The use of dermal fillers to plump up hands, making them look more youthful, is nothing new. While not a permanent procedure, fillers such as Radiesse add volume to the hands, making them look less bony. The rise of the “selfie” and the increased popularity of social media has led to an increase in interest in hand lifts for recently engaged women, according to reports from a number of news outlets.

If you’re about to get engaged or if your partner has recently popped the question, find out if fillers and other treatments for aging hands are right for you, before you snap that engagement ring selfie.

Fillers for Hands

Just like your face and neck area, as you get older, your hands start to lose volume. You lose fat in the area and the skin becomes less elastic and thinner. While many people focus on erasing the signs of aging on their face and neck, they often neglect the hands, which is why the hands are often what gives away a person’s age.

The loss of volume in the hands makes the veins more prominent. It also makes the hands look more bony.

There are a number of injectable fillers that can work on the hands. Often, surgeons prefer to use fillers made of heavier materials, such as calcium hydroxylapatite, the ingredient in Radiesse. Calcium hydroxylapatite provides a support system once injected and stimulates the production of collagen in the hands.

The results are immediately visible and can last up to a few years. Typically, a filler injected into the hands lasts longer than a filler in the facial area, since there are fewer muscles in the hands to break down the filler. Since the main ingredient helps encourage collagen production in the hands, you might need the filler less and less as time goes on.

In most cases, a filler treatment for the hands takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Recovery is short and downtime is minimal.

While Radiesse might be the more popular filler for hands, there are other options. Some people decide to have fat from one area of the body, such as the hips or thighs, removed, then injected into their hands. Fat injections last longer than Radiesse, up to five years. But, the initial treatment takes longer, as you need to undergo liposuction to remove the fat.

Laser for Hands

While the recent engagement-ring selfie trend has focused on plumping up the hands, another way hands show signs of aging is through sun spots and discoloration. Laser skin resurfacing treatments can help reduce discoloration on the hands, giving them a more youthful look.

Laser treatments can be either ablative, which damage the outer layer of skin, or non-ablative, which doesn’t. Non-ablative treatments have a quicker recovery time and cause less discomfort. Examples of non-ablative laser treatments for the hands include intense pulsed light (IPL) and fractional CO2 laser.

IPL treatments use beams of light energy to remove spots, freckles, and other areas of pigmentation from the surface of the hands. Fractional CO2 lasers help reduce discoloration and wrinkles on the skin of the hands by using the energy from the laser to create tiny holes in the skin. The laser not only eases wrinkles and pigment problems, it also stimulates the production of elastin and collagen in the skin.


The recovery time after a treatment with Radiesse is usually very short. If the injection included a numbing agent, such as lidocaine, your hands might feel numb for a few hours. Once the numbness wears off, you should be able to use your hands as you normally would. There might be some bruising or redness at the site of the injection.

The downtime after a non-ablative laser treatment is also very short. Your hands might be red and you might experience some discomfort during the treatment. If you feel pain in the hands afterwards, your surgeon can recommend a pain reliever to take to ease discomfort.

Taking Care of Your Hands

Taking care of your hands after a filler or laser treatment (or both) will help them look youthful longer. Just as you always wear sunscreen on your face and neck, even when it’s cloudy outside, you should always wear sunscreen on the skin of your hands. Sunscreen won’t just help the results last longer. It will also reduce the chances of new spots or pigmentation developing.

You don’t have to be recently engaged to care about the look of your hands. Whether you have a new ring to show off or not, contact Dr. Kyle Choe at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach. Learn more about your options for more youthful hands by calling 757.389.5850 today.