When was the last time you looked at the back of your hands? Most of us look at our faces and figures in the mirror every day, sometimes several times per day, but most of us forget to look at our hands. We use our hands to greet one another with a friendly wave or a firm handshake, and we gesture with our hands to emphasize feelings. We use our hands constantly. Unfortunately, the hands also tend to take a beating and bear the brunt of sun damage and early aging. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent premature aging of the hands or reduce and repair damage that has already been done.
Preventing signs of aging on hands
If you have inspected the backs of your hands and they still look youthful, smooth, and free of dark spots -- also known as age spots -- consider extending your skincare routine to the hands. To prolong the youthfulness of your hands, be sure to moisturize and protect. The earlier you put in place a skincare routine for your hands, the sooner you will ward off wrinkling, blemishes, and age spots. For many, signs of aging and damage begin to develop in their 30s or 40s, but for some, signs of aging may occur as early as their mid-20s.
The first preventative step is to use emollient moisturizers or creams and to avoid submerging the hands in water for extended periods of time, particularly if your hands are prone to dermatitis with painful, red, and cracking skin. Ideally, apply moisturizing lotions or creams in the evening before going to bed so that they have time to do their work without being washed off or disturbed.
In addition to using a high-quality moisturizer, invest in an equally high-quality sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater that also has broad-spectrum protection. Just as you apply sunscreen to your face, shoulders, and other exposed areas, you should also make a habit of applying it liberally to the back of your hands. A particularly important time to apply sunscreen to the back of your hands is just before driving. Although the face and upper body may be mostly shaded while driving and the lower body is obscured by the dashboard of the car, your hands are nearly continuously exposed to damaging UV-radiation as they rest on the steering wheel. Applying a quality moisturizer and sunscreen will not only keep your skin soft and fresh, but will also help limit sun damage which leads to early signs of aging.
Treatment for sun-damaged or aging hands
If you have already begun to suffer from signs of aging on the back of the hands, IPL/BBL photorejuvenation for hand rejuvenation may be an option. IPL/BBL is a non-invasive treatment that uses broad spectrum light to target and treat damaged tissues. IPL/BBL may treat a number of imperfections on the backs of the hands, as well as other areas of the body. Treatable imperfections include sun damage or age spots, birthmarks, small veins and broken capillaries, rosacea, freckles, and more. The damaged skin cells are destroyed with IPL/BBL therapy, leaving behind healthy, younger-appearing tissue and stimulation of collagen growth -- which provides a fuller appearance that can help mask large or obvious veins along the back of the hand.
IPL/BBL treatment is non-invasive and associate with very few risks. Most patients feel sunburned in the treated areas for a few hours after treatment, and may experience some swelling or blistering which typically go away on their own. On rare occasion, spots may become temporarily darker. On the upside, photorejuvenation has no downtime. Patients are able to return to their everyday routines right away. Just be sure to avoid sun exposure for several days. For any discomfort after treatment, you may use cold compresses. Be sure to continue using moisturizers and sunscreen to protect your renewed skin.
To learn more about IPL/BBL photorejuvenation, or for recommendations on the best moisturizers and sunscreens for your needs, call Monarch Skin Rejuvenation Center today at (913) 317-9386 to schedule an appointment.