For more severe skin problems than cosmetics can correct, learn about dermatological treatments for aging hands that can turn the clock back by many years.
There are many useful cosmetic remedies for aging hands, yet some skin problems are frankly beyond the abilities of any home or over-the-counter remedy. Not to worry; an appointment with a good dermatologist can usually minimize even the worst hand problems.
Correcting Hand Aging and Wrinkling of the Skin on the Hands
Few of todays adults wore sunscreen on their hands when they were young; and this lack of protection really shows up in mid-life. When ordinary hand creams with AHA or retinol just dont do the trick, a dermatologists prescription for Retin-A, Renova, or any other tretinoin cream can work wonders. It will thicken the thin, fragile skin, lessen brown discolorations, and smooth out dryness and wrinkling.
Because tretinoin can cause sun sensitivity and irritation, use must be carefully monitored by a doctor and a sunscreen with SPF 30 should be used everyday (check out the ones from Prescriptives, Clinique, and Paulas Choice). The tretinoin may be mixed with moisturizer to make it less irritating; or the frequency of application may be reduced to two or three times a week.
I often get asked if Azzalure anti wrinkle treatment sessions are effective for hands, but the answer is no, because although this treatment works wonders on facial wrinkles, it works by relaxing the muscles, so is not very effective for the hands.
Dermatologist-marketed cosmetics lines have much higher concentrations of AHA than department or drugstore products, but putting 15 or 20% alpha-hydroxy products on the hands often causes too much irritation.
Bluish or Brown Spots on the Hands
For stubborn brown hand discolorations, a prescription for Tri-Luma is extraordinarily helpful. However, it is expensive; costing about £100 per one ounce tube. For common brown or tan melasma, laser, chemical peels, and 4% hydroquinone prescription creams also work well.
For blue-black spots, the pigment is much deeper in the dermis; and several treatments will be required to remove or minimize the disfigurement. It is very important to get any brown, blue, black, or red spot checked out by a doctor, especially if its edges are irregular. Some such marks are lentigo maligna, which can develop into particularly aggressive skin cancers.
Tiny Red Veins on the Hands
Injuries, sun damage or simple aging can cause red spider veins, technically known as telangiectasias, to surface on the hands. Cosmetic companies claim vitamin K creams get rid of them, but there are no independent studies proving this. A dermatologist can zap them with an electric needle; a scab will form and the veins turn white and disappear. The procedure feels a lot like a bee-sting, but is well worth the mild discomfort. Sometimes a tiny depressed scar can result.
Laser treatments are available for more serious cases. Side effects or risk factors vary depending on the type of laser used, but can include pigment loss, itching/swelling, and bruising. Painkillers may be used to minimize discomfort. People with black, brown, or olive skin should consider the risks carefully, as more scarring and keloid formation has been observed in those with darker skin who undergo laser surgery.
If numerous clusters of spider veins appear all over the body, a test for Rendu-Oscar-Weber Syndrome, also called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, may be indicated. This condition can lead to internal hemorrhaging and stroke, so multiple broken blood vessels should definitely be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
Ropy Blue Veins on the Hands
As a person ages, she loses fat cells in the hands. Therefore, the veins and bones in these appendages can become more prominent. Thin people are especially prone to such problems.
The only solution is expensive and a bit painful: Fillers injected directly into the hands. Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra are the three most commonly utilized substances. The procedure must be repeated about every six months.
The option called Endovenous Laser may also be used to insert laser fiber into veins by a plastic surgeon and then destroy the vein with heat from the laser. This procedure is supposed to provide pleasing and permanent results, and costs approximately £1500 for both hands.
Miniphlebectomy or vein removal combined with the endogenous laser technique yields the best results. Schlerotherapy involves injecting the veins with saline solution or certain types of anesthetic, which literally shrivels them up. However, some vein specialists do not feel these procedures should be performed only for cosmetic reasons; and recommend fillers instead.
If over-the-counter remedies do not provide satisfying results, the dermatologist can correct many of the problems of aging hands. If the procedures listed above are too expensive or painful for a consumer to consider, using light-colored nail polish and keeping the nails short and well-groomed will draw unwanted attention away from aging hands.