Aging Hands: Restoring a Youthful Appearance
Plastic surgery has come a long way in helping women to look better and younger. Recently new attention has been placed on the hands, to achieve a better harmony between the hands and the facial appearance.
Hands are one of the first parts of the body to show signs of aging because they receive so much exposure to the elements. Sunlight and the natural aging process all contribute to the development of darkened spots and a loss of soft tissue. This may betray an otherwise youthful appearance.
As recently as 5 or 6 years ago, reliable techniques had not been developed for cosmetic surgery of the hand. At that time, skillful procedures had not yet been improved. The demand, however, for younger looking hands is evidenced by the increasing number of rejuvenating hand creams at the cosmetic counters. This demand spurred the development of more refined procedures that have become increasingly popular and relatively straight forward to perform.
While much of plastic surgery continues to focus on the face and body, plastic surgeons are realizing the importance of bringing the hands into harmony with the face. Unlike other areas of the body where there maybe too much fat, the back of the hands tend to lose fat during the aging process, making them thin and drawn-looking. As an aesthetic plastic surgeon, I was confident that a fairly simple procedure to make the hands match a youthful face would be developed.
The restoration of soft tissue to the back of the hands is one of the most effective means of rejuvenating their appearance. Structural fat grafting is an improved technique that can reverse the loss of volume to the hands to make them look plumper and more youthful.
The relatively new procedure is not particularly painful, only takes about an hour and a half, and may be performed without the need for anesthesia. After the procedure, there is usually some swelling and bruising that can be minimized by keeping the hands elevated and applying ice compresses for 48 hours.
At the same time, dark spots that develop from sun exposure can also be treated with a light chemical peel. This combination of restoring the lost volume and improving the quality and texture of the skin provides a very effective rejuvenation for the hands.