An area of the body that often is overlooked in our anti-aging efforts is the hand. Recent attention has been directed to creating a more youthful appearing hand to match the facial rejuvenation treatments more commonly performed. The aging process in the hand is characterized not only by the changes in the appearance of the skin with wrinkling and brown spots but also by the increased visibility of the tendons and blue colored veins. This is the result of the loss of volume on the back of the hand and thinning of the skin. A key component in restoring a youthful appearing hand is the replacement of the volume that has diminished over the course of time. Here we will discuss a few treatment options that can help your hands to look younger: Radiesse®, Sculptra®Aesthetic, fat grafting, and Fraxel® re:store Dual laser.
Radiesse® is an injectable filler used to thicken the tissue on the back of the hand. It is FDA-approved and consists of calcium-based microspheres suspended in a water-based gel that will immediately restore volume to the hand when injected just below the deep layer of the skin. It also has a collagen stimulating effect that may prolong its usual one-year duration.
Sculptra®Aesthetic is an injectable material composed of poly-L-lactic acid that stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. A very natural appearing restoration of hand volume is produced by the gradual thickening of the skin that occurs over a three-month period. Generally, a series of 2-3 treatments at 6-week intervals are necessary to achieve the desired effect. The results from the treatment can last up to three years at which time maintenance treatments will be necessary.
A simple technique of injecting fat under the skin of an aging hand can achieve long-lasting rejuvenation. Your own fat is obtained using liposuction and then specially prepared prior to injecting it under the skin in fine tunnels. Survival of fat depends on it getting a good blood supply and may require several sessions to achieve the desired result. The physical presence of a thin layer of tissue will not only decrease the blue of the dorsal hand veins and the white of the extensor tendons but will also soften the shape of veins and tendons.
Fraxel® re:store Dual Laser
The new Fraxel® re:store Dual Laser can be used in addition to volume restoration to improve the surface texture of the skin and lighten brown spots. The new, more superficial Thulium fiber laser (1927 nm) wavelength can better address skin discoloration with minimal discomfort. In addition, the deep penetrating Erbium fiber laser (1550 nm) improves skin quality with collagen remodeling.
Microscopic treatment zones delivered by the Fraxel® re:store Dual laser produce “fractional” zones of heating with every zone surrounded by unaffected skin. This technology enables rapid initial healing with redness and swelling lasting for 2-4 days. There is no visible wound healing but some dryness and flaking will occur during the first week. The treatment regimen consists of 3-5 sessions at about 4 week intervals with beneficial changes continuing to occur for 2 to 3 months after each treatment.
During your consultation, Dr. Forley will discuss which treatment options would be best for you.
Written by Dr. Forley on April 30, 2012