Sagging skin and wrinkles on the arms and legs. Any skin tightening options?
Let’s get the not so great part over first. As of this writing, there really isn’t ANY technology that is the super effective magic wand that we all want in a skin tightening treatment. In my opinion, here IS what’s realistic and possible as of 2017 for sagging skin.
Sagging Skin: the Basics
- You gotta keep your lean muscle mass up to keep the skin tighter on your arms and legs. So, if you’ve been neglecting the gym and weights, and if you’re over 40, you gotta get back to it or get a trainer to show you how to get started. The extra muscle mass alone will make this skin look better
- Any more sun damage to this skin will destroy more elastic fibers and make the skin looser. Keep a light shirt in the car to use so the UVA through the window doesn’t do more damage and use sunscreen, if you’re not covered. Staying covered is better than sunscreen, if you can. Wear driving gloves like these.
- You can get a little repair from sun damage just with products. Not a miracle but try a glycolic every other night or use the Neck, Chest, Hand product on your arms or legs. Also, keep your skin well lotioned every single day. All these little things help.
Skin Tightening Technology
- You’re absolutely right! Two treatments with the ThermiSmooth or Exilis (these two are very similar) will NOT shrink wrap your skin. Results are minimal on the body and multiple treatments (more like 4-6) are needed for even modest improvement, so it may not be worth the investment of time and money. ThermiTight has a probe inserted under the skin and is also not impressive yet, in my opinion. It also has more complications associated with it.
- Results with other technologies for the body like the Thermage CPT or the BodyTite are likewise not particularly good. If you’re okay with very modest results, consider it.
- If you have fat WITH the loose skin, then a better option is Coolsculpting which removes the fat and provides some skin tightening. It really depends on the area. You’ll need a consult and get two different consults if you can. Their equipment may differ slightly.
- A little long lasting filler or fat injected around loose elbow skin may help and a consult is needed first.
- Some early anecdotal experience suggests that very dilute Sculptra (experts only please) on the body in combination with something like ThermiSmooth or Exilis may be more effective. See the blog post on the Thermi systems if you are confused about these!!
- If you are sun damaged, Fraxel or CO2 laser improves skin texture and also tightens a little.
Hope this helps, Dr. I