Help for Aging Hands
It could be argued that the face and the hands are the two most expressive zones of the body. For many years plastic surgeons have looked for ways to revitalize the aging face; only recently have we turned our attention to the hands.
If I want to develop an effective program of facial rejuvenation for my patients I must first ask the question, “What makes a young face beautiful?” The better I understand the answer to this question, the better my treatments will be.
It is equally rewarding to analyze the beautiful youthful hand. I suggest that there are several important characteristics of a beautiful hand. First the hand is soft, which is appreciated by anyone touches it. Time and sun exposure rob the hands of their natural softness. Second, the hand is plump enough to hide the underlying structures. As the hand ages and the outer layers thin, the underlying tendons and veins become individually visible. Third, the youthful hand has a wonderful uniform color, like young skin everywhere. With sun exposure, most people develop brown spots on the back of the hand, and the blue color of the veins shows through thinner, older skin.
First, we use topical agents to protect from the sun and restore healthy skin, just as we do in other areas of the body. Second, we use intense pulsed light therapy to even out the color of the skin surface. Finally we add structure to make the hands less thin and to hide the underlying veins and tendons. The most common material I use to add structure to hands is Radiesse®. Another option is to use the patient’s own fat with a fat transfer procedure.
We use our hands to create, to express, and to touch others. Let’s make them as beautiful as possible!