Don’t Forget About Your Hands
Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I saw you some years ago. With the fillers you did, the laser treatments and the surgery, I still look youthful and love that the results have held up so well for all of these years. I do feel embarrassed with my old hands, however, which immediately give away my age since they don’t match my youthful face. Can anything be done about my hands with lasting results?
Answer: Although I specialize in the face and neck, aging hands give away one’s age no matter how youthful the face looks. That’s why hand rejuvenation has become an integral part of my facial rejuvenation practice. Still, many patients seeking facial rejuvenation don’t even realize the value of addressing the aging of the hands to complement their facial work.
Several non-surgical options are available to rejuvenate aging hands with little to no downtime. But first, it’s important to understand some basic anatomy of hand aging. With age, we lose fat in our hands, causing the veins and bones on the back of the hands to become more visible. The spaces between the bones on the back of the hands also become more hollow. This progression of hollowing, visibly large veins and bony areas are due to the same kind of fat loss that we see in the volume loss of facial aging.
Hand volumization can be achieved with a variety of injectable fillers including Restylane Lyft, Juvederm, Sculptra, Radiesse, Bellafill and Stem Cell treatments. Because the back of the hands is a larger surface area than the face, the volume and, thus, the amount of filler needed, is much greater in the hands compared to the face. It’s for this reason that temporary fillers lasting 6 months to 2 years are not so cost-effective. The long lasting benefits of Bellafill, the 5-Year filler, as well Stem Cell filler treatments, make these two filler options a worthwhile long-term investment unlike the cheaper short-term fillers which often become unaffordable with the numerous maintenance treatments needed.
Once the specific areas of hollowing on the back of the hands are clearly identified, either Bellafill or activated Stem Cells are injected. The edges of the hollows are then feathered to give a smoother, softer and youthful-looking appearance to the hands. By restoring this volume loss, prominent veins, bony ridges and hollowing can disappear altogether.
Treatments are also available to tighten the loose skin over the hands and improve brown spots. However, volume loss is often the most significant contributing factor to hand aging and should be an essential part of any hand rejuvenation regimen.
Similar to the approach to facial volumization, effective and natural hand rejuvenation begins with identifying the correct areas to volumize and recognizing which areas to avoid. Careful consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon is the first step.