Men and women are now opting for hand injections in an effort to turn back time and reverse telltale signs of ageing.
For many, hands can be a sign of someone's age - as they are often the first body part to show protruding veins and tendons, lack of skin elasticity, and sunspots.
Now, in response to a growing number of people who'll do whatever they can to stay looking young, a hand injectable has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - the first of its kind to treat ageing appearance in hands.
Men and women are getting hand injections
“Restylane Lyft is the first and only hyaluronic acid (HA) injectable gel to be FDA-approved for restoring fullness to the back of the hands, providing more youthful-looking skin," according to the press release.
“It is also the first-ever HA dermal filler to receive FDA approval for an area other than the face."
FDA-approval means a review of numerous factors, but most importantly it means that the FDA has decided the benefits of the drug
outweigh the potential risks for the drug’s planned use.
According to Dr Ellen Marmur, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and a clinical trial investigator for the use of Restylane Lyft in hands, the push for the approval of Restylane Lyft was the result of numerous requests from patients , who realised their youthful-looking faces weren’t matching their hands.
Dr Marmur, who offers the treatment to patients, told The Independent
: “The most obvious sign of age is subjective, but some people say they hate their hands because they remind them of their rapid ageing.
“They notice the prominent veins, tendons and brown spots.”
For people interested in the procedure, which uses the same injectable gel that has been on the market for over 10 years as a treatment for facial wrinkles, Dr Marmur first has patients come in for a consultation.
She then assesses how many syringes of the product are needed per hand, as long as patients don’t have any medical contradictions such as lupus or severe arthritis
, which could react badly with the injectable.
Following the procedure, healing time is nonexistent, according to Dr Marmur, who said: “Hand injections are very well-tolerated with a low-risk profile. The common side effects are temporary swelling and bruising.
“It takes less than 10 minutes per hand and the healing is immediate.”
So who is getting hand injections? According to Dr Marmur, both men and women - starting in their 40s.
“My patients requesting hand treatments are ages 45 to 85-years-old and equal women and men,” she told us.
As for the rising popularity of the procedure, Dr Marmur says the increase in requests for hand-ageing-reversal treatments stems from the ease and availability of obtaining the injectables.
She said: “The interest has risen as the barrie
r to entry has fallen with more education about the safety and ways filler can be used non-invasively by board-certified dermatologists and other core MDs.”
Considering society's ongoing battle against ageing, it was only a matter of time before hands became the new focus - a solution to what Joan Rivers once famously pointed out: "You can hide a lot of things, but the hands always give it away."
And other dermatologists have also reported seeing this rise in hand-related requests.
Dr Lauren Eckert Ploch, MD, MEd, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, told us: “In recent years, I've noticed a significant increase in the number of patients interested in improving the appearance of the hands, neck, and chest. Previously, these areas were overlooked in favour of treating the face. Over time, people have realised that addressing other areas of the body with fillers can maintain a youthful appearance.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many dermatologists now treat the area.
Dr Meghan Feely, a board-certified dermatologist practising in New Jersey and New York City and serving as a media expert for the American Academy of Dermatology, is one such dermatologist.
She told us: “Hands are constantly exposed to the elements. As we age, we experience lipoatrophy or ‘fat loss’ that creates sunken cheeks in the face and prominent skin folds, but these changes are not limited to that region. We also lose fat density in our hands, which leads to more obvious tendons and vessels."
Because of this, “there has increasingly been demand for this procedure. Many individuals who begin to observe the signs of ageing in the hands elect to do this procedure to help turn back the clock,” according to Dr Feely.
The procedure is especially appealing to people who have had aesthetic procedures performed for the head and neck area, and are worried that their hands "give away their age."
But potential patients must remember to seek out a board-certified dermatologist only, as any cosmetic procedure can be potentially dangerous if it is not done by a professional.
“Any cosmetic procedure has potential risks. In untrained hands, hyaluronic acid fillers
can be injected into blood vessels instead of just into the soft tissue below the skin. Injection into blood vessels can cause permanent discolouration, scarring, numbness, and decreased range of motion. In the face, hyaluronic acid injection into a vessel can cause blindness. This is why it's very important to find a qualified, board-certified physician for treatment,” Dr Ploch said.
As for the use of hyaluronic acid as an injectable, it is completely safe, according to Dr Feely.
“Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found in our skin that attracts water to tissue and adds volume ‘plumping up’ the skin and obscuring prominent blood vessels and tendons,” she told us.
In an effort to turn back the hands of time, people are now looking at their hands.