Most of us are super-tuned-in to the first signs of aging on our faces. (Isn’t that why the mirror was invented?!) All the while, the hands are more likely to betray our ages.
Just like the face, the soft tissue in our hands that gives them volume gradually diminishes as we age, which makes the veins, tendons, and bones much more prominent.
Our hands also see as much sun as our faces, sometimes even more. The face is the first place we’ll apply sunblock, in large part because we’re so sensitized now to the sun’s aging effects, but who thinks about protecting their hands? We really should, because all that exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation as we age.
Hindsight is 20/20. Fortunately, there’s a range of remedies that’ll undo the ravages of time and leave your hands looking as young as you feel.
Topical skin care products for home use are the least aggressive track to help combat hyperpigmentation. We know there’s no shortage of over-the-counter serums, peels, and creams that treat sunspots and pimple marks, but if you’re truly bothered by those dark spots, the best thing you can do is see a board-certified plastic surgeon because they’re all far more effective after a plastic surgeon’s been able to lift and lighten the brown with professional-strength chemical peels and calibrated lasers.
A plastic surgeon with lots of experience in treating hyperpigmentation will know to be very careful with their approach. Even a well-meaning laser can ignite pigment rather than extinguish it. The least aggressive tack by a plastic surgeon or medical aesthetician is usually a series of mild chemical peels. For dense spots, lasers are more effective, such as IPL – intense pulsed light.
Restylane Lyft, a hyaluronic acid filler, made headlines last year when it became the first injectable of its kind to be approved by the FDA for use outside of the face.
An injection underneath the skin on the back of the hands but above the connective tissue that covers the tendons, bones, blood vessels, and nerves has been shown to improve age-related volume loss for up to six months.
There may be some mild swelling, tenderness, or itching afterward, but it’s typically short-lived.
An autologous fat transplantation, or, simply, a fat transfer, is a cosmetic surgical procedure where your own processed fat is used to re-contour and smooth your hands.
Fat cells are removed by liposuction—usually from around the belly button or the thighs or buttocks—with a small needle attached to syringe. They’re then sterilized and processed and injected into the back of the hands.
Generally, the results from fat transfer is about 50% permanency, and you could possibly want a second treatment to reach your desired look.
A topical or local anesthesia is applied to the area where the fat cells are taken from and the backs of the hands. The procedure should only take an hour or so, about 10 to 15 minutes to remove the fat cells and then another five to 20 to inject them into each hand. The results can last up to several years.