The Surgeon Minute

Don’t Let Your Hands Reveal Your Age

Don’t Let Your Hands Reveal Your Age

Your hands can be a dead giveaway of your age. Exposed to the sun and elements on a daily basis, the hands take a beating. Though we tend to be obsessed with protecting and treating the skin on our face, many of us forget about our hands, ironic considering the skin on the hands is actually more delicate than the skin on the face. Furthermore, it’s an area of the body that’s genetically pre-programmed to lose volume.

If you’ve looked down at the bulging veins and tendons in your hands and thought, “Whose hands are these?” hand rejuvenation could be a life saver. Dr. Christine Hamori of Duxbury, MA talks about the various options to achieve rejuvenated hands.

by Katherine Stuart
and Christine Hamori, MD

Radiesse Treatments Will Increase Volume

As we age, the skin on our hands thins out as they experience volume loss. Although this happens in other places such as the face, it is particularly noticeable on the hands. “You start seeing the tendons and the veins and you’re like, ‘Whose hands are these?’” says Dr. Hamori. There are two ways to replace volume: fat grafting and Radiesse, an injectable filler. With fat grafting, excess fat is removed from another part of the body, typically the abdomen, thighs, or buttock, and is injected into the hands. Many patients like the idea of using their own fat because they feel it’s more “natural,” but fat grafting is a two-part surgical procedure.

Radiesse is an FDA-approved dermal filler consisting of calcium hydroxyappetite in a gel matrix. It’s been in use for years on the face and was recently approved for use in the hands. Dr. Hamori has seen very positive results with Radiesse used in this way. During the procedure, she injects the filler into a couple of spots on the hand and then massages those spots so the gel flattens out and streams under the skin, filling in and covering up the bulging tendons and veins. The result is younger-looking, smooth hands. The filler doesn’t go into the veins, and it doesn’t cause much bruising. Patents can expect a bit of swelling, but the procedure is pretty much pain free according to Hamori. She does apply a numbing cream first, but since the filler is injected under the skin where there aren’t many nerves, “it’s just a strange sensation,” but it’s not painful. The end results last about a year.

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Brown Spots and Texture Can Be Addressed with Skincare

Since the skin on the hands is so delicate, it needs special attention. First and foremost, apply a UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day and reapply often. A trick Hamori tells her patients is don’t apply the sunscreen to the palms of your hands. Instead, put it on the backs of your hands and rub those together, making sure to cover the fingers. It’s a fast, easy way to get the coverage where it’s needed. Second, apply a mild retinol product of 0.25% three times a week. Third, you may want to consider laser treatments such as IPL to address any brown spots or Ultherapy to tighten the skin and increase collagen.

Schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to discuss the best treatment options for you, but there is no reason to live with older looking hands if their appearance is bothersome.

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