Treatment of Aging Hands

What makes hand look old? When you think of a young person’s hand, the dorsum (the top) looks clear of spots, the skin is thick and healthy, and you cannot see veins or tendons. Really young hands actually look chubby, as opposed to the paper thin skin of the aging hand. Many of my patients are quite sensitive and even embarrassed about the appearance of their hands. I have had patients say regardless of their face, you can always tell a person’s age by their hands.

Well, not anymore.

How can you gain back the appearance of the youthful hand? What are the treatments? On the conservative side, good skin care that removes age spots and thickens the skin is a good start. Of course, the product that I formulated with the help of biochemists that specialize in skin treatment is New Youth, and it works quite well. There are other products that work as well.

Good skin care can be followed by a laser treatment such as the Fraxel Dual (a combination of the Re:store and the 1927), and this is very effective in removing the age spots and even sun spots. IPL’s (Intense Pulse Light) can reduce age spots also.

To thicken the skin of the hand, diluted hyaluronic acid products such as Juvederm or Restylane can be injected just under the skin. These products should be injected with a micro-cannula such as the DermaSculpt. This is what is called a “soft tip” needle, and the advantage is the lack of bruising since the veins are not penetrated. I highly recommend these micro-cannulas for injections into the hands and under the eyes.

Fat grafting, also called fat transfer, is the ultimate in restoring the youthful appearance of the hand in my opinion. This is a surgical operation and requires liposuction of fat from one area of the body and injecting into the hands, also with a micro-cannula. Fat injections require expertise and special preparation of the fat to be injected. The benefits are making the veins and tendons less visible from both volumizing the hand and also from the stem cells that fat usually contains. The stem cells increase the quality of the skin over a period of years. A recent article by one of the father’s of fat transfer, Sidney Coleman, MD, demonstrated amazing results even 8 years after fat transfer to the hands. With any fat injections there is swelling and possibly bruising.

Often a combination of skin care and either injecting a product or fat into the hands is the best option for rejuvenation of the hands.  Patience may be required, but results can be very effective.