When thinking about the things that show their age, people often overlook their hands. because of their near-constant exposure to the elements and the sun, coupled with the volume loss that is a part of natural aging, our hands can make us look even older than we really are.
Recently, the FDA approved the first dermal filler specifically for use on the hands — Restylane Lyft. Dr. Fante and Dr. Hawes use Lyft, along with some other rejuvenation methods, to address the telltale signs of aging for our patients’ hands.
What Can Hand Rejuvenation Address
The hands have two classic signs of aging — lots of sun spots and areas of darkened pigmentation, and dramatic volume loss. Restylane Lyft can replace lost volume, while various light treatments can address the sun-damaged skin.
What Makes Hands Age Poorly?
The causes of the sun damage on the hands are obvious: the hands are exposed basically all of the time (except when covered with gloves during winter). Plus, whether it’s driving a car or carrying a golf bag, the backs of the hands are often turned directly upward, as if they were sunbathing.
Volume loss on the hands is coupled with the thinning skin that comes with aging. This allows the prominent veins and tendons that run across the backs of the hands to appear as if they are elevated.
Candidates For Hand Rejuvenation
Hand rejuvenation could be a great option for you if these descriptions sound like they apply to your hands:
- Your hands have prominent veins and tendons due to volume loss
- Your hands are wrinkled and thin
- Your hands have age spots on them
- Your skin tone and color is blotchy due to sun damage
How Can Restylane Lyft Be Used to Replace Volume on the Hands?
Dr. Fante or Dr. Hawes injects Lyft subcutaneously. This means they inject it under the skin, but above the connective tissue that covers the tendons, bones, vessels, and nerves on the back of the hands. Lyft is a hyaluronic acid filler. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body whose job is to plump, hydrate, and firm the skin. It does this by binding with nearby water molecules. So, when Lyft is injected on the hands, it immediately returns hydration and volume, noticeably changing their appearance for about six months.
Before and After Hand Rejuvenation with Restylane Lyft
Other Methods Used for Hand Rejuvenation
On the hands, we use three laser-based treatments to help with the signs of aging: Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser, broadband light, and SkinTyte.
Halo creates hundreds of tiny channels in the skin on the back of the hands. These microscopic channels begin to heal almost immediately, but they deliver heat into the dermis, the skin’s second layer. When the body senses heat in the dermis it responds as if wounded. This response is to begin to produce new amounts of collagen to “heal” the perceived wounds. In reality, the tiny channels fully heal within just a few hours. The healing of these channels also improves the surface layer of the skin. The combination rejuvenates the skin and adds volume.
Broadband light photorejuvenation directs broadband light wavelengths onto the skin of the hands. The melanin in the darker age spots and areas of darkened pigmentation absorbs the light energy. The light energy converts to heat and breaks down the melanin, causing the age spots to darken initially, and then peel off. Any deeper melanin remaining after peeling breaks down and fades away over a few weeks.
SkinTyte uses infrared light energy to remodel the collagen in the dermis layer of the skin on the hands. This energy penetrates the epidermis and enters the dermis. There it deeply heats the dermal collagen, initiating the wound response described above. It also acts to instantly remodel the existing collagen to instantly tighten the skin. Long-term, the hand skin tightens as the body produces new collagen on the backs of the hands.
Recovery After Hand Rejuvenation
There isn’t any downtime from activities with any of these procedures. With the laser procedures, your hands will appear as if they have a mild sunburn, but this passes in a day or two. Restylane Lyft delivers rapid results but may cause bruising of the hands from the injections.
Will I Need to Stay out of the Sun After These Treatments?
The laser rejuvenation treatments will make your skin more sensitive to the sun for a couple of weeks. You don’t need to stay out of the sun, but be sure to protect the backs of your hands with either gloves or 30+ spf sunscreen. Restylane Lyft doesn’t have any sun requirements. It’s always a good idea to protect the skin on your hands, however.
How Often Can I Have These Hand Rejuvenation Treatments?
The volume replacement from Restylane Lyft lasts for about six months. At that point, the body will absorb the hyaluronic acid and your volume will decrease. Another session with Dr. Fante or Dr. Hawes will maintain your results.
The laser procedures can usually be repeated every 4-6 weeks, although many people will not need repeated treatments if they can avoid ongoing sun damage.