Aging Hands + Arms
Few body parts reflect age like hands and arms. Aged hands look skeletal, fragile and transparent, showing underlying veins. Aged skin on arms looks thin and crinkled, feels dry and rough, and is speckled with red spots and brown spots of all sizes.
Shockingly, about 80% of these visible manifestations of aging are preventable with a few healthy habits and sunscreen. Sun damage ages us faster than anything else can. It pulls the reins back on collagen and elastin production; it revs up pigment and inflammation; it weakens the walls of our veins and vessels so bruising comes easily, and the list goes on.
General Pigment Issues
At first, a few spots may appear. Then, without active intervention at the first sight of them, spots of all colors and sizes may quickly sprout across your skin. These spots are manifestations of years of sun exposure without sun protection. Their roots are deep, usually requiring combination therapies and strict compliance with particular products to clear them away.
Chemical peels, Excel V laser, IPL, Pixel Resurfacing, SkinPen with TCA and a few liquid nitrogen sessions may be required to erase the spots. Pigment suppressing products such as prescription hydroquinone and tretinoin, Epionce Melanolyte Serum, Skinbetter Science Even Pigment Corrector can help lighten spots and help prep skin for peels and lasers. Other recommended products may include over-the-counter (OTC) products such as AmLactin, LacHydrin, other glycolic acid based products.
The must-use-without-fail product is sunscreen on any exposed area of skin. For the outdoor enthusiasts, wearing UV protective clothing is a great way to stay cool and prevent additional sun damage. UV protective sleeves and fingerless driving gloves are other smart options.
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Thin, Fragile Skin
Resuscitate skin with retinoids, prescription or medical grade, such as Skinbetter AlphaRet and AlphaRet Intensive. Retinoids and retinols not only speed cell turnover, ungluing dead skin cells from healthy new skin, but they also thicken the dermis and nudge collagen production. Think of retinoids as CPR for skin texture.
Antioxidants protect and repair cells, preserve DNA and inhibit pigment formation. Antioxidants are crucial for skin health. Think of antioxidants as anti-rust agents for skin cells. Antioxidants prevent cell corrosion. Our preferred potent and full spectrum antioxidants: Epionce Intense Defense Serum, Skinbetter Alto, Vivier CE Peptides.
Chemical peels may seem counterintuitive in thickening and strengthening thin, fragile skin, but a few of them, particularly Glycolic and TCA can quickly help. SkinPen with TCA also helps reach the deeper layers, stimulating collagen and tightening tissue.
Visible Veins on Hands
“Working our hands to the bone” is an appropriate idiom. We use our hands for pretty much everything. Over the years, they have worked harder than most other body parts. They also have been most exposed to the elements and have been usually neglected unless the giant red flag of dryness drives us to grab the hand cream. Eventually, our hands start looking more like skeletal claws, transparent skin revealing the vein-scape underneath.
There is a quick and effective remedy for visible veins in hands. A few syringes of dermal filler adds density to thin skin and conceals the veins. Voluma or Juvederm Ultra Plus are our preferred fillers for hands.
A new consideration in the acceleration of aging hands is the compulsive hand-washing and over-use of hand sanitizers required in these pandemic days. To curb the negative effects of the constant use of harsh soaps and sanitizers, carry your own gentle hand wash. Travel bottles are easy and can be refilled with your personal gentle cleanser.
It also is a good practice to rinse hands after using hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are heavily alcohol-based which can dry hands so much they begin to itch and crack. #handeczema is on the rise.
Another good practice is to use hand cream after you wash hands or use sanitizer – even if it is 20 times a day. Scatter tubes of hand cream around the house like people over 40 scatter readers – kitchen, nightstand, laundry room, reading nook, car, everywhere!