As we age, we often fret over lines and wrinkles appearing on our face. In fact, facelifts are one of the most frequently requested procedures here at Ocean Clinic Marbella.
However, there is another part of our body, which can give away our age just as accurately – our hands. Hands can even make us look older than we actually are, because they can be prone to premature aging.
The good news is, there are an increasing number of hand rejuvenating treatments that can turn back the hands of time. Read on to find out more…
Why hands can age prematurely
Hands are the workhorses of the body – in constant use and exposed to sunlight, water and soap more than any other part of the anatomy.
In addition to this, the skin on the backs of the hands is thinner than elsewhere, which is why hands can age even faster than the face. Those with pale skin are particularly prone to premature ageing of the hands because sun exposure plays a big role in the ageing process.
The first signs of age tend to show on our hands around age 30. At this point skin-cell production decreases by 10%, making skin less efficient at repairing itself. Skin can become wrinkly and crepe-like and dry out more easily.
And because there is very little fat on the backs of the hands, they can also quickly lose plumpness as collagen and elastin breakdown. This causes veins, tendons and knuckles to look more prominent, giving the appearance of old hands.
Rejuvenating treatments for ageing hands
Ocean Clinic Marbella offers three different treatments that help improve the appearance of ageing hands:
· Injectable fillers
· Restylane Skinboosters
· Fat grafting
· Chemical peel
All three are non-surgical cosmetic procedures, performed on an outpatient basis and require no downtime.
To plump out hands that have lost volume we can use the same wrinkle-filling injections that are used on the face, such as JUVEDERM, Restylane or Emervel.
Once injected, the filler is massaged across the back of the hand to plump up and fill in the entire area, and smooth out wrinkling. It is a very low risk treatment and takes less than 20 minutes.
Results can last significantly longer than fillers injected in the face because the back of the hand has fewer muscles and less muscle activity capable of breaking down the filler. Patients may only need to visit for a top-up every couple of years.
Restylane Skinboosters can be used to improve the quality of the skin on the hands, increasing its smoothness, elasticity, thickness and firmness.
Each treatment involves a series of hydrating microinjections of long-lasting hyaluronic acid, also called stabilised HA, a water-loving substance found naturally in the body that maintains hydration in the skin.
The hyaluronic acid is injected into the skin over a course of three treatments, each approximately four weeks apart. Results last around six months and the treatment can also be used alongside fillers to achieve an enhanced result.
We can also replace lost volume in the backs of your hands with your own fat.
Donor fat is taken from another area of the body, such as the stomach or thighs. Only a small amount of fat is required and it is removed with a very fine needle-like cannula.
It it is transferred to the hands via microinjection; tiny droplets are injected, ensuring the fat is spread smoothly and evenly across the backs of the hands.
Using a patient’s own fat as a filler offers a number of benefits. The fat is transplanted as living cells – 40 to 60% of which are able to obtain a blood supply and become permanent tissue. This means that the appearance of the hands is improved permanently.
In addition to filling and plumping, the transplanted stem cells also help improve the texture of the skin, improving the appearance of crepeness.
Liver spots, also known as age spots, are another sign of ageing hands. These brown freckles are caused by sun exposure and are very common amongst sun worshipers here on the Costa del Sol!
To help reduce the appearance of liver spots, and also fine lines, we can carry out a light chemical peel. A chemical peel removes the top layers of skin, to reveal new skin underneath and stimulate collagen production.
You will probably need two to three treatments at two to four week intervals to achieve optimum results. The treatment is very easy to carry out and will not prevent you from using your hands. Your hands will, however, be especially sensitive to the sun after treatment, so it is important to protect them with a high SPF sun cream.
Keeping your hands youthful
Frequent washing of hands and exposure to the elements strips them of their protective oil mantle, so it’s vital to replace lost moisture with a good hand cream.
Look for creams with ingredients such as shea butter, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and glycerine, and moisturise your hands at least once a day (just before bed is best).
To keep hands looking young it’s also important to protect them from the sun. If you’re going outside (even if it’s cloudy) apply sunscreen to your hands, and re-apply each time you wash them.