Hands and fingers can show signs of aging well before other parts of our bodies. We use our hands regularly and often neglect to take proper care of them. Because of this, our hands can even make us appear older than we actually are. Developing a skin-care routine for your hands is every bit as important as the one you most likely have for your face. It is essential to understand what causes aging hands to keep our hands looking as youthful as possible. Once we know this, we can learn how to fix them and prevent further damage.
What Causes Aging Hands?
Simply put, aging hands are caused by aging. Certain processes take place in our bodies as we age that rob us of our plump, youthful skin. Collagen, the most abundant peptide in our bodies, acts like a type of glue. It gives our skin structure, holding it and our connecting tissues in place. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which leaves the skin sagging, wrinkly, and not as flexible.
Another cause of aging hands is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Whether you spent your youth by the pool or in a tanning bed, your skin was exposed to UV rays. These rays are known to break collagen down at an increased rate compared to normal aging. Your profession can also damage your hands making them look years older than they are. You may work with abrasive products or tools or may have to wash your hands frequently, which can dry them out and rough them up. Fortunately, there are ways to stave off aging hands.
Learn about the first piece of protective advice for aging hands.
Sun And UV Protection
We never forget to use sun and UV protection on our faces. We will religiously reapply sunscreen every hour while outdoors, but our hands often miss out. If you think about where your hands are when you’re outside, it makes sense hands would be vulnerable to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Whether riding a bike, running, or pushing a baby carriage, our hands have a front row seat to the sun. Not only is it imperative to use a sunscreen with a protection factor (SPF) of thirty or more, it is equally important to reapply sunscreen every hour or after swimming. This will ensure harmful UV rays will not deteriorate the collagen in your hands.
Keep reading to learn more about how to fix aging hands.
Dry skin can add years to your hands, besides the fact it is simply uncomfortable. Consistent moisturization is a helpful habit to adopt. For those in the medical or food service industries, frequent hand washing is required. This can dry the skin out, not only aging it, but making it prone to cracking and bleeding. Dry environments like the desert can also contribute to aging skin. Moisturizing daily can help skin stay smooth, supple, and prevent painful injuries. It can easily be worked into your daily routine after a shower, before bed, or when you wake up in the morning.
Learn about how to treat uneven skin tone from aging hands next.
Treating Uneven Skin Tone
Age spots (liver spots) are dark patches on the hands that often appear as we get older. Treating uneven skin tone can easily be done with over-the-counter products. Most of these products will take a few weeks to months to work, but they will minimize dark spots on the hands. These spots are caused by excessively active pigment cells and are usually the result of sun exposure. Serums including vitamin C, hydroquinone, retinol, and salicylic acids can all help to repair uneven skin tone. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels can be performed in a salon and work by removing the outermost layer of skin. These procedures often need to be repeated to achieve optimal results.
Keep reading for more on dealing with aging hands.
Visiting A Dermatologist
Should over-the-counter or salon procedures fail to produce the results you want, visiting a dermatologist can help. Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in skin care and can offer more options for fixing aging hands than your local salon. If bulging, prominent veins are a concern, a dermatologist can use sclerotherapy, laser treatments, or cryotherapy to permanently remove veins. These procedures all destroy the visible veins, and blood flow is rerouted through other veins. Whether for cosmetic reasons or not, visiting the dermatologist is a good idea if you notice an abnormal spot or mark on your hands. The doctor can further investigate or assure you that you have nothing to worry about.