They say you can always tell a person’s age by looking at their hands. For years, people have understandably concentrated on surgical and nonsurgical facial rejuvenation – but it is as hard to hide the hands as it is to hide the face. Inconsistency between the face and hands – young face/old hands – is a giveaway to true age. There are some easy to spot signs of hand aging – wrinkled skin, blotchy skin (liver spots, sun spots, superficial capillaries), atrophy (muscle wasting and thinning) and excessive visibility of the bones, tendons and blue veins of the hand.
Luckily, hand rejuvenation has come a long way in the past few years and is now a well-understood process which is quick, reliable and long lasting.
There are 2 main methods of hand rejuvenation
- BBL (Intense Pulse Light / Broad Band Light) for removal of age spots and pigmentation
- Fat transfer or dermal filler for volumising wrinkly, aged hands
The two mainstays of hand rejuvenation are light therapy (BBL) for spots and discolouration and fat transfer or fillers to camouflage muscle wasting, thin skin and excessive visibility of bones, tendons and veins.
BBL are performed in the office prior to fat transfer or fillers. The fat transfer part of hand rejuvenation is performed under a light general anaesthetic as a day surgery procedure (home the same day) in an accredited hospital or day surgery facility. Fat is harvested from the abdomen or thighs by gentle syringe suction through tiny cuts. A Steri-Strip is placed over these cuts and the Steri-Strips are left on until they fall off by themselves.
The fat is cleansed and refined prior to injecting into the hands via tiny pinholes. There are no bandages or dressings applied to the hands.
For patients choosing fillers to volumise their hands, this can be done in rooms with local anaesthetic cream.
Recovery from Hand Rejuvenation
After the surgical fat grafting procedure, the hands are a little swollen and puffy for the first week to 10 days. During this time, it is best to rest with the hands either elevated on two pillows when lying down, or slightly elevated when sitting out of bed, walking etc. It is sensible to keep the hands relatively still, so manual labour as well as typing and anything requiring a lot of hand or finger movements is discouraged. There are no bandages or dressings and there are no stitches to come out. Washing and showering are encouraged as soon as desired. Most people take a week to 10 days off of work.
It is recommended to avoid direct sun exposure to the hands after IPL / BBL for 2 weeks, any redness is likely to subside after 24 hours. The pigmentation will start to form a microcrust which will flake off over a two-week period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hand rejuvenation can be performed at any age; however, most people who undergo fat transfer procedures for hand rejuvenation are in their 50s or older.
BBL is done in the office using a local anaesthetic cream. The fat transfer part of the hand rejuvenation procedure is performed in an accredited hospital or day stay facility.
Hand rejuvenation is a long-lasting rather than permanent procedure. At least 5 to 10 years of improvement is expected, although there are many people who get even more longevity from fat transfer to the hands. The occasional patient requires a small top-up several years after the initial surgery.
There are no scars. The fat is injected via tiny pin-pricks, which heal readily with no visible sign that anything has been done.
The cost is very variable depending on the combination of treatments and procedures you choose and will be estimated in a face to face consultation.
After fat transfer, we see you postoperatively at approximately one week to 10 days. After this we make a plan to see you at a time convenient for you to check up on progress.
Hand rejuvenation can be a stand-alone procedure or it can be combined with other rejuvenation procedures such as facelift or eyelid surgery as desired.