As it says in the famous song: “You give your hand to me, and then you say hello”...the hand comes first!
Our hands, the same as the face, are the most expressive and visible part of our body. Besides enhancing our emotions, hands are doing millions of other things. By far, hands are the most exposed and the most uncared for parts of our body. If you want to know how old a person is, look at their hands. Hands begin to show signs of aging much earlier than the face. The reasons why our hands age faster than the face are not only environmental, but also physiological. There are 40 times less sebaceous glands (oil glands) on the dorsal arms and hands than on the face. Sad to say …but the hands usually outdate the face. For that reason, the sooner you start taking care and protecting your hands, the longer they will keep their youthful and healthy look. For the last several years, hand rejuvenation has become a growing trend.
For those of you, who are still young, and want to prolong the youthfulness of their hands, make sure you always apply sunscreen to your hands. Also, do not forget to wear protecting gloves when handling harsh household cleaners and detergents.
For those of you, like me, whose hands need more than a hand cream… there are several options available. Hand rejuvenation requires a multi-treatment approach that addresses two main aspects of hands aging process. The first course of therapy addresses the appearance of the skin: skin texture and color, pigmentation irregularities and skin thickness. The therapies known to improve those conditions are:
- Retinoids and Retinols rejuvenate aging hands the same way as the aging face. Regular use of retinoids or high strength retinols, help to repair sun-damaged skin in addition to reducing the appearance of age spots.
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids provide mild exfoliation to help improve skin texture, tone and smoothness of the skin
- Bleaching Creams that contain hydroquinone are a common treatment for lentigines, known as “liver spots”.
- Chemical peels create controlled destruction of the top layers of the epidermis, resulting in improved skin texture and pigmentation, stimulation of collagen production, and help to support the underlying structure of the skin
For the patients whose hands require more aggressive treatment, laser skin resurfacing is a good option to achieve desired effects. Age spots and rough texture can be treated with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Fraxel Laser; and loose and crinkly skin respond better to Thermage.
The second course of therapy addresses the deeper skin changes associated with dermal atrophy, which results volume loss, more visible and prominent veins and tendons and a more "bony" appearance. This treatment requires volume fillers such as; Juvederm™, Restylane®, Fat grafting and sculptra.
Even if none of these options are available to you, a good anti-aging moisturizer and sunscreen will help to improve the appearance of your hands, and prevent further damage. So, give your hands a hand, and you will be rewarded with the younger, smoother looking hands.