Women spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on manicures and jewelry to show off their hands. It is interesting that the hands are often overlooked when it comes to aging. With age and sun exposure, the skin of the hands gets blotchy, spotted, thinned, wrinkled, and the underlying blood vessels and tendons show through.
While most people regularly use anti-aging skin care products and sunscreen on their face, they neglect other areas like the neck, chest and hands. Women who want to maintain a youthful look tend to focus on their face, and undergo regular facials, injectables, and cosmetic surgery. However, looking younger after your facial procedures can conflict with aged hands that simply do not match the face.
The Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center is pleased to offer hand rejuvenation services that can complement a wide variety of facial plastic surgery procedures. Please call (702) 260-7707 to schedule a free consultation at our office in Henderson, Nevada.
You Can Always Tell a Woman’s Age by Her Hands
The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® Journal, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), published a study in the past discussing the importance of hand rejuvenation. According to the study, most people can accurately tell a person’s age by viewing only their hands:
“After the face, hands are the second most visible, tell-tale sign of one’s age. If your goal is to look more youthful or you are bothered by the appearance of your hands, you may seriously want to consider hand rejuvenation.”
In the study, people examined photographs of female hands and were asked to estimate the women’s ages, i.e., younger than 20 years, 20 to 30 years, 30 to 40 years, etc. In the majority of cases, participants were able to accurately estimate the age of each woman in the photographs.
Overall, the physical characteristic which most commonly gave away age was prominent hand veins. Other characteristics associated with older looking hands include thin skin, age spots, wrinkles, deformity, blemishes and prominent joints.
Hand Rejuvenation Treatments
Two issues need to be addressed for hand rejuvenation. The first is the skin appearance. Brown spots, red spots, broken capillaries, crepey skin, and wrinkles need to be smoothed using resurfacing procedures along with the regular application of skin care products. Secondly, the visibility of the underlying tendons, vessels and joints (skeletonization) needs to be minimized.
Injecting fillers under the skin surface hides these structures, while thickening the overlying skin. Prominent veins can be treated with sclerotherapy, lasers, or direct excision.
- A routine skin care program is an important part of hand rejuvenation. The products that you use regularly on your face can and should be used on your hands. Sunscreen is essential.
- Light chemical peels of glycolic acid or transchloroacetic acid in low concentration can be used to improve discolorations. Multiple treatments are usually required. Hand skin is different than facial skin, lacking sebaceous glands that are the source of new skin cells. Therefore, hand resurfacing treatments need to be conservative to avoid scarring. Multiple sessions are usually required for desired results.
- Lasers and other thermal resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel, Carbon Dioxide laser, IPL, Erbium laser, Q-Switched laser, and Thermage can be used, but at lower settings than typically used for the face. So again, multiple treatments are usually required for desired results.
Treatments for Skeletonization: Visible Veins, Tendons, and Joints
- Various injectable fillers can be placed under the skin of the dorsum of the hands to hide vessels and tendons, while thickening the skin. RADIESSE® works well in this area, as it spreads evenly and results are immediate, lasting about 9 months. Injections in this area are relatively painless and there is little to no downtime. RADIESSE® not only adds immediate volume, but it is also stimulatory so it tends to thicken the skin.
- Hyaluronic acid products such as Juvederm and Restylane can also be used in this area. Sculptra is not recommended in this area.
- Fat transfer to the hands is another option, but is more invasive with more risk and downtime. Usually the abdomen or thigh is liposuctioned to obtain fat, which is then injected to fill the dorsum of the hands. Because the skin here is very thin, contour irregularities or imperfections in the fatty tissue layer are perceived if it is not precisely performed. Results are very operator dependent. In addition, the results can be unpredictable as a portion of the injected fat can get reabsorbed. Over correction or lumpiness is very difficult to correct.
- Vein prominence is usually treated with lasers or sclerotherapy. Certain skin lasers are useful for treating tiny spider veins. Other lasers can be directed inside larger veins for eradication. Lasers can be used in conjunction with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution (sclerosant) directly into the veins. The solution causes damage to the vein causing it to collapse. Microphlebectomy is a surgical procedure that removes small vein segments using small incisions. It is rarely used for hand rejuvenation.
To learn about the hand rejuvenation treatments performed at Desert Hills Plastic Surgery Center, please call (702) 260-7707 or contact our Henderson office online for service in the Las Vegas area.