As if we princesses don’t have enough to think about, aging hands are a very real issue in anti-aging. Luckily there’s hand rejuvenation.
There are 3 key issues when dealing with aging hands – dark spots, veins and loss of volume. Maybe you have one, or maybe you have all three, but luckily there are ways to fight back.
What is Hand Rejuvenation?
Hand rejuvenation is a combination of laser and injectables to make an aging hand more youthful.
Causation & Treatments for an Aging Hand
I’ll start with the loss of volume since there’s a new treatment approved by the FDA and I’m dying to talk about it.
Loss of Volume
You know what it looks like when your hands start to lose volume?
There are two solutions for this very real issue (I’ll get into age discrimination in the workplace in another article, but you can think of hand rejuvenation as a career investment too).
Treatment # 1 – Radiesse Dermal Filler
The FDA recently approved Radiesse® for hand augmentation to counteract that skeletal look that we equate with aging. Radiesse is a stimulatory dermal filler, which means that, not only does it change the look in the short term, it also stimulates your skin to produce more collagen for the long term.
Until recently it was only approved for the face so this a big thumbs up for hand rejuvenation!
Some doctors are hesitant to use fillers ‘off label’ so, now that it’s FDA approved specifically for this treatment, you can expect more doctors to be offering this service.
Radiesse is injected into the concave areas of the hand between the tendons and the joints, giving your hands a fuller, more youthful look. It’s made out of calcium and phosphate, which is found in your bones, so it’s 100% non-toxic.
Radiesse is marketed to last 18 months when injected in the face, but only 3 months in the hands. I’m thinking that they may have wanted to fast track the FDA approval and just didn’t want to wait the extra 12 months in the study so it may last longer.
How much Radiesse you need really depends on how much volume your need. You can assume that it will be at least one syringe but you should ask your doctor if it will be more. Each syringe will run you $500-$550.
Radiesse is my first choice for ropy hands.
Treatment # 2 – Fat Transfer (Fat Injections)
Fat transfer is the second best way to add volume to your hands but it’s a lot more involved. In fat transfer, the fat is liposuctioned out of some other place of your body, processed, then injected into another part of your body, in this case, your hands.
If you are already going to be getting liposuction, then I say why not? Otherwise I would stick with the Radiesse, as it will most likely last longer. I’ve found that in some people, namely me, fat injections tend to be absorbed back into the body faster than you’d like and, let me tell you, fat transfer isn’t something you want to do again and again.
If you decide you want to go this route, then consider the new fat transfer system called Lipogems®. Lipogems micronizes your fat cells (adipose cells) making them thinner and easier to spread. Standard fat transfer can sometimes look lumpy so this is a good way to go if you’re going to get fat injections.
Age spots appear due to sun damage and are usually the first form of aging in the hands.
Treatment # 1 – IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
If I had spots on my hands I’d get an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatment. Also referred to as FotoFacial™ (or photofacial), the IPL is the best choice to get rid of age spots on your hands.
IPL technology uses short blasts of high-intensity light to damage the dark spots of your skin. This could be age spots, melasma, capillaries, and even a tan, so never get an IPL with a tan! Once the skin cells are damaged, your body begins the healing process which ultimately evens out your skin tone.
Mr.BeautyBlackBook’s sis got it on her hands. Check it out!
Your spots will turn dark for a couple of weeks and then flake off into a lighter shade. Depending how dark your spots are, you may need more than one treatment. Each treatment runs about $250.
Treatment # 2 – Chemical Peel
A chemical peel is another option. The practitioner will apply acid to the top of your hands with a sponge or brush. Your skin will get dry and peel off, peeling some of the hyperpigmentation and small wrinkles with it.
There are many different kinds of chemical peels, depending on the severity of the issue. Being so, the price can range from $125 to $500. The results are gradual and you will probably need more than one.
A good home alternative would be the Philosophy® Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel ( $70).
It comes in a 12-pack and I use one pad for my face, neck, chest and hands. At under $6 a treatment it’s really hard to beat. It doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin either.
Treatment # 3 – Topical Creams
Topical creams, such as hydroquinones, glycolid acids (AHA) or retinoids are for mild cases of dark spots and crepey skin, but I feel like they work better as a prevention than a full-on treatment.
If you have dark spots and crepey skin, it can help them from getting worse. If you don’t have them yet, it can keep them at bay for a bit longer, but if you have an issue that bothers you now, this probably will not produce the noticeable results that will be satisfying.
If you opt for this route, I’d recommend that you call your dermatologist to get some of these in prescription strength. If this isn’t an option, then there are a few over the counter versions that I would recommend:
GlyMed Plus® Age Management Derma Pigment Bleaching Fluid ($43) has 2% hydroquinone and is good for hyperpigmentation or age spots.
The Jan Marini Bioglycolic® Hand & Body Lotion ($45) uses glycolic acid to fight age spots, wrinkles and crepey skin.
The RX Systems® Rejuvenating Retinol Cream ($43) is super creamy which balances off the retinol that helps with the age spots and minor wrinkling & crepiness.
If you have old lady hands, one reason could be due to large veins. If you have veins, to the extent that evening them out with fillers would only make your hands look fat, consider sclerotherapy.
Treatment – Sclerotherapy
Sclerotherapy is a procedure in which a mixture of sodium chloride and lidocaine is injected directly into the vein. This causes the vein to swell or blanch, turn light, then collapse to a size much smaller than it was. There is no downtime but it may take several treatments.
Treatments run from $300 to $550 depending on the severity of the issue.
Hand rejuvenation treatment options are growing daily and I’ll keep you informed of them all as they become available!
UPDATE: Since writing this article I’ve discovered the Murad® Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream ($25) that I use on a daily basis for preventative maintenance and I LOVE!