Unfortunately the ageing process involves more than just the face. The second most visible sign of ageing is also on display all the time – our hands.
As we concentrate our aesthetic efforts on the face, the hands are often neglected. The skin on the hands is different from the face; it’s much thinner, with less subcutaneous fat. It’s not as well protected from external aggressions (who wear gloves often enough?) and although we may remember to apply SPF to the face, how often do we remember to apply it to our hands?
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A young hand will have smooth, well-hydrated, firm skin, with a good layer of padding. There should be no visible veins, tendons, bones and/or textural changes, pigmentation spots or discoloration from UV/IR exposure. But unfortunately many have hands which are showing the signs of ageing. So what can be done? Well actually there are a number of options!
From specific hand chemical peels, dermal fillers, fat grafts, lasers, PRP and even surgically enhanced hands, without forgetting skincare, SPF and hand protection (specially when washing up, cleaning etc).
Hand Chemical Peeling
Not all peels are created equal! Different concentrations of acid are required for different parts of the body. Luckily there are now specific chemical peels developed to target particular areas, I’m currently using a peel developed by Enerpeepl, just for use on the hands. Peels are very good at treating pigmentation problems, and will leave skin both smoother and clearer.
Laser skin resurfacing
Pixel, fractional lasers create tiny injuries (pin holes) in the skin, therefore they stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin, leading to better underlying support. Thanks to the peeling effects of the laser, it can also help to reduce pigmented areas. Unfortunately if the skin is too thin and the hands too bony hands, there will not be enough obtain really good results.
Intense Pulse Light
Age spots, liver spots, sun damage – those brown patches are due to the ageing process and sun exposure. Intense pulse light lasers have specific wave-lengths to target and remove this excess of melanin.
Some patients will require more than one session and there can be some discomfort, redness swelling. This would be discussed at consultation.
PRP or Dracula Therapy is rejuvenation using your own cells. A small blood sample is taken, and then spun in a centrifuge to separate it into red blood cells, platelets and serum. This clear serum is then re-injected into the hands. The treatment stimulates DNA repair, heals scars and makes dry lacklustre skin look and feel younger. This treatment appeals to people who want a more natural approach, with no toxins or downtime. This treatment can also be combined with a chemical peel.
Dermal Fillers and fat graft
Loosing their youthful padding leaves hands looking and feeling dry, wrinkly and with no bounce back. They can also develop prominent veins and bones, plus issues with pigmentation. Dermal fillers, when correctly are carefully placed (to avoid veins, tendons, etc.) will re-create lost padding, and hide some of those visible structures. Fillers in the hands will last longer than on the face, and have almost no down time. Another excellent option is fat graft but requires a more surgical, invasive approach.
Fillers can also be mixed with PRP for longer lasting and more complete results.
Sometimes what bothers patient most of all is the fact that veins are bulging out. This is something that can be easily corrected, but it requires the work of a specialist vascular surgeon, who can remove them.
Our hands take a lot of abuse. So be kind to them. Every time you apply SPF to your face, apply to your hands too. Wear gloves as much as possible, but particularly in cold weather, when washing up and cleaning, and when gardening.
If you’ve got any questions about any of my treatments, you can comment on this blog post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet me @DrDanielSister or contact me via Facebook. I look forward to hearing from you.