Historically, there haven’t been a lot of treatment options available to make hands look younger, but now there are actually quite a few, if you’re so inclined. Here they are from least invasive to most:
• Topicals: Topical treatments are best for hands that are still in the early stages of zombification. Dr. Chaffoo tells us that Retin-A, which helps with collagen production, is the best option. Obviously prescription strength will work best, but there are tons of really good over-the-counter preparations that you can try, too. (Like Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0.)
• Lasers: Lasers have become so much less scary these days–they’re more efficient and require less down time than the lasers of yore. And they do the same thing on your hands as they do on your face. “The Fraxel Re: Store Dual Wavelength has the ability to reverse signs of aging and sun damage,” Dr. Navarro told us. The laser works by penetrating the skin, stimulating collagen production and resurfacing the top layer. Your skin will be a little pink and will feel like you have a sunburn for a few days, but there’s no downtime.
• Fillers Hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvederm can be used for plumping the hands, but there are a few caveats. You need to use a lot in the hands (as compared to the face) and it can get pretty expensive. And according to Dr. Chaffoo, the results only last about six months, after which you’ll have to pony up again.
• Sclerotherapy: While all the treatments mentioned so far address the
skin, this one is for the ropy veins that are often the signature of zombie hands. “The best and easiest way to remove visible veins is through sclerotherapy, which consists of injecting a chemical solution into the offending veins to shut them down,” said Dr. Navarro. There’s no downtime and the results are immediate, but you may be bruised for a few weeks.
• Fat transfer: If you can get over the Fight Club imagery here, this is the only so-called “permanent” solution. It’s also the riskiest. “As more volume is lost, some surgeons will perform fat transfer to the soft tissue of the backs of the hands,” Dr. Chaffoo said. “This is a permanent option but does require an operation and may result in some re-absorption or lumpiness to the hands as the skin is so thin.” (Also you have to let them suck some fat out of you.) It can usually be done as an outpatient procedure.