As we age, our hands can become ‘ropey’. We lose volume in the hands due to changes in how our body stores fat making veins and tendons more visible. Dermal filler hand rejuvenation treatments can safely change this. For an even bigger boost, this can be used in conjunction with platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments where we use platelets from our own blood to revive collagen and improve skin texture. These two hand rejuvenation techniques can help give us back the soft supple hands of our youth.
In addition, our old enemy the sun can cause uneven pigmentation spots on our hands. Our intense pulsed light treatments (IPL) can even these out. Radio frequency treatments not only stimulate collagen production for healthy looking skin but actually tighten skin in some cases.
Who can have this treatment?
Dermal Fillers – If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, it is not recommended that you have any kind of dermal fillers including for hand rejuvenation. The same is true for anyone who is breast feeding. If you are prone to excessive scarring, you should also avoid these treatments.
IPL Treatments – Anyone with a darker skin type is more likely to get post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, where the skin actually gets darker and not lighter. We do not recommend IPL for these people. Avoiding the sun for two weeks prior to treatment will reduce all possible side-effects, therefore, this is essential preparation. When in doubt, a test patch is recommended first. If you have a susceptibility to scarring this treatment may not be right for you.
Radio Frequency – RF treatments should not be used if you have a pacemaker, or any other type of metal hardware in the area where the treatment will be. Radio frequency treatments involve breaking down the bonds that hold collagen cells together, so it is not as effective if you are overweight or a smoker. It gives the best results when creating small changes over time, so major changes might be best addressed with different treatments.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments – Because you are using your own blood with this treatment just about anyone can use it. There are some people who may not get an optimal result from a series of PRP treatments including smokers, anyone with a platelet disorder or anyone with a condition affecting the function of the immune system. A complete history will be taken during the initial consultation. For the procedure, your blood is removed, prepared and then it is injected back into the skin. This makes it virtually trouble-free as a treatment for hand rejuvenation of skin, outside of some bruising that can result from the injections.
What should I expect during treatment?
Preparing for Dermal Fillers – When this treatment is used to plump up hands you can expect a simple procedure that takes very little time and little in the way of preparation. You should start with clean hands devoid of any lotions. Also exposure to the sun should be at a minimum for several days before the treatment as exposure to sun can cause bruising after treatment. Fillers are injected directly under the skin with tiny needles that cause little discomfort. The entire area is massaged to disperse the filler evenly. You can go about your usual routine on the same day as the treatment.
Preparing for IPL Treatments – Initially, the skin is cleaned and a topical anaesthetic cream is applied. During the treatment, a cooling gel is applied to the area. You may experience a slight discomfort not dissimilar to what you would feel if someone was flicking your skin with a warmed rubber band. A device is used to pulse a photo-rejuvenation light that targets specific coloured elements in the skin and disrupts these cells. The effect is less brown and red pigment in the skin and the removal of old damaged collagen and the release of a new healthy matrix.
IPL is also used to remove age spots by releasing pigmentation that then rises to the surface and is shed by the body after the treatment. These treatments last between five and 10 minutes and will need to be scheduled for a number of sessions to get the best results as they are cumulative in nature.
Preparing for treatment with Radio Requency – These treatments can be relatively quick, sometimes taking as little as 15 minutes total. The areas to be treated will be marked and a gel will be applied to the skin to improve the flow of electricity to the skin. Each treatment will involve several passes of the machine over the treatment area to achieve optimum hand rejuvenation.
Preparing for PRP Treatment – Prior to treatment about 20ml of blood is taken from a vein in the arm and then put in a centrifuge. This separates out the plasma from the rest of the blood which is further refined to create the end product of a plasma rich in platelets that are key to the body’s healing process. This platelet rich plasma is activated with calcium and then injected into the skin. This natural volumiser will stimulate collagen production in the skin. At least three treatment sessions are needed about 6–8 weeks apart to give gradual results that can last for 1–2 years.
Are there side effects or risks involved?
Side effect of dermal fillers, IPL treatments and Radio frequency treatments of the hand
There are very few side effects to these hand rejuvenation treatments. You can expect a small amount of bruising and possible redness when having dermal fillers, but only for the first 24 hours after the treatment. This is not unusual and the area of the hand that is being treated should return to normal quite quickly.
With IPL treatments there may be some itching and redness after your sessions, but they will only last for a day or two at the most. Do not be alarmed if there is a slight darkening of the skin after an IPL treatment and some small crusting of the skin. This is a natural side effect and simply indicates that the treatment is working correctly. It will subside in a few days.
Radio frequency treatments may result in some mild swelling or redness in the first few days after treatment. If it is bothersome you may want to place a cold compress on it for a short while. RF treatments may also induce a mild crusting after effect, but this will dissipate in a few days at most.
Because platelet rich plasma treatments use your own blood, the only side effect is minor bruising.
With IPL treatments it has been found that photodynamic photorejuvenation done in conjunction can improve results because it increases the absorption of light energy into the target tissue. Small pre-malignant sunspots are also treated with PDT. Most hand rejuvenation treatments work well when done as a complement to other skin rejuvenation treatments for other parts of the body.