Over the past decade, one area of Madonna’s body that people have relentlessly criticized is her creepy, veiny hands. The Queen of Pop has worn gloves in public for years, allegedly in a bid to hide these telltale signs of aging, yet in recent photos her hands appear miraculously rejuvenated.
Celebrity reporters claim that her secret is Filorga, a hand filler injection which blends hyaluronic acid with fifty three amino acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. This type of treatment — also know as mesotherapy — is said to improve the skin’s tone and texture through multiple micro-injections of medicines, vitamins, and minerals.
Filorga injections are performed in four to six sessions over several months, at a cosmetic doctor or dermatologist’s office. Periodic maintenance treatments are also recommended to prolong the results. The injectable can be used on other parts of the body as well, such as the face, neck and décolleté.
But does it really work? We asked Dr. Jennifer T. Trent, a dermatologist based in Sarasota Springs, Florida.
“There is a paucity of studies on mesotherapy for hand rejuvenation,” said Dr. Trent. “One study used high frequency ultrasound to show some improvement in skin aging, but the results were not consistent.”
The downsides are fairly well-documented, however: side effects include bruising, swelling, risk of infection, pruritus, allergic reaction, bumps, numbness, discoloration, pain, and a burning sensation.
Madonna kept her gloves on but showed her easy-going side last month during The Late Late Show With James Corden.
“Patients have reported a pinching sensation,” acknowledges Dr. Trent. “A topical numbing cream can be used to help with pain. Depending on the side effects experienced, it can take a couple of days or more for it to resolve. For example, bruising and swelling may be gone in a couple days, but bumps make take weeks to fully heal.”
Filorga also sells a cheaper, over-the-counter alternative to its injection treatments called Hand-Absolute. This hand and nail cream contains the same ingredients – hyaluronic acid, collagen, and lipopeptides – that Madonna is said to have received in her filler treatments.
Still, Dr. Trent is a bit skeptical. “I’m sure the cream does help, but is not a replacement for the procedure. The micro-punctures used to inject the hyaluronic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants have the added benefit of stimulating the production of collagen.”
Dr. Trent prefers combining dermal fillers such as Radiesse with IPL and Microlaser Peels to volumize and rejuvenate the hands. “The results can be achieved quicker and last longer,” she says.