50-year-old Jane Vandewiele is ashamed of how her hands look.“They’re old. They’re ugly. I don’t live that glamorous of a life, but when I do dress up and I do go out, I don’t want people looking at my hands,” said Vandewiele.
Like many women her age, Vandewiele is beginning to feel the pressure to look younger.
“I never really worried about it till the last three or four years and all the sudden, you get old,” said Vandewiele.
Just like the fine lines and wrinkles on your face, your hands say a lot about your age. As we get older, the skin on our hands becomes thinner and we lose some of the fat and muscle surrounding our bones, which can make our veins bulge.
But, Vandewiele and other women are getting the upper hand with an increasingly popular procedure called sclerotherapy.According to Dr. Darrell Caudill at OH2 Medical Spa in Alpharetta, it is quick, virtually painless and can take years off your hands without surgery or anesthesia.Dr. Caudill begins by injecting a non-toxic chemical solution directly into the veins. The solution inflames the inner lining of the veins, stopping blood flow.
Over time, larger veins should become less noticeable and smaller veins may disappear altogether. But don’t worry. Experts say there are plenty of other vessels deep under the skin to keep blood flowing to your hands.Like any other cosmetic procedure, there are risks such as infection or allergic reaction to the solution. Other possible side effects include swelling, redness and bruising near the injection site. Patients are asked to wear a compression bandage for four to six hours after the procedure, but for most, there is little to no down time.In just 20 minutes Vandewiele is well on her way to looking years younger. “I’m hoping I won’t be so ashamed of my hands and I’ll start doing my nails again and wearing my rings,” said Vandewiele.
Patients should notice a marked improvement in two to three weeks, but some may require a second or third injection to get lasting results. Most people will need a touch-up every two or three years.
As for the costs, sclerotherapy at OH2 Medical Spa will run you about $2,800, at $1,400 per hand. Unfortunately, most insurance providers do not cover cosmetic procedures, but a number of doctors offer financing options.Before going through with any cosmetic procedure, it is important that you do your research. Find a reputable doctor who is board certified, schedule a consultation and decide together what works best for you.
Dr. Caudill says there is not much you can do to stop tissue loss in your hands or keep your skin from thinning out – that is largely hereditary. But if you start early, there are ways to keep your hands looking younger without breaking the bank:
- Protect your hands from the sun. Aside from the obvious benefits, like preventing cancer, wearing sunscreen can also help prevent wrinkles and age spots.
- Keep your hands out of continuous hot water. It can be very hard on your skin.
- Exfoliate. Removing dry, dead skin will make your hands look instantly younger.
- Moisturize. Not only will it keep your skin from looking ashen and dull, but there are creams and lotions out there that also claim to make your skin firmer.