A Nonsurgical Arm Lift In Just One Treatment

There may be no need for surgery if you're dealing with loose skin on your body-especially on your upper arms and around your knees. A new study published in Dermatologic Surgery by Washington, D.C., dermatologists, Tina Alster, MD, and Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, shows that Ulthera, a transcutaneous intense-focused ultrasound device, can significantly tighten the skin on the body after just one treatment.

So far, the as noninvasive skin tightener is only FDA-approvedfor the face, but that could change after the results that were found. "The ultrasonic energy goes deeper into the skin than lasers or radiofrequency do," says Dr. Alster. "By using different hand pieces, skin lifting and tightening of body skin can be achieved, similar to the tightening typically demonstrated on the face."

The effectivness of the device's use as a noninvasive skin tightener is good news for those considering surgical arm lifts, which are invasive and tend to leave fairly large scars-from the elbow to up, and under, the arm.

Keep in mind, that while patients in the study also had their thighs treated with Ulthera, the two areas of the body that showed the most improvement were the upper arms and baggy knees. And, while the procedure is noninvasive, it can take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes for one treatment and is not painless. "It's not like ultrasound for imaging a baby in your womb," says Dr. Alster. We're delivering high intensity ultrasound deep into the skin skin and that energy is converted into heat, so painkillers are provided to alleviate any discomfort during treatment." She also adds that there is no recovery time needed post-treatment, but some may experience slight swelling that goes away within the same hour and occasional mild bruising.

Those considering the treatment should also know that the final results will not be seen immediately, but slowly become apparent over a six-month period, so only one treatment is necessary within that time. "It's not unsafe to perform a repeat treatment earlier, but you don't get the final effect FOR six months," she says.

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