A Handy Way to Help Your Patients Reverse Signs of Aging

If your patients are considering ways to turn back the signs of aging, then this is the optimal time for them to think about a hand lift procedure.

Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA) and other injectable treatments are the most sought-after cosmetic procedures in the US. In the past year, Botox treatments have risen 5%, with more than 5.7 million procedures performed annually. That number is up 621% since 2000 — an obvious indicator that injectable rejuvenation is a solution that is here to stay.

When it comes to dermal fillers like Juvederm, people are well aware of the effects these products can have on the face. With a carefully planned approach, injectable therapies provide a nearly complete facial rejuvenation without the lengthy recovery associated with surgery. However, Botox and other non-invasive treatments can offer more than just facial benefits — a fact plastic surgeons must continue to communicate to patients.

Aside from the face, the number one location that can give away a person’s natural age is the hands. Hands age in a very similar way to the face, as their skin can lose elasticity, their supporting structure can lose volume, and age spots can appear. Because the hands’ signs of aging are comparable to those of the face, the logical choice for treatment would be Botox and other injectables.

In fact, many plastic surgeons are already offering injectable treatments of the hands —which have been coined “hand lifts” — as part of their non-invasive rejuvenation procedure roster. Dermal fillers like Juvederm are injected to add volume to the sunken skin on the back of the hands, while neurotoxins like Botox relax the muscles that cause wrinkling. Laser resurfacing procedures can also be done to reduce age spots and leave younger, smoother-looking hands.

I always make sure to inform my patients that the best results from injectable treatments occur 2-3 weeks after they are administered, although those results can last up to 6-9 months. The first signs of the injectables’ effects appear after a few days, but it takes some time for the body to settle after a treatment before a patient can really look his or her best.

While these are not permanent solutions, their long-lasting results are amazing. With the low price tag and short healing process, injectables are a great way to give your patients’ hands a boost in appearance. If your patients are considering ways to turn back the signs of aging this spring or upcoming summer, then this is the optimal time for them to think about a hand lift procedure.

Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS, is Chief of the combined Divisions of Plastic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. For more information about Dr. Grant or to contact him, visit his website at www.robertgrantmd.com.