Have you ever heard the saying “If you want to really know a woman’s age, look at her hands”? The hands are often one of the first body areas that show off old age. They are also highly visible in almost everything we do in daily life. This is why it’s very ironic that the hands are often neglected, with patients instead focusing their anti-aging efforts on their face, neck, chest, or legs.
Hand aging is characterized by a loss of tissue volume and elasticity of the skin which can increase the visibility of tendons, veins, and bones on the back of the hand. Additionally, years of exposure to UV rays and other free radicals cause the skin on the hands to appear spotted, dull, wrinkled, and/or crepe.
The good news is that there are many great ways to address hand aging. The following describes hand rejuvenation treatment options grouped by the specific aging symptom they address:
AGING SYMPTOM: SUN DAMAGE / DULLNESS / ROUGHNESS
The tone and texture of the hands can degrade after years of accumulated exposure to the various elements like radiation from the sun, cold winter temps, or pollution. Most individuals will start to notice the accumulation of sun spots and sun damage as early as their late 30’s. The skin along the back of the hands can also being to appear dull and be rough to the touch.
Erbium laser is a non-invasive laser treatment that causes sloughing of the outer most layers of the skin to improve both skin texture and tone. The procedure can also minimize the appearance of sun spots on the skin as well.
Chemical Hand Peel: Chemical Peels are a great way to lighten sun spots and refresh the skin. Peels are topically applied formulas that revitalize the skin surface by creating an even and controlled shedding of the skin cells. This allows new layers to be exposed, creating a fresh appearance and smoother texture to the skin surface.
IPL Photofacial: Intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacial treatments use precise amounts of visible light to effectively treat pigmentation and sun damage. IPL can effectively treat red/brown color and improve sun-damaged skin.
AGING SYMPTOM: LOOSE SKIN / WRINKLES
Over time the skin on the hands (and all other areas of the body) experiences a decrease in the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that help the skin stay plump and firm. Slowly, our elasticity declines as the tightly knot network of fibers under the skin begins to loosen. The skin at the back of the hands becomes loose and begins to sag. The development of wrinkles or lines is also common.
Laser Hand Treatments: The best option to tighten skin on hands is through various laser treatments like Co2 laser or HIFU. These skin treatments use laser technology to heat the collagen under the skins surface, causing the skin to both lift and tighten. These treatments also stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and elastin leading to long-term firming of the skin.
AGING SYMPTOM: BONY HANDS (VOLUME LOSS)
Normal aging causes the fat and other tissue below the skin to deplete. This volume loss results in skeleton-looking hands as the bones and tendons of the hand protrude and are more prominent. The only way to correct volume loss is to replace it.
Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers can instantly replace volume back into the hands, masking tendons and bones in the back of the hands. The procedure is relatively painless, requires no downtime, and results last for up to 1 year.
AGING SYMPTOM: PROTRUDING VEINS
The normal aging process results in both the loss of camouflaging tissue and the darkening of the veins. This results in another common characteristic of “granny hands”: the appearance of unsightly spider veins.
Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is a simple, non-surgical treatment that has the ability to make hand veins quickly disappear. Sclerotherapy uses a sclerosing solution that is injected into overtly visible hand veins, causing them to close. Without the flow of blood, the vein later fades from view. Sclerotherapy is also very safe as it only eliminates non-functioning veins.