AGING HAND SURGERY: AN ANSWER FOR MANY
Aging hand surgery is a “thing” and it is thing that is gaining popularity. The public is clearly more familiar with facial surgery, which has long been in high demand. Individuals seek surface surgery on the face to eliminate lines and wrinkles associated with aging facial skin. Increasingly, we see those desires extend to the appearance of aging hands. Here at the Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgical Center of Texas we get many inquiries on this topic.
As time advances, the hands age in two characteristic ways. First of all, there is atrophy of the subcutaneous tissue. This atrophy allows the veins to stand out in a rather unattractive way. Second, there is a tendency for freckles and other brown spots to develop and continuously increase in number and size.
AGING HANDS: FAT TRANSPLANTATION
Recently, fat injections, using the patient’s own fat, have shown promise for filling out the backs of the hands. The fat is removed through liposuction techniques. Little fat is actually required for the procedure. The extraction can be done with a small tube and a syringe under local anesthesia. However, the fat transplantation technique is not entirely permanent. And after several months, some of the fat begins to disappear. There is some evidence that repeated injections may lead to a more permanent result, although this has not yet been proven.
TREATMENT CREAMS, PEELS, AND BLEACHING
Patients show more frequent concern about brown spots. There, standard commercial bleaching creams may be of some temporary help. But rarely is it completely satisfactory. Mild chemical peels have been found to be quite effective for this problem. Treatment with glycolic acid can also be useful in some cases. Especially when combined with bleaching agents.
A peel using a salicylic acid paste has been quite useful for rejuvenation of the hands. It is applied and left in place under a protective dressing for 48 hours. Usually, the peel produces moderate discomfort for the first day or so. Pain medicine by mouth is always adequate. On some occasions, the peel is repeated since some skin is resistant to the effect of the chemicals.
Patients can expect a marked decrease in the brown spots, although some of them may remain. It is important to avoid heavy sun exposure to the backs of the hands. Such exposure can lead to a recurrence of the condition.
Agin hand surgery, while not as common as some procedures, answers a demand that has existed for many years.