You accomplish so much with your hands. It’s easy to forget just how fragile the skin is — especially on the backs. We constantly subject our hands to damaging solar rays, drying cleansers and chemicals, and the ongoing stresses of use. Your hands tend to show the passage of time more than anywhere else.
Restore Volume Loss
The skin on your hands thins over time, losing fat, elastin and collagen. It becomes looser and more readily shows the bones, tendons and veins underneath.
The quickest, easiest way to restore volume is with dermal fillers. Injected into the skin on the back of the hands, they replenish thickness. They also make the skin tighter and better able to hold in veins rather than allowing them to bulge.
Restylane® Lyft and Juvéderm® Voluma XC are two of the fillers best suited for hand rejuvenation. They add volume, hydration and elasticity using a thick formulation of hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the skin. Radiesse similarly improves hand skin using calcium-based microspheres to stimulate natural collagen production. Results are fast with all fillers, and they last up to 18 months or more. Bruising and swelling are unusual, but you should be prepared to use concealer or a tinted sunscreen with coverage for a week or two.
Get Rid of Bulging Veins
Over time, vein valves weaken, causing blood to travel less efficiently from your extremities back to your heart. Blood can pool in your hand veins, permanently enlarging them so they bulge. Some can become too prominent to address with fillers or fat transfer.
Sclerotherapy removes spider and other medium-sized veins (>3mm). It entails injecting a saline solution into the specific problem veins, causing them to turn white, close and then gradually absorb back into your body.
Lasers are a great option for removing raised tangles of smaller veins, on up to medium-sized veins (1-3mm). The technology works by targeting problem blood vessels under the skin, using appropriate light wavelengths to heat them up. The treated veins coagulate and are cut off, then are broken down and absorbed. You may see mild swelling or redness for a few days after the procedure.
Three of the best lasers for removing unsightly veins from the backs of hands are the excel® V Laser System, Vbeam® and Versapulse. Work with an expert to identify the one that will work best for you.
Reverse Sun Damage
Much of the conspicuous aging on the backs of your hands is caused by unprotected sun exposure. Together, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays damage skin, leaving you with wrinkles, dry scaly texture, broken capillaries, and discolorations like freckles or sun spots. Many of the procedures that rejuvenate facial skin also work beautifully for sun damage on the hands.
Exfoliating treatments, administered in a well-timed series, can work wonders to improve uneven color and texture. The new era of microdermabrasion has arrived with the cutting-edge DermaSweep™ technology, which removes damaged superficial layers of cells by employing crystals with tiny, pain-free steel brushes. Chemical peels also exfoliate, but use glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA) or trichloracetic acid (TCA) and can be more intense. You can boost results of either type of treatment with a nourishing serum applied immediately afterwards.
If your main concerns are dark spots or broken capillaries, consider a course of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. IPL treats your skin with various, scattered wavelengths of light. The light penetrates the outer layer of skin, without harming it, reaching the dermis. There, it heats and destroys unwanted pigment cells, leaving your skin brighter, less red and more even. Your skin may be subtly red, swollen and sensitive for a few hours after each treatment.
A wide variety of lasers are effective on sun damage. They vary in strength, and each harness one light wavelength to target specific concerns. At the gentler end of the range is Clear+Brilliant. A fractional laser, it removes only a portion of the top layer of skin, leaving your hands smoother-looking after only brief, minor peeling and redness. If you want to remove brown spots, your medical provider may apply your treatment using the Permea handpiece.
At the most powerful end of the range are CO2 lasers. Because these devices can go deeper and vaporize more of your damaged skin cells, patients often see desired results with just one treatment. The Lutronic eCO2™, for instance, can deliver focused, dramatic improvement of wrinkling, rough skin texture, scarring, conspicuous blood vessels and hyperpigmentation. After some healing time, your skin should look noticeably smoother, softer, and more even-toned.
Schedule a consultation with a licensed expert at California Skin Institute to determine the best approach for your hands, goals and schedule.
Results may vary and are not guaranteed.