Cosmetic Surgery procedures such as breast enhancement surgery are common. But what about Cosmetic Surgery for hands?

In the hierarchy of body parts getting more cosmetically treated, the hands have so far occupied a lower position than many body parts like face, neck and a few others including those which attract fat deposits. Now it seems that more people are paying attention to how their hands look and are approaching plastic surgeons to do something about it.

People use their hands extensively in doing work and in communicating with other people as supplement to voice and facial expressions. Hands are thus exposed much of the time and people like to present their hands in good condition. Manicuring cannot take care of the effects of ageing and other blemishes and people seek improvement through cosmetic treatments.

As people age, the hands lose fat and appear shrivelled. With loss of the fat layer the skin becomes more translucent exposing some of the bones, veins and tendons lying underneath. The elasticity in the skin and muscles are reduced and when pinched, the skin does not spring back.

Older people, while getting cosmetically treated often focus on facial components, neck, and other body parts with little attention to their hands. As a result the conditions of their hands remain poor and for people looking younger and better otherwise, the hands betray their age and looks.

Some of the older performing stars on TV display excellent body and facial beauty, but their hands sometimes present aged look and stand out in contrast. Use of gloves not being a practical option always, lifting the condition and appearance of hands by treatment is a good solution.

Cosmetic treatment of hands, popularly called “hand lift”, is mostly done in a minimally invasive way as surgical processes (required for skin tightening) are discouraged on account of poor healing and permanent scarring possibilities.

One way of treatment is to inject synthetic fillers such as Radiesse, Juvéderm or Perlane under the first layer of skin to bulge it up and the other is to combine the fillers with Intense Pulsed Light and CO2 Laser Resurfacing to remove sun spots. The procedures are reported to be of only several minutes duration and cost about $1200 and about $1500 respectively.

The effects are reported to last for about one year and some of the cosmetic surgeons dealing with these procedures, expect these to become increasingly popular in the coming few years.

It is noteworthy that botox treatment is not suitable for hands as it inhibits muscle movement and does not help in making up for volume loss in the hands due to ageing.

Another doctor uses Fraxel laser to remove diffused wrinkles or discoloration, Skintyte (a radio frequency cosmetic treatment) for skin tightening , Sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution into vein to treat varicose veins, Q- switched laser which emits very rapid pulses to remove pigments and injections of fat as filler to bulge up the hands.

The fillers sometimes present complications such as infection, skin discoloration, nodule or granulorna formation, asymmetry and skin necrosis. Some doctors feel that using one’s own fat harvested from a body part like thigh, reduces chance of infection compared to other fillers in the market and also gives a more long lasting result.

The injections and other treatments are recommended to be received from certified and experienced surgeons or dermatologists to avoid complications like infections, swelling and bruising. Some doctors recommend use of sun screen of SPF50 to help protecting hands from pigmentation.

[Source: This write up is sourced from the article “Hands Give a Lift, Now They Can Get One” by ABBY ELLIN in New York Times published: March 13, 2012]