute Sculptra concentrations in combination with Exilis to build collagen and get better results.
  • Don’t bother with body Thermage on the arms – the body tips are not great and Exilis is better in this category
  • If you have a larger fad pad there, Coolsculpting may be an option, but consult reputable office-  no groupon specials please!
  • Other good options will very likely be available in the next 1-3 years

Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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