As we age, every part of our body starts to show signs of the ageing process. From the volume, strength, and colour of your hair to the elasticity of your face to the quality and texture of your skin, there are lots of telltale signs that millions of women (and men!) start to experience when they reach middle age and beyond.
Of course, the ageing process is different for every individual. Some women start to go grey in their late twenties, whereas others will maintain a head of healthy, naturally coloured hair into their forties and beyond.
Things like the environment, genetics, and overall lifestyle can have a huge impact on how fast you start to show signs of ageing, but one thing that all skincare experts can agree on is the fact that your hands are body parts that can start to reveal age at a much quicker rate than the rest.
While the palms of your hands tend to stay pretty much the same at every age milestone, the back of your hands can start to age quite quickly the older that you get. Things like dry skin, brown spots, and a loss of elasticity are some of the most noticeable changes that you will experience in your hands over time, but in this modern age of wonderful cosmetic hand care, there are plenty of products, both doctor prescribed and over the counter, that can be used to rejuvenate those hands and restore than to a previous state of youthful beauty.
Why Do Hands Age So Quickly?
Why exactly is it that ageing hands are one of the earliest and most noticeable signs of ageing among both men and women?
The answer is a pretty simple one. As you age, your skin starts to get thin all over your body, and because the back of your hands is a place where the skin is already thin, to begin with, it makes sense that aging is more noticeable here compared to other areas.
The reduced fat and skin volume on the back of your hands, combined with decreased elasticity through lower collagen production, results in a translucent-looking skin that wrinkles easily.
Your hands are also very exposed. Except in the winter when you may wear gloves against the cold, your hands are in constant use, being in and out of the water, handling all sorts, and working to various degrees of rigor depending on your job.
Exposure to the elements is not good for your hands. Wind can be drying and constant exposure to UV rays can result in sun damage. Hyperpigmentation – brownish marks that are known as sunspots, liver spots, or age spots – can also increase with age.
How Can You Take Care Of Your Aging Hands?
What can be done to combat these common symptoms that lead to things like discoloration, dryness, and translucent skin?
There are plenty of options available in the current landscape of modern dermatology and cosmetic surgery. Let’s take a look at some of these symptoms in closer detail, along with information about what the best-recommended treatments are for aging hands.
It is extremely common for adults to start developing age spots on the backs of their hands. These spots will tend to increase in size with age, and also with more time spent out in the sun. Many people are concerned they may be a sign of skin cancer but age spots are extremely common.
To reverse the effects of age spots and hyperpigmentation, many people opt to undergo cosmetic procedures including:
- Laser Therapy
- Chemical Peeling
- Skin lightening creams and lotions.
Minimally invasive laser treatment to remove discoloration is known to be the quickest method to get rid of age spots, with various creams and lotions being the least invasive and cheapest, but also the longest to deliver the desired results. Formulations that contain glycolic acid, vitamin C and/or hyaluronic acid are known to be effective.
Rough, Scaly Patches
People who have particularly fair skin, and who have spent a lot of time in their lives outside without sun protection, will sometimes find that they start to develop rough, scaly patches of skin on their hands.
On their own, these rough patches of dead skin aren’t necessarily a problem, but the risk is in the fact they can lead to actinic keratoses which are precancerous growths. These tend to appear from 40 years of age onwards.
If you are worried about your rough patches of thin skin then the best option is to seek the advice of a dermatologist. In the meantime, the best preventative measure for this kind of medical condition is to always make sure you wear a high factor SPF sunscreen on your hands whenever you go out. You and your hands are subject to the dangers of sun exposure even on cloudy days!
Loss Of Volume And Fullness
When your hands begin to lose their youthful fullness, the skin can become lax and start to appear almost crepe paper-like in texture. One reason for this is a slow down in the production of elastin. The less full your hands are, the more noticeable your veins will become.
The most effective treatment for lack of fullness and volume on the back of your hands is filler injections. You might be more familiar with fillers as a treatment to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines on the face, but the same process can be applied to the hands because the issue is skin cells that need to be rejuvenated.
A different method with similar execution is fat transfer, in which fat from another part of your body is taken and placed into the back of your hands to provide the volume and fullness that you have lost with age.
If you undergo these kinds of treatments without any pre-existing skin conditions to consider, then you can expect a filler procedure to produce immediate results, and to last for anywhere between six months and one year.
As with all filler treatments, this type of cosmetic procedure is not permanent, and you will have to keep going back for follow-up treatments if you want to maintain the look.
Another cosmetic option for saggy hand skin is microneedling. In this process, microneedles are used to trigger a healing response by stimulating cell metabolism and encouraging the production of collagen and elastin. The process smooths overall skin tone and texture and also helps the cells maintain better moisture levels. As with other cosmetic treatments, it is not permanent and effects will wear off in time so repeat treatments are needed to maintain the results.
Did you know that roughly 20% of the population has what is classed as brittle nails? You are more likely to suffer from this if you are a woman over 60, but in general, it can affect anyone of any age.
Some of the biggest telltale signs of brittle nails include visible lines that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail, along with a noticeable peeling or breaking of the nail on regular occasions.
In terms of treatments for brittle nails, a lot of the most effective answers are not in cosmetic surgery but instead are more practical. If you are somebody who has to spend a lot of time with wet hands or in the presence of harsh chemicals, then make the extra effort to wear gloves as much as you can. Combine with a gentle cotton glove treatment at home. Choose a good hand/nail cream, use liberally at night and then wear the gloves in bed.
Consulting with a dermatologist about your brittle nails can be helpful because it might be the case that your skincare routine is having a detrimental effect. You might be exfoliating in too rough a manner or you might be using soaps that are too harsh for your skin and nails and therefore stripping away a lot of the natural oils. It can be a very broad spectrum of things at fault.
The best way to try to reverse brittle nails is a lot of hydrating therapy on your hands and cuticles. This can be done through things like good-quality moisturizers, hand creams, and mineral oils. Biotin is a good supplement to take and retinol (vitamin A) is known to strengthen nails.
Your hands can start to show the signs of aging quicker than other body parts but prevention is a big part of keeping your hands looking youthful.
- Wear protective gloves when appropriate
- Always wear sunscreen when outdoors
- Moisturize regularly
- Look after your nails
- Eat a healthy diet with a good intake of nutrients like vitamin A and antioxidants.
Speak to your dermatologist about issues that cause you concern like saggy skin, hyperpigmentation, and overly dry skin.