Saturday, March 17, 2012

Treatment of Aging Hands

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As you get older your hands lose fat and muscle volume. The skin develops brown spots (liver spots also know as sun spots), becomes more translucent and shriveled, thins and loses its elasticity. The skin doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it. The underlying veins, tendons and bones then become more visible.

Although we have botox, injectable fillers and facelifts to make our faces look younger as we age the hands frequently look much older than our treated faces. Joan Rivers, no stranger to plastic surgery, suggested to The Huffington Post after Madonna’s recent Super Bowl performance that she favored fingerless gloves because “she’s trying to hide those wrinkly old hands.” Madonna now usually makes public appearances wearing gloves.

The actress Sarah Jessica Parker has a similar aging hand look.

We cannot use botox or removal of the thinned inelastic skin to make our hands look younger. The first is not effective and the second leaves visible scars without solving any of the problems.

We now have options to rejuvenate aging hands. Injectable fillers like Radiesse, Juvéderm, Perlane and Sculptra and of course injections of fat from other areas of the body into the hands are increasingly being used to return volume to the hands. As with any filler, potential complications exist, including infection, skin discoloration, nodule or granuloma formation, asymmetry and skin necrosis so you need to choose your doctor wisely for these treatments. The level of injection and avoidance of blood vessels is crucial when injection fillers into the hands. I prefer injection of fat over other materials. Intense pulsed light, Q switched lasers and CO2 laser resurfacing (including fractional lasers) are used to remove sun spots.
The most important thing is to prevent early aging of the hands by applying sunscreen regularly.
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