Face is often the first point of attention when we meet someone, and it’s no wonder why we spend so much time and attention on face rejuvenation, but many people forget how quickly the eyes roll towards the hands, and… more often than not, we are in for an unpleasant surprise!
The truth is, our hands are exposed to the same harsh environmental factors that our face is and worse, but while we all know about the importance of sun protection and treatments using lasers, IPL, Botox, Dysport and various fillers to repair and rejuvenate the damaged skin and aged face, we often forget about the hands. The result can be quite shocking: We all have seen people with faces that look almost perfect and very youthful for their age, but you look at their hands and all those wrinkles, sun spots, pigmentations and volume loss send a very different message. It is not rare to see people whose hands look 10 or 20 years older than their face! Here we look at hand aging and things we can do to prevent and treat it.
What Is Hand Aging and How Does It Happen?
Hand aging is essentially the same process that takes place in the other parts of the body, but due to the special circumstances present in hands, the process is often accelerated and intensified. As usual, sun rays are often the number one culprit. Without protection, ultraviolet radiation from the sun penetrates into the skin and harms various components of skin: It damages DNA and can result in cell death, or mutations that can accumulate and lead to skin cancer. It can also accelerate the break-down of elastin and collagen strands that are present in the skin. The effect is most prominent in areas of the body that are usually more exposed – face, neck and hands.
Another harmful factor at play in hands is the exposure to harsh and/or harmful chemicals. The simplest way is through soaps, detergents and sanitizers that we commonly use and at minimum, they can remove the naturally-occurring moisturizers and disturb the natural bacterial flora of the skin. Toxins may get absorbed through the skin and cause different types of reactions such as allergic and atopic reactions. Together, these factors can contribute to unhealthy, dry and cracked skin at hands and accelerate hand aging.
After years of exposure to these harmful factors, our hands can develop significant skin pigmentation, skin dryness and scaling, and deep lines and wrinkles, and as a result of lost collagen and hyaluronic acid, the tendons, blood vessels and bony features of the back of the hands become more and more prominent and noticeable, turning our once youthful and beautiful hands into what has been described as “zombie hands”.
How to Prevent or Slow down Hand Aging?
Like most other health-related issues, prevention is often the best treatment. A quick look at the aging process described above can give us good ideas on effective preventive measures. Always put ample sunscreen on your hands. Opt for high quality broad-spectrum sunscreens with minimum SPF of 30. Follow the same recommendations as for the face: Apply at least 30 min before exposure and repeat every 2-3 hours or after washing. Try to make a habit of using sunscreen everyday – sunny or cloudy. Another effective measure is the use of gloves while driving or riding bike to physically block the sun rays. Check the labeling of the soap and hand sanitizers you use and try to use products with more natural and less toxic ingredients. Last, use good moisturizers on your hands to give them the additional skin protection they need. Visit our clinic or online store and explore our available skin care products that can help protecting your hands.
How to Reverse Hand Aging and Rejuvenate Hands?
Treatments for hand aging can address various problems that occur during the aging process.