We spend so much time paying attention to preventing and erasing the wrinkles on our faces that we tend to neglect other parts of our body. In particular, our hands, which can age us just as much as our faces can. That’s why it’s time to start showing them a little TLC.
“Hands are the most exposed and the most uncared for parts of our body, and begin to show signs of aging much earlier than the face,” says Orlando, FL, dermatologist Kathleen Judge, MD.
There are three main factors that can make your hands age faster. The first one is sun damage. “It can prematurely age our hands by causing wrinkling, uneven pigmentation, and atrophy or thinning of the skin,” says Livingston, NJ, dermatologist Chris W. Sciales, MD.
Second, genetics also plays a part in aging your hands since age spots and freckles are hereditary. Lastly, the medications you are using can also be affecting your hands. “Side effects may include increased photosensitivity and atrophy or thinning of the skin—thus causing premature aging of the hands,” says Dr. Sciales.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent aging on your hands. “The sooner you start taking care of and protecting your hands, the longer they will keep their youthful look,” says Dr. Judge. “It’s very important to use sun protection on your hands and to keep them hydrated with moisture cream or lotion.”
If you are starting to notice some aging on your hands there are a number of ways to reverse it. You can repair sun damage and reduce the appearance of age spots with the regular use of retinoids and high-strength retinols. Using products with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help improve your skin tone and texture. You can also do chemical peels on your hands to help improve skin texture, reduce pigmentation and even boost collagen production.
Additionally, there are more aggressive treatments for those that need them. “Laser skin resurfacing is a good option to achieve desired effects,” says Dr. Judge. “Age spots and rough texture can be treated with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). Another option is injectables and fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero. “They can plump up the hands and make them look less bony,” says Dr. Sciales.
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