How to make your hands look younger

How to make your hands look younger

It’s great that you’re taking care of your face and neck area, but have you spent time thinking about your hands?  The same age-related damage that occurs on our face can also occur on our hands. Our hands are one of the first parts of our bodies that people interact with.  When we greet new people, we reach out for a handshake. Many of us talk with our hands and use them to indicate to other objects. Our hands deserve to be treated with the same care as we do our face.  After all, it makes no sense doing all that great work to have our faces look younger if our hands tell our age.

Try Sclerotherapy for pronounced veins

As you age, your body loses fat, even in your hands.  The veins in your hands become more visible. This can be intensified by a decrease in blood circulation.  As this phenomenon is comparable to spider veins, dermatologist can use the same treatment to correct it. This is sclerotherapy.

The process begins by applying numbing cream to the area.  Either Ascleral (an FDA-approved substance) or saline solution is  injected into the veins. The solution irritates the vein’s walls, resulting in a brief mild stinging sensation, before collapsing the veins permanently. There may be some post-treatment bruising or swelling.  It takes three sessions of sclerotherapy to be completely free of bulging veins. 

Try Laser Treatments or Radio Frequency for loose skin,

Loose skin is caused by a loss of elastin and collagen.  The result is thin, crepey skin which doesn’t have much elasticity.  The damage from the missing elastin and collagen is made worse by photodamage from sun and other harsh light.  All these factors combined with the chronological age of the skin shakes it loose.

One solution is the use of fractional laser treatments, which has a smaller likelihood of scarring than traditional lasers.   When used with fillers, patients can expect the skin to be tightened up and the hand plumped. Radio Frequency is used to describe several treatments (for example, Thermage®) where radio frequency energy is used to plump up the skin. According to Dr. Flor A. Mayoral, a board-certified dermatologist in Coral Gables, FL, radiofrequency can be safely used on hands to make them tighter and look younger.

Try Injectables for hands that look bony

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As your hands lose fat, they begin to look bony as well.   The bones have not gotten bigger. Instead, they just look more pronounced against the lower fat content in your hands. 

To combat this, long-lasting injectables can be used.  You may have heard of them by their brand names, such as Radiesse or Sculptra Aesthetic.  When applied correctly, these fillers can last between 9 months and 2 years without needing replacements.  They add volume back into your hands, resulting in younger-looking parts with proportionate-looking bones. You may experience some redness, tenderness or swelling in the hands after application.  This may last for a few days. It is recommended that you rest your hands during this period. When you sleep, your hands should be elevated. 

Try Hydroquinone + Retinoids for lighterage spots, chemical peels

for quick results, and lasers for stubborn age spots

We love the sun: it gives us life, warmth, food, and a great time.  However, chronic sun exposure (including bad suntanning practices when we’re younger) causes age spots and sunspots.  This damage is seen as too much pigmentation in the skin. They may be found all over the body, including the back of our hands.  Age spots are not cancerous, but to be sure that it’s truly an age spot, it’s best to have it evaluated by a dermatologist. If it is changing color or size, or exhibits the ABCDE’s of skin cancer, you should definitely see a dermatologist.

A combination of prescription-strength hydroquinone plus prescription-strength retinoids should be applied against lighter spots.   Hydroquinone prevents the production of the pigmentation-causing enzyme in your body. Retinol is used to escalate cell turnover. If these medications were used on your face, there would be concerns about dryness and irritation.  As it is applied to your hands where the skin is tougher, there is less to worry about.

A light chemical peel is a quick solution that offers cumulative results when removing age spots.  The peel uses an exfoliating acid, causing the skin to shed, and with it, the discoloration is removed or lightened.  With peels, expect that your hands will be dry post-treatment, but they will not peel like your face would have. Use a non-irritating moisturizer on your hands during this time.  Look into using a hypoallergenic lotion without dyes and scents.

For stubborn spots, your dermatologist may suggest laser therapy using an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or fractional resurfacing laser.  These lasers lighten deep discoloration and are recommended for patients who may not have much recovery time available. Most people need 3 to 5 sessions to see the difference.  Patients who have received IPL claim that it feels like a rubber band snapping on the skin. Dermatologists believe that lasers have the added bonus of improving collagen production, which improves the way your hands look.

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