By THANISORN THAMLIKITKUL MD
Next to the face, the hands are the most continuously exposed areas of the body.
Next to the face, the hands are the most continuously exposed areas of the body. They also show signs of ageing through wrinkles, dorsal volume loss, clearly visible veins and bones. So why not give your hands more attention and keep everyone guessing how old you really are?
Autologous fat transfer, a technique in which fat is harvested – by liposuction – from the abdomen, buttocks or thighs and then reinjected elsewhere in the body, was first used for hand rejuvenation more than a decade ago. However the fat is very bulky and lumpy and the procedure can cause bruising and swelling.
Fortunately, women now have a new option for younger-looking hands.
Dermatologists have turned to biodegradable fillers to restore ageing hands. Hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite fillers are the most common materials used for this relatively easy procedure with basically no downtime.
Intradermal injection of native hyaluronic acid (HA) increases dermal thickness and elasticity while cross-linked Hyaluronic acid, which does not degrade as quickly as native hyaluronic acid, has been shown to enhance the production of collagen in vivo and can be injected as a volume replacement. The duration of the effect has been reported to last six to 12 months.
The calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA)-based filler, which is characterised by its high viscosity and elasticity, can provide immediate volume replenishment and will last for a year or two. Various studies of the calcium hydroxylapatite with an observation period of up to one year for augmentation of the hands have confirmed the high efficiency and safety of the material. The efficacy and tolerability of this filler has been investigated in clinical studies in more than 3,000 patients.
The newest filler on the market is even packed with lidocaine. The benefit to this is that it makes the procedure less painful and it doesn’t even require multiple injections – one to numb the area and the other to apply the filler.
Overall, volume replacement with dermal fillers is sufficient for masking boniness, patent tendons and blood vessels as well.
Dark spots, which are believed to result from a genetic predisposition and chronic sun exposure, can be improved with laser technology. When the skin is exposed to the laser, the melanin absorbs the energy, causing the melanocytes to disintegrate. It may take a number of sessions to fully remove the dark spots.
Happily, you no longer have to stare at your hands and feel depressed. The variety of non-surgical techniques now available can go a long way to rejuvenating your hands in just a matter of minutes.
THANISORN THAMLIKITKUL MD is a member of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and certified in dermatological laser surgery. Send your questions for her to firstname.lastname@example.org.