I am not vain. I try not to look in the mirror – ever, and am most comfortable in black workout gear (usually Lululemon), my hair tied back in a messy pony tail, and no make-up. That’s me and always has been.
That said, I spend most of my days writing, and am constantly staring down at my hands, and I hate them (or hated them) the way author Nora Ephron despised her neck. The skin on my hands was crepey and dry (reptile like, actually), and my veins were prominent and protruding. There were even, dare I say it, a few age spots. (Please note the use of past tense.) I rarely, if ever, talked about my hand loathing, but I thought about it a lot. (Obsessed may even be an appropriate word choice.)
So when I heard about Radiesse® for hand rejuvenation, I raised mine.
The filler, which is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres suspended in a water-based gel, just scored US FDA approval for hand augmentation to correct volume loss in the dorsum of the hands and help reduce the prominence of tendons and veins in the hands.
My hand lift procedure was short and sweet. Only a local anesthetic was needed. I closed my eyes so as not to see the needles or watch the injections. (I do better that way, in general.) Did I feel something? Of course, but it was really just mild discomfort, and similar to any of the injections I have had in my face over the years (occupational hazard).
My left hand looked younger almost immediately. My right hand, well, that one is still a bit swollen and bruised. (Obviously, I am a righty.) Apparently, the skin was thicker on that hand, which is why the improvements weren’t quite as immediate. I’m cautiously optimistic that when the swelling and bruising abate, I will have the hands of a 24-year-old. (I’m 44, so that seems like a pretty good deal.) While I probably have been even more hyperfocused on my extremities since the procedure, it’s only to monitor progress – not lament.
Check out the B-roll of PSP editor Denise Mann’s hand lift. (I’m the 2nd patient in this clip; not the first)
The approval was based on a randomized, controlled trial where blinded evaluators found that Radiesse improved the appearance of both hands in 75% of treated patients at 3 months. Importantly, 98% of treated patients also reported improvement in the appearance of their hands at 3 months. Most adverse events were injection-site reactions such as swelling, redness, pain, and bruising, which were usually mild to moderate, short in duration (lasting about 1 week), and required no treatment. No severe device-related adverse events were reported that required treatment. So my swelling and bruising appears to be normal, which is quite reassuring, and hopefully by next week they will be nothing but distant memories.
Perhaps a career as a hand model will be in my future. who knows? So to jump on the RealSelf bandwagon and give it a rating, Radiesse for hands is totally worth it!
Special thanks to injector extraordinare Bruce Katz, MD, a New York City dermatologist and the director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center, as well as his awesome staff.