Are your hands telling your best kept secret…your age?
As we age, we all are self-conscious about telltale signs that we have celebrated more birthdays than we would like to admit. Little crow’s feet around the eyes, sagging skin around the jaw line, dark spots and dull skin…are all signs we dread and try to combat with the latest anti-aging cosmetic creams and lotions. However, one of the best clues to determining our age in not right under our noses, but at the end of our arms: our hands.
All too often we forget to give our hands the same tender loving care we reserve for our faces. With age, the skin on the back of our hands experiences a loss of fatty tissue and becomes thinner and more translucent. Brown spots begin to appear, and tendons, veins and joints become more apparent. To slow the progression of time, it is best to be proactive and start giving your hands the care they deserve long before you notice physical changes. Start by exfoliating your hands regularly and use a moisturizer with sunscreen (at least SPF of 30) throughout the day, and treat your hands with an even more intense moisturizer at night. These measures will help, but alone cannot turn back the hands of time.
If your hands are making you feel older, there are cosmetic treatments and procedures that can reverse the signs of aging and give your hands the supple look of youth. One treatment involves injections on the back of the hand with a product such as collagen or restylane. When injected under the surface of the skin, it raises the skin level, so veins, tendons and joints are less prominent. The immediate result is a soft, smooth, natural look, and the in-office procedure takes only about 30 minutes with no post-procedure downtime.
Another procedure that can reap dramatic results is called microphlebectomy, also used to remove unattractive, bulging veins in the legs. This minimally invasive surgical technique is now being used successfully to treat bulging veins in the hand. During the procedure, tiny incisions (2-3mm) are made over the bulging vein and a fine instrument is used to remove the vein through the opening in the skin. The treatment usually takes under an hour and no sutures are required for the tiny incisions. There is little or no scarring, recovery time is brief (around 24 hours), and patients can promptly return to their normal activities.
Other treatments that can be used to rejuvenate the look of the hands include:
Chemical Peel When these chemicals are applied to the skin, it causes age spots to disappear while tissue appears less transparent.
Sclerotherapy When a sclerosing solution is injected into unsightly veins. This chemical solution irritates the veins, causing them to turn white and gradually disappear.
Microdermabrasion This is a superficial skin polishing procedure that involves sanding off the first layer of skin with tiny crystals.
Laser Skin Resurfacing Through short bursts of laser light, unsightly veins and dark “age” spots are gently removed from the skin.
When considering a cosmetic procedure, you should consult a qualified plastic surgeon with significant experience. Each of the various types of hand rejuvenation treatments come with their own set of benefits, risks, and costs. Only you and your physician can determine what is the best approach for you.