The best advice I give to my patients is before you notice a problem, begin treatment and prevention, and seek help before a small problem becomes a big problem.
Hand care routine to avoid aging hands:
- First, use sunscreen! Daily sun exposure can lead to brown sun spots, wrinkles and thin skin. UV radiation causes 80% of skin changes linked with aging so make sure and reapply frequently.
- Colorscience Sunforgettable is a brush-on powder sunscreen that contains zinc and titanium, and is easy to use on-the-go without the greasy mess.
- EltaMD So Silky Hand Cream is a good hand cream I recommend.
- Alpha glycolic acid, Retin-A and growth factors are my favorite.
- Many adults develop age spots on their hands which tend to gradually grow in size with age and sun exposure.
- Treatment: A board-certified dermatologist can effectively lighten or remove age spots on your hands using:
- Laser therapy
- Chemical peeling
- Skin-lightening creams (longest to deliver results, but less costly)
Rough, scaly patches (AKs):
- Those with fair skin and had frequent sun exposure without sun protection, may notice rough patches on the skin and frequently are found on the hands.
- These rough patches may be actinic keratosis (AKs), which are precancerous growths and usually develop on fair-skinned individuals who are 40 years of age or older. AKs can also develop earlier if you frequently use tanning beds or live in a state that gets lots of sunshine.
- Treatment: Depends on several considerations i.e. how many, where, appearance, history of skin cancer, medical conditions, etc.
- Chemical peeling
- Photodynamic therapy
- Laser resurfacing
- Prescription creams
Loss of youthful fullness:
- When skin becomes lax and develops a crepe-paper-like texture.
- Treatment: Dermatologists may suggest:
- Filler: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved one filler, calcium hydroxyapatite. The results are immediate and last 6 months to 1 year.
- Other fillers are also used.
- The use of fat from another part of your body can often time be the most effective option for some.
- Getting filler or fat transfer helps restore youthful fullness, but some veins are too big to hide. If a large vein bothers you, a dermatologist can treat it safely.
- Laser treatment where a dermatologist inserts a laser fiber into the vein and then fires the laser, which destroys the vein, and causing it to gradually disappear.
- Sclerotherapy is where the dermatologist injects a substance into the vein to destroy it, causing the vein to gradually disappear as well.
- Applying sunscreen to your hands every day can prevent wrinkly skin.
- Treatment: A dermatologist may recommend the following:
- Lotion that contains a retinol or glycolic acid (apply before bedtime)
- Light chemical peel, every 1 to 3 months (suggested to use the recommended lotion as well)
- Laser treatment (can also help diminish age spots)
- With age, the skin loses collagen and elastin, which keep our skin firm and plump.
- Treatment: Radiofrequency, a treatment that uses heat which goes deep into the skin and tightens loose skin. One treatment is usually needed on the hands.
- With age our skin holds less water and becomes drier, causing your skin to feel rough.
- Treatment: A mild chemical peel can help smooth rough skin. To maintain the results, apply moisturizer daily.
- It is more likely to have brittle nails if you are a female over 60, but about 20% of individuals have brittle nails.
- Signs of brittle nails include lines running lengthwise (ridges) and/or your nails break easily.
- Treatment: Limit things that could be causing it, i.e. a lot of water and/or harsh chemical exposure without wearing protective gloves.
- Rehydrate your nails, cuticles, and the surrounding skin using a dermatologist recommended moisturizer, such as urea cream or mineral oil.
- When applying the moisturizer at bedtime wear a light cotton glove, which helps the skin to absorb the moisturizer.
- Some individuals may require more help than the suggestions above, such as using special nail enamel.