American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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My face looks 50, my hands look 65: Can I make them match?


Like the rest of our bodies, our hands show signs of aging that may include brown spots, thinning skin, wrinkles, and large veins. I recently had a very happy facelift patient who looked 15 years younger, but suddenly the skin on her hands didn't match her rejuvenated face. There a few simple procedures that can make your hands match your new youthful appearance. Plastic surgery on the hands can be rather complicated. However, a few minor non-invasive procedures can be done successfully with impressive results.

Brown spots on the hands can be treated topically with a daily application of hydroquinone cream. In addition, fine wrinkles and pigmentation may benefit from a chemical peel. Light TCA-peels are most effective for eliminating uneven pigmentation in the long term and smoothing the skin. Daily use of a good hand cream containing glycolic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta-carotene is recommended. One of the most effective and convenient procedures is the use of Intense Pulse Light (IPL). This form of photo-rejuvenation will smooth color irregularities and evens skin tone.

With age and sun damage, the skin of the hands may also begin to atrophy, leaving hands with a bony appearance. A procedure known as structural fat grafting can soften wrinkles, cover prominent veins and tendons, and disguise enlarged joints on the hands. It restores the soft tissue that is lost with age or disease, and helps fill out grooves between the bones of the hand, as well as help improve the color and texture of the skin.

Structural fat grafting involves removing fat cells from other areas of the body such as the abdomen, back, buttocks, or flanks, purifying them and then transplanting them into the back of the hand through a series of strategically placed injections. When grafted successfully, these fat cells will continue to live there permanently with lasting results.

Dermal fillers are an alternative to fat grafts for adding volume to the back of the hand. These products are commonly used in other parts of the body, especially the face, and can be employed with minimal discomfort and virtually no down time by an ASPS Member Surgeon.

To help minimize swelling, the hands are elevated and cold compresses are applied for 48 hours. Under normal conditions, regular activity can be resumed almost immediately thereafter.

During your consultation, ask specific, detailed questions, view several before/after photos of the surgeon's work, and obtain several referrals from past patients to inquire about their experiences. Good doctors will be happy to provide you with this information.

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