Ready for a pretty depressing fact? On average American’s spend 18 and a half hours a week in their cars thanks to busy lifestyles, urban sprawl and of course, traffic congestion. That’s a good majority of your life behind the wheel. And when it comes to driving to and from work, running errands and shuttling kids back and forth to school and various extracurricular activities, moms often bear the brunt of car driving.
That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology, at their latest conference, have expressed worry and advised caution for moms who may be getting unintentional sun exposure that can lead to early signs of aging of the hands. This includes “dark brown age spots and loss of volume that results in thin, sunken skin,” says St. Louis dermatologist Dee Anna Glaser, MD.
The problem is that people think they are in their car and thereof shielded from the sun, but UV radiation can pass through window glass and penetrate the deepest layer of the skin. That’s why Dr. Glaser suggests using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF factor of 30 or higher and to go ahead and keep a tube of sunscreen in the car and apply before driving.
Your hands typically start to show the signs of aging in your 40s or 50s with discoloration and age spots and then it’s in your 60s you start to lose volume, but hands can begin to show early signs of aging if they are repeatedly exposed to the sun without proper UV protection, something many drivers neglect to think about. “It’s that loss of elastin and collagen coupled with photodamage [from the sun] and the aging process itself that causes the skin [on the hands] to become loose,” says Nanuet, NY, dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD.
If you are already dealing with aging hands, there are products and procedures that can help you out. Hydroquinone, tretinoin and retinoids cannot completely reverse signs of aging hands, but they can be used to improve the look of the skin and prevent further damage. If you want to go a step further than topical treatments and fillers that are used off label, can add volume to the hands and diminish the appearance of veins, while fractionated lasers can improve skin tone and smooth out wrinkles.
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