We have all seen Madonna’s hands and cringed. Come on admit it. You can nip, tuck, fill and plump your face as much as God will allow or lie that it’s your 29th birthday year after year, but the neck and hands are a dead giveaway of a person’s true age. Madonna is the perfect example. Her face keeps getting younger and her hands are horrifying. Hands that are wrinkled, veiny and have sun spots are unfortunately not easy to fix and wearing leather gloves year round to hide them isn’t realistic.
As we age (damn it) the fatty layer of our hands begins to thin (just like around the eyes) and they lose volume, fat and elasticity (crepiness) and become more translucent making bones and veins more apparent. Add years of sun and extreme cold damage and you have a disaster on your hands. Literally. Before there was really nothing to reverse the problem. You could get IPL, Fraxel and other laser treatments to fade the dark spots, but that didn’t address the other problems.
Well there’s good news. A few weeks ago the FDA approved the injectable filler Radiesse (a soft tissue filler already on the market and normally used on the face) to be used on the back of hands to restore suppleness and volume deficiency. This 5-10 minute procedure where the filler is injected under the first later of skin can be done in office. Now it’s not going to help liver and sun spots but injected properly that crepiness and veiny look can be minimized. Before running to your nearest spa or (I would highly suggest) doctor, be aware of the risks.
I recently asked my go-to doctor on all things cosmetic, plastic surgeon Dr. Brian D. Cohen, M.D. who runs Cohen Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa out here on Long Island and in NYC his thoughts on using dermal synthetic fillers on hands.
He said while he has not yet been asked to perform this procedure he sees nothing wrong with it, but there have been some warnings and FDA mandates. If not performed properly the filler could cause blood vessel damage which could result in a stroke or… death. Death? I’d rather have Madonna hands.
Dr. Cohen went on to say he would prefer a patient use their own fat (who doesn’t have some they would like to get rid of anyway?) which is longer lasting and safer. He only needs a low volume (too bad) of fat to use as a filler on hands and face. Why would you want to put something synthetic in your body when you can just repurpose what God (or a few pizzas and chocolate) gave you? Makes sense to me.
He suggested women use sunscreen on their hands several times throughout the day and be sure to moisturize them well. I carry a small tube of sunscreen wherever I go these days. Too bad I didn’t think of that when I was 20, but I digress. If you have hyperpigmentation (spots) consider prescription strength hydroquinone or Retin-A and if those don’t do the trick, there is always laser.
I’m just glad I have baby hands. They have and will continue to serve me well. I remember my mother stroking my ‘baby’ hands as a child and telling me how lucky I was. That’s OK. I have a whole other list of problems I’d like to attend to first.
– Lauren Dimet Waters