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Aesthetics Practice Today

Arm Reshaping and Toning

Published April 15, 2013 12:47 PM by Mina Grasso

As spring and summer entice the sunshine and warm weather, short sleeves or sleeveless tops and spaghetti straps are the favorite fashion. Yet some people prefer long sleeves and sweaters year-round because they feel self conscious about their arms. 

Due to the social climate of southern California, patients come to our clinic year-round presenting with various complaints about their arms, looking for nonsurgical means to improve their appearance.

Here is a list of common complaints that I hear. Below each complaint I have listed interventions that we have had success with:

  • Flappy "bat wings" due to skin laxity

          -Viora Reaction

          -Thermage

          -Coolbreeze Laser Rejuvenation

  • Irregular texture due to cellulite

          -Viora Reaction

          -Thermage

          -Endermologie

          -VelaSmooth

          -Tri-Active Laser

  • Large, fat arms

          -Viora Reaction

          -Coolsculpt

  • Lack of muscle tone and definition

          -Power Plate Fitness

Nonsurigical therapies include devices that utilize radiofrequency to stimulate skin tightening, such as Viora Reaction and Thermage or long wavelength lasers that are safe for all skin types. Patients usually see some improvement in skin tightening immediately, but most of the action is based on collagen stimulation that takes up to 3 months for patients to see a difference.

Patients usually experience continued skin tightening for six months or more. When collagen fibers are tightened, the skin appears smoother and cellulite is less apparent. 

Although these radiofrequency devices are not specifically FDA-approved for treatment of excess fat in the upper arms, we see circumferential reduction in areas that have been treated in this off-label use. Patients who present with fat bulges and who want an alternative to liposuction can benefit from Coolsculpting, which safely freezes fat cells and requires no downtime. 

Diet and exercise are always supplementary key components to body shaping. Arm exercises with weights can improve muscle tone and definition. In our clinic, we use Power Plate Fitness for toning various muscle groups.

The Power Plate is a revolutionary product that generates vibrations that are transferred from a platform to the body. Power Plate is based on "advanced vibration technology" that allows the user to isolate and train every muscle group of the body. 

With as little as 10 minutes' focus on exercises for the upper body three times a week, patients can experience arms with more tone and improved muscle definition. Additionally, we see improvement in the appearance of cellulite in the arms due to the stimulation of lymphatic drainage.

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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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