As we age, we often focus on keeping our faces looking younger, but often—through neglect, or just the fact that we don’t worry about them so much—our hands can speak volumes about our actual age.
So here are nine steps to younger-looking hands, as recommended by our board-certified dermatologists at Skin Associates of South Florida. When you visit our Miami – Coral Gables office, we will help you determine the best approach to hands you can be proud of.
1. Protect your hands from the elements
So-called “age spots,” a telltale sign of older hands, actually have nothing to do with aging and everything to do with exposure to sun. Protect against this by including the backs of your hands when you apply sunscreen whenever you’re in sunlight. If you’d like next level protection, use gloves when doing outdoor work or driving.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
The best way to ward off dry skin is to apply lotion—or cream if your hands are especially dry—every time your hands touch water. We love the restorsea repairing hand treatment available in our apothecary
3. Wear gloves at night
Your hard-working hands use sleep to recover the same way the rest of your body does. It’s also the ideal time to give your hands a mini-spa treatment. Slather on deep-healing hand cream, or even plain petroleum jelly, and cover hands with a pair of cotton gloves.
4. Retinoic acid
Retinoic acid, a Vitamin A derivative antioxidant that can improve the appearance of dry or wrinkled skin, used to be available only by prescription. In the last few years, gentler formulations have appeared in over-the-counter creams, such as retinol, which may be ideal for people with more sensitive skin on the hands. Our board-certified dermatologists can also prescribe the stronger version, which helps build more collagen necessary to reduce wrinkling. Retinoids also stimulate the formation of new blood vessels in the skin, and fade brown spots, causing the skin to appear younger and more brilliant. These products are fantastic anti-aging ingredients, but can also cause sun sensitivity and should not be used when pregnant or breast feeding.
Over-the-counter creams containing 2% hydroquinone can fade age spots on the hands. Because this is a bleaching agent, it can cause some irritation; be sure to test a small amount before use.. For the stronger 4% or above formulation, consult with our dermatologists to receive a prescription, if necessary, for darker or more persistent spots. We will be happy to educate you in the safe use of this potent lightener.
6. Glycolic acid
A type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), it was originally derived from sugar cane, though these days it is more often synthetically produced. Glycolic products are generally regarded as safe for most skin types, and works by encouraging the outer layer of skin to slough off.
Last year, the FDA approved this synthetic filler gel for use on hands. It can be injected into the space between the tendons on the back of your hands to not only plump up the skin, making protruding veins less visible, but also trigger the production of collagen, which reduces wrinkles and makes the skin appear younger. We can also employ other hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, depending on your specific requirements. With our Skin Associates of South Florida micro cannula techniques, these products can be placed safely and precisely.
8. Fractional laser resurfacing
To produce younger-looking skin on the backs of your hands, reduce wrinkles and such skin irregularities as age spots, our board-certified dermatologists at Skin Associates will employ fractional laser resurfacing, a non-invasive procedure. This type of laser resurfacing is known as “fractional” because the physician targets only a tiny “fraction” of the skin, allowing for faster healing and better results. The Fraxel Dual (1550/1927) and the Cynosure Icon 1540 are our two favorites for turning back the clock on the hands.
9. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photorejuvenation or laser
IPL photorejuvenation uses a technique called pulsed light therapy to heat the collagen beneath the skin, which stimulates the body to produce more of this beneficial substance which reduces wrinkles and imparts a more youthful appearance. Lasers like our Cutera Enlighten picosecond device can specifically target brown spots on the hands as well. Your board-certified dermatologists at Skin Associates of South Florida can tell you whether IPL photorejuvenation or laser is right for you.
Please schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified Miami/Coral Gables dermatologists today to learn more about our hand rejuvenation options for younger-looking hands today.