About Hand Rejuvenation
There are a number of treatments that can rejuvenate your hands, improve the quality and texture of your skin and reduce any prominent veins, wrinkling and brown spots.
How is it performed?
Depending on what problems you want to have treated, most procedures are minimally invasive. In cases where you have very loose and wrinkled skin, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you have surgery to fix this. You can find details of the procedures that are most commonly used to rejuvenate the hands:
Volume replacement to treat protruding bones, veins or tendons:
- Fillers (such as polyactic acid or hyaluronic acid)
These fillers are injected into your hands at several locations by your surgeon and will replace lost volume in the skin.
- Fat injections (fat transfer or autologous fat grafting)
Liposuction with suction tubes (cannulas) is used to remove fatty tissue from any areas of your body that have excess tissue. This fat is then processed so that it is suitable for re-injection before it is carefully used to replace lost volume in your hands.
Treating Spider Veins
Sclerotherapy is an effective treatment for medium-sized blood vessels in the hands (greater than 3 mm in diameter). Your surgeon will inject a solution into the target veins using a micro-needle. The vein will blanche (turn white) before gradually disappearing. There is very little, if any discomfort when undergoing treatment and there is no recovery time.
- Laser vein treatment
Laser treatment is another common way of treating small to medium-sized blood vessels (1-3 mm in diameter). Your practitioner will move a special hand piece over your skin and the laser light is absorbed by the blood causing the vessels to coagulate and be absorbed by the body.
Treatment for fine lines, wrinkles, discolouration, sun damage or irregular pigmentation
- Superficial chemical peels (see Chemical Peels)
During the procedure, a chemical solution is applied to your hands. Your surgeon will decide how long to leave the solution on the skin for by carefully observing any changes in the skin. With some types of chemical peels, your surgeon may ‘neutralize the solution before they remove it completely. No covering or after-peel ointment is usually necessary and you can expect to recover in little to no time.
What result can I expect?
Dermal fillers: Typically last anywhere between three months to a year.
Autologous fat grafts: Are usually longer-lasting and so injections only need to be repeated when desired.
Results of skin tightening treatments will vary greatly depending on the type of procedure. Patients who have a history of impaired healing or any condition like extreme sun damage, diabetes, or smoking will most likely see a less dramatic initial result and much shorter lasting results.
To help prolong the results of your hand rejuvenation you should ensure you avoid exposure to direct sunlight and take precautions such as the use of moisturizer and wearing gloves.
- A wide variety of options are available for rejuvenating your hands.
- After rejuvenation your hands will be smoother and fuller and your veins will be far less prominent.
- Downtime for most procedures is minimal.
- Multiple procedures might be required to obtain the best results.
- Hands may be swollen, bruised and stiff after treatment which will limit activity.
- If you have a history of impaired healing such as diabetes, ongoing sun exposure and smoking (or exposure to second hand smoke) you will see a less dramatic initial result and a shorter lasting result.
Immediately after surgery, you will notice your hands are swollen, bruised and stiff. If you underwent an autologous fat-grafting procedure, you will find the area the fat was taken from is also bruised and sore. Your plastic surgeon will probably advise you to apply ice or a cold compress to your hands, to stay out of direct sun-light and to try and keep your hands as clean as possible. If you are unsure whether or not these are normal signs of healing, you should contact your surgeon immediately to check if these are normal or signs of a problem.
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon. These will usually include information about which compression garments you should wear, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers you are allowed to take and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake. Your surgeon should also give you detailed instructions about what the normal symptoms of recovery are and how to spot any signs of complications. It is important that you keep in mind how different everyone’s body is and how this might affect your recovery time. Depending on the procedure you should usually be able to return to normal activities within hours or at most days.
The first two weeks
Bruising, stiffness and swelling will gradually begin to disappear. Your hands will appear more youthful, have more volume and look much smoother with little or no brown spots or veins.
Week two to eight
Your skin may still be pink from the treatment. Your skin tones will begin to blend naturally with the rest of your skin without any de-pigmentation. If you had a less invasive treatment, your surgeon may recommend a repeat procedure to enhance your results.
Limits & Risks
There are only very rarely significant negative complications from hand rejuvenation procedures are infrequent. Any specific risks you face during hand rejuvenation treatment will be discussed with you during your consultation with a plastic surgeon. All surgical procedures come with some degree of risk. You can minimize these risk to you by carefully following any and all instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon.
Some potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in your legs or lungs
Other risks specific to hand rejuvenation are outlined below:
- Slow healing due to tension or excess stretching
- Fat reabsorption
- Abnormal healing and/or unanticipated color changes or skin blotchiness from chemical peels