Youthful hands: New treatment gives patients fuller hands

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a familiar facial filler for use on the back of the hands.

There are all kinds of cosmetic options to make your face look more youthful. Now, a dermal filler that’s been used to fill wrinkles and plump lips for 20 years has been approved for hands that are showing aging.

Renee Gilbert is 62. She works hard to keep her face and body youthful, but she says her hands were an age giveaway.

“I felt my hands were getting very bony and very veiny, and that they were possibly showing my age,” she said.

The back of the hands naturally lose volume as we age. With its new FDA approval, Restylane Lyft is now given in four to five subcutaneous injections. It’s hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in the skin that gives it fullness, but goes away as we age.

“It picks up water and you can get a very nice, firm but gentle look to the hands, and the second way is it does stimulate collagen production,” Dr. Ava Shamban said.

The back of the hands get a massage to spread the fluid evenly. It takes about a half-hour, and there’s no pain or recovery time. The effect is immediate and sustained.

“Then, it acts almost like a pillow, and so all the veins and the tendons sink deep, back where they’re supposed to be," Shamban said. "You don’t see it.”

Renee is thrilled with the results.

“This is an excellent option that brings in some youthfulness to the hands,” she said.

She says her friends are lining up to get the treatment, too.

The Restylane Lyft lasts six to 12 months but does require a maintenance schedule. Side effects can include mild and temporary swelling, itching, redness and bruising at the injection site.

Costs vary significantly according to location of the clinic, but range between $600 and $850 a syringe, and you’ll probably need one to three syringes a hand.

REPORT: MB #4524

BACKGROUND: The hands are a significant part of the body. They are used for a lot, but there is little protection for them. Many people try to stop their faces from aging, but the hands age as well. Aging of the hands makes hands look veiny, and they feel bony. This process happens for a number of reasons such as sun spots, dry patches, or stained nails. These causes create dark spots, cracks in the skin, inflammation or can even thin out the skin. This along with time shows off the wear and tear on the hands quicker than it should.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: To prevent your hands from getting to this point, you can apply a little more sunscreen just to the hands when they are exposed. Keeping your hands moisturized by using lotions that contain aluminum salts in order to keep the moisture from leaving the body. If your nails are stained, then either use nail polish to cover them or put them in a lemon wedge and smooth them with a nail buffer to restore the shine. If your hands are already showing signs of aging then you can use retinol to help peel away some damaged areas in the skin. There are also fillers that can be used to restore thin skin if there is a loss of fat. People have also used laser hand treatment to treat sun damage. There are also hand creams that are available to help lift the skin. There is also the option of going to visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
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NEW TECHNOLOGY: There is a new FDA- approved treatment for hands. Restylane Lyft is a filler for the face, but it was discovered that it can help hands as well. It is an injectable hyaluronic acid gel which treats wrinkles and corrects volume loss. This gel has been effective in helping patients avoid surgery and scars. This is the first injectable to be approved for outside the face. Some side effects include itching at the injection spot, redness, pain and headaches, but they get resolved after two weeks. In a recent study, it was stated that 86 percent of the subjects saw improvement only after three months of treatment, and 76 percent saw improvement after six months. Dr. Ava Shamban, owner of Ava M.D. and Skin Five, said that your hands should look the same as they do when you leave the office for the first time.