The hands are one of the first places that show age. Unless you are a hand model, most people don’t think about this- but without adequate protection from the elements, our hands show our age as fast, if not faster than our face. In our industry, more TSLMS members are seeing an increasing number of people paying attention to hands and seeking to maintain their youthful look.
Why Our Hands Age So Dramatically
While most people think of taking care of the skin on their face, and even their neck and decollage, often times applying sunscreen to their hands as part of their daily routine is forgotten. They may use lotion on their hands, but this moisturizing is only doing so much to ward off the inevitability of aging, or even worse, premature aging. This has been noted by such popular media as The Today Show:
“Cumulative sun exposure over many years can lead to brown sun spots, irregular pigmentation, thinning of the skin and wrinkles,” said Dr. Allison Arthur, board-certified dermatologist at the Sand Lake Dermatology Center in Orlando, Florida. Regular sunscreen application can obviously protect you from sunburns and skin cancer, but it can also do a pretty solid job of shielding your hands from the aging side effects of the sun. Sadly, though, hands can sometimes become an afterthought when you’re focused on covering the rest of your exposed body in SPF.
“The hands are not protected as well as other areas of skin (i.e. by clothing or makeup) and are exposed daily to the sun. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes about 80 percent of the skin changes that are associated with aging,” Arthur said. “Many people neglect the hands when they are applying sunscreen or sunscreen gets washed off and is not reapplied.” You might not intentionally forget to protect your hands with sunscreen, but doing so clearly has cumulative aging effects. And even though many of us are seeking the best hand cream for aging hands, it seems like good old SPF just might be the best solution of all.
However, if someone has not been using good sunscreen, beginning that daily application now is good practice and will help reduce or control future damage. At this point hands will need to be fixed.
Injectables for Hands
Like every other part of the body, there is a rise in the popularity of injectables that are specifically designed to help give hands back their plump and soft youthfulness. These fillers are life changing for people who crave the hands of their youth. They are made of the same substances that we see in fillers for faces. As the Huffington Post noted last year, right after the FDA approved Restylane Lyft for use in hands:
It’s the first and only hyaluronic acid injectable gel to be FDA approved for an area other than the face. (Radiesse, a dermal filler of calcium hydroxylapatite, has also been approved by the government for use in the face and hands.) “Filler in the hands is used as filler in other places, to cause a rejuvenating effect by giving more volume and plumpness to an area which has lost some of that,” Dr. Michelle Yagoda, a New York-based facial plastic surgeon, told HuffPost. “With aging, there’s a loss of collagen and elastin, and the skin gets thinner, and in the hand, when that happens, you can see the tendons and the veins in the hands more prominently, and people associate that with aging.”
“By using filler, you can plump the back of the hand to make the tendons and veins less visible. People tend to get fillers when they think the appearance of their hands doesn’t match their face,’giving their age away,’” Yagoda said.
These approvals caught a lot of attention in the last year or so, and we expect to see more and more people paying attention and coming to see us for these less invasive hand procedures. We also expect to see a lot more fillers come onto the market.
Other Hand Rejuvenation Treatments
Other treatments for hands may include the transfer of fat from other parts of the body, as noted by the American Academy of Dermatology. Depending on the extent of the aging, dermatologists will also use such treatments as laser therapy, chemical peeling, or microdermabrasion.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery lays out a number of these options:
- Autologous fat grafting (also known as fat transfer) re-injects your own natural fatty tissue into your hands to add volume, cover underlying vessels and tendons, and improve the quality of your skin over time. It is important to note that if you have poor circulation from vascular disease, diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS and smoking you may not get as much of the graft volume to take as other patients.
- Chemical peels, intense pulsed light (IPL), or laser skin resurfacing may be used to treat fine wrinkles, skin discoloration, sun damage or age spots.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses a solution with IPL for more aggressive treatment of irregular pigmentation or brown spots.
- Sclerotherapy or laser vein treatments can treat noticeable or protruding veins.
- Skin excision to remove loose, excess skin on the hands.
With more people paying closer attention to the look of their hands, we expect to see an increase in people seeking these treatments. They will not be alone in this and you, as a service provider will not be either.