SOS for Aging Hands

Do your hands give away your age? Exercise and diet keeps your body in shape, and proper skincare (along with peels and microdermabrasion) maintains facial tone and radiance, but when it comes to our hands, we often forget to give them the care and protection they deserve. But we should; along with crow’s feet, laugh lines, and sagging skin, spotted, wrinkled, and sinewy hands can age us. In fact, a study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows that most people can tell your age just by seeing your hands.

Aging hands show the signs of sun exposure and collagen breakdown just like aging skin on the face, hands, and chest. Because the skin on the hands tends to be very thin, sun damage takes its toll resulting in brown spots, slackening, and wrinkles. Plus with age, veins become more obvious—a further sign of aging.

But no need to fear, many options exist for turning back the hands of time; you just need to prioritize your main concern: bulging veins, brown spots, volume loss, thin skin, or slackening.

Discoloration, tone, and texture: Talk to your skincare professional about starting a series of chemical peels and/or intense pulsed light treatments (IPL). IPL addresses photoaging and sun damage and will lighten brown spots more and more with each additional treatment. If your spots are more highly pigmented, lasers can lighten them quickly and effectively. Generally for sun damage, non-ablative fractional laser devices like Fraxel® can dramatically reduce hyperpigmentation after one or more treatments. Healing takes about a week, but the redness and flaking you will experience won’t prohibit you from engaging in your daily activities. Skin tightening devices such as Pelleve® and Ultherapy® can also work wonders on hands to improve texture.

Thin skin, volume loss: Just as with lost volume in the face, injections and fillers such as Restylane®, Radiesse®, and Sculptra® Aesthetic can work to improve the appearance of knotty veins and loose skin. Injections of fat from your stomach or hips can also bring a youthful plumpness back to your hands. Even Botox® and Dysport® can be used off-label to soften the appearance of enlarged veins.

Maintenance: Given the small surface area of the hands, chemical peels, IPL treatments, and lasers are fast and easy treatments, but as the aging process progresses you will need repeat sessions. Be sure to wear SPF every day of the year to maintain your skin improvement or, even better, delay the need for professional treatments. An anti-aging hand regimen should include broad spectrum SPF30, overnight renewal cream, and regular exfoliation.

The ZO® Skin Health quartet of Oraser® Topical treatments for hands works beautifully at home to maintain the youthful appearance of your hands.