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ARE YOUR HANDS GIVING YOUR AGE AWAY?

HAND REJUVENATION

The hands can reveal our true age. Although there are many aesthetic improvements for the face, neck and body, until recently satisfactory treatments for hands have been left behind. Fortunately, today, there are numerous techniques that can be used to turn back the clock for ageing hands. 

Our hands are continuously subjected to the damaging effects of the environment and these everyday strains of wear and tear can have a significant effect on their premature ageing over time. Long-term exposure to sun can leave brownish discolorations spots. Skin becomes thinner with advancing years. Veins at the back of hands become dilated and more visible. The walls of the blood vessels become more fragile and blood cells can leak through them after minor injuries. Degradation products from these leaked cells can stain the skin yellowish- brown. 

With ageing, we lose fat and skin thickness, which makes the hands look bony and unattractive.The small joints of hands undergo wear and tear, and this can cause the knuckles to become thickened and unsightly. 

Rippon Medical Services are highly experienced in treating old hands and tired hands. Tell-tale ageing signs commonly appear on the hands, and similarly to the face and neck our hands are rarely hidden. People have been investing in non-surgical prevention and rejuvenation for the face for decades now, with some phenomenal results.  

After the face, your hands are the most conspicuous part of your body and, therefore, of significant aesthetic importance. They are constantly exposed to environmental factors such as chemicals and UV, and therefore age quickly. Ultimately, old hands will show your age even if you have a fresh face and it therefore makes good sense that if you're treating your face, you treat your hands as well.

As with all ageing, there are different elements to what comprises the perception of age. Three key signs of old hands: 

1. Volume loss – notable appearance of veins and tendons 

2. Skin quality – laxity and dehydration 

3. Skin tone – uneven with age-spots (a key sign of old hands)

A youthful hand is full, lacking the appearance of veins or other underlying structures, with hydrated and even skin tone. These days we are blessed to have many effective treatments and, for the different indications of hand ageing, there is a specific solution, granting us a multi-pronged approach. 

To target volume loss in old hands, the most effective tool in our non-surgical kit is dermal filler, and the results are instant. By numbing the hands with local anaesthetic cream and injecting a suitable filler into the hands – most commonly, a hyaluronic acid (HA) filler – we immediately create volume in the skin, softening and disguising tell-tale veins and tendons. This is done over one or two treatment sessions, maintained annually, on average. 

Fillers for Old Hands

The added benefit of an HA filler is that one of its mechanisms is to attract water, thus producing a hydrating effect. For younger hands that are more dehydrated than lacking in volume, we can reach for skin-boosters which utilises the hydrating function of HA, restoring hydrobalance, secondary to building volume, toning and revitalising thin skin. This is usually carried out as a course of three treatments over one to three months, boosted again at six months. 

To address lax and "crepey" skin, we turn to micro-needling in the form of dermaroller. This uses controlled-injury to trigger wound-healing, which wakes everything up by realising an abundance of growth factors to regenerate the skin, without traumatising it. If you cut yourself, ultimately fresh collagen and elastin will be laid down, and it's this process that dermaroller harnesses. The hands are numbed with a local anaesthetic cream, cleaned and then rollered, the whole process taking approximately one hour. There may be some redness, heat and tightness to the skin following treatment, but this is short-lived, lasting an average of a day or two and not compromising movement. The best results are seen with a course of three treatments, approximately six weeks apart with an annual freshener if required. 

In addition to treatments that require the needle, there are topical applications that help both skin quality and skin tone. Whilst over-the-counter creams may temporarily hydrate hands, you need active ingredients that change and condition the skin cells for noticeable and long lasting results. For age spots and pigmentation we would look at a prescription peel or preparation, with active ingredients such as retinol to generate collagen, and pigment suppressors to target brown spots. 

We are ageing all the time and procedures are best carried out as a rolling programme to correct current concerns and prevent further damage. The procedures for old hands are all straightforward with comfort levels at an optimum and little downtime. 

Not to forget, one of the simplest, most effective things we can all do is wear a good sunscreen (ideally 50spf and certified PA +++ ranking) rain or shine! As an aesthetic practice, hand rejuvenation is extremely rewarding as you are reversing the signs of old hands in a way that many people do not realise is possible. It allows you to match your rejuvenated hands with your face rejuvenation with confidence. 

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

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