St. Rita’s health focus: Stop hiding your hands

By Dr. Ana Pere - Guest Columnist

Can your hands tell your age? Not anymore, if you can help it.

Our hands may seem to age faster than the rest of our body because they take a fair amount of abuse. We regularly expose them to the sun, wind, chemicals, etc., plus, as we age, our hands lose moisture and volume because the fat deposits in them begin to disappear. As a result, the skin becomes loose and wrinkled, and veins and tendons appear more prominent.

So, if you want to know the real age of a person, look at their hands.

The good news is there are many treatments available today to help rejuvenate and improve the look of aging hands.

The specific treatments provided by the aesthetic physician will vary depending on your signs and symptoms. For best results, hand rejuvenation may often require a combination of treatments. These different treatments will restore loss of volume in the hands, minimize the appearance of prominent veins and tendons, improve skin texture and tone, remove age spots and reduce the signs of aging.

Chemical peels, dermal fillers, lasers, Intense Pulse Light and even fat grafting procedures that are commonly used by physicians to erase sun spots and replace lost volume in the face are now used to rejuvenate the hands.

There are currently two dermal fillers on the market which are FDA approved to rejuvenate and restore the volume of the hands. These are Radiesse and Restylane Lift.

Radiesse is an effective filler used to thicken the tissue in the back of the hands. It consists of calcium-based microspheres suspended in a water-based gel that will immediately restore volume to the hand when injected in the skin. It has a collagen stimulating effect and may produce results last up to a year. Over time, the microspheres degrade naturally into calcium and phosphate ions that are safely metabolized by the body.

Restylane Lift, just approved by the FDA for use in the hands, is the first and only hyaluronic acid injectable gel approved for an area other than the face.

Different providers administer fillers using different methods. They can do either multiple injections in the dorsal aspect of the hands between the tendons or make one or two larger injections in the hand and move the filler to where it needs to go under the skin. Either way, the product is delivered into the area of the skin above the tendons, blood vessels and muscles in the hand. Side effects of the injections could include swelling, bruising and mild pain.

In my experience, I would say the fillers in the hands last from nine months to a maximum of two years.

If the main concern is brown spots, chemical peels and IPL soften the appearance of brown sun spots in the hands. Treatment may involve a series of chemical peels or two light treatments.

Silk peel dermal infusion or microdermabrasion can be also used on the hands for exfoliation to improve the visible signs of aging.

After a hand rejuvenation, the patient will likely need to start a maintenance regimen that may include using topical creams to protect the hands against the sun and elements and keep them hydrated.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your aging hands, the first step is to schedule a consultation with an experienced physician who treats hands for an evaluation and best treatment recommendation specifically for you.

By Dr. Ana Pere

Guest Columnist

Ana Pere, MD, Rejuvenation Spa

Ana Pere, MD, Rejuvenation Spa

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