Skin Tightening on the Body
Dr. Melanie Palm is a nationally recognized dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon specializing in body treatment with skin tightening. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego. Dr. Palm lectures nationally on skin tightening body treatments including an advisory board position for BTL, the makers of Exilis Ultra. She offers many effective treatment options for skin tightening.
Skin Laxity on the Body
Skin laxity or looseness of the skin becomes a more significant problem with age, weight changes, or significant sun exposure. Skin texture may change, causing a rippling change, accentuated skin markings, or even new wrinkles on the body (such as wrinkles above the knees). The skin laxity is even more apparent with overhead or direct sunlight.
Certain locations on the body seem to be more prone to skin laxity than others. Areas of the body that are often addressed with skin tightening procedures include the following:
- upper arm
- stomach or abdomen
- back area of the bra line
Skin Tightening Treatment Options for Skin Laxity of the Body
Not all skin laxity is created equally. The choice of skin tightening procedures for the body depends on the underlying cause, the anatomic location, and patient preference in terms of downtime or invasiveness of the procedure.
The following treatments are commonly used alone or in combination as skin tightening for the body:
- Topical treatment:
- Vitamin A derivates: vitamin A derivatives called retinoids have been shown to build collagen. A clinical study of adult women treated with retinols on the upper arms showed textural improvement to crepey skin when used three times a week for several months. They are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Sunscreen: UV exposure over a lifetime causes significant damage to the collagen matrix of the skin. This compromises skin texture and contributes to skin laxity. Sunscreen should be used as a preventative measure where skin is exposed, even on cloudy days or with limited sun exposure – as our lifetime cumulative exposure to sun leads to detrimental changes in the skin.
- Lasers , Lights, and Devices:
- Exilis Ultra: Exilis Ultra is a noninvasive, no downtime, non-painful device that combines radiofrequency and ultrasound to tighten the skin. Both forms of energy create bulk heating of the skin’s dermis and even the fat to noninvasively tighten the skin and finesse body contours. Exilis is completed as a series of treatments with periodic maintenance and is often used along the upper arms, abdomen, thighs, knees, and neck.
- Ultherapy: Ultherapy is an ultrasound-based device that is FDA-approved for skin tightening of the neck and chest, but published studies have also demonstrated its use in tightening the buttocks and upper arms. It is completed as a single procedure with a periodic booster or maintenance treatment and has no downtime.
- Accusculpt: Accusculpt is a laser lipolysis device. It is typically used in conjunction with liposculpture to enhance body skin tightening in areas undergoing body contouring and fat removal. When combined with liposuction, the most common areas treated are the neck, abdomen, and upper arms. Accusculpt can also be used alone to minimally invasively tighten areas of the skin such as the thighs. This procedure has some downtime and is completed with local regional anesthesia called “tumescent anesthesia.”
- Cellutone (X waves): Cellutone uses acoustic wave therapy to improve circulation and lymphatic flow. It is used in cellulite treatment. Although it can be used alone, it is often combined with Exilis Ultra or Vanquish treatment to enhance the results of body contouring and skin tightening from these procedures. There is no downtime or pain associated with this procedure.
A combination approach is sometimes ideal to improve the appearance of skin laxity on the body. Non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques are often combined with topical skin care regimens at Art of Skin MD to achieve the aesthetic goals of our patients in regards to skin tightening.
If you are looking for a body contouring, skin tightening expert in the San Diego area for non-invasive, non-surgical fat removal, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment.