Doesn’t Madonna still look as stunning as ever? She could still outshine a 30-year-old actress when it comes to her charming face and sensual body. But zoom in on to her hands, and unfortunately it’s a dead giveaway of the star’s age.
We often give great focus to our face, be it in our daily facial regimen or the treatments we get done to maintain our youthful look. But we consistently ignore our hands, the very part we use to do everything including applying cosmetics and creams on our face, when the hands are among the earliest age-telling features of our body. As we age, our hands begin to lose their volume making them appear bony and fragile with vein protrusions.
HOW FAST OR SLOW DOES THE HAND AGE IN COMPARISON TO THE FACE?
Usually it’s the face that ages faster, particularly the under eye area, because it’s more often exposed to the sun, however, if your work involves outdoor events then your hands are likely to age equally fast. There are three ageing signs you’re commonly going to see on the hands; the change in the pigmentation, fine wrinkles and volume loss because of which the hands get really thin and appear old. Initially you’ll start seeing pigmentation or dark spots sometimes quite rapidly because of excess sun exposure. For the same reason, you’ll also eventually begin to have wrinkles on the skin. But the clearest and most obvious sign is volume loss. The skin on the back of your hands is extremely delicate. It is so thin because there is almost no fat under it at all, which is why the veins are so visible. As we grow older, the little fat that there is also reduces and the skin loses volume becoming dry and loose and exposing the veins even more.
HOW CAN WE DELAY THE PROCESS?
Pigmentation and wrinkles are attributed to the sun. The more you are exposed to the sun, the more you lose collagen and develop pigmentation. So to reduce the occurrence of pigmentation and wrinkles, just like for the face, you’ll need to avoid the sun and apply lots of sunscreen. If your skin is dry, rub a bit of hand cream whenever you remember to. We lose moisture from the hands every time we wash them, so it’s important to get into the habit of applying hand cream. Cosmetically, you can also get laser treatment done to stimulate collagen and get rid of freckles on the hand. Thermage also works well to tighten the skin which can be used to prevent and to treat sagging skin.
IF MY HANDS ALREADY LOOK WRINKLED AND THIN, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
For pigmentation, laser is used to burn off the pigment. For the superficial upper layer wrinkles, laser rejuvenation or sublative collagen stimulation laser can be used and accompanied with skin tightening laser like Thermage. The newest technology, radio frequency needle which goes deep into the skin to stimulate and firm it up, works well for mid-level of the dermis. Unlike the face, for the hands you don’t really need to work on the deep skin layer.
To treat volume loss in the hands, we can use fillers. We commonly use hyaluronic acid as it is the safest filler and it is reversible. The only disadvantage though is it doesn’t last very long, approximately six months to a year. However, other longer lasting fillers are not as safe and can result in lumps and bumps. If the fat loss is drastic then it is more effective to use fat injection, and or an even more effective and longer lasting treatment, where along with fat extraction we can extract the stem cells and inject it simultaneously with the fat tissue.
AT WHAT AGE IS TREATMENT RECOMMENDED?
This depends on how fast you age, if you age fast, then you may start treatment at 40, but adjusting volume on the hands is commonly done at the age of 50 and above. Take good care of your hands to delay the ageing process for as long as you can.
HOW MUCH WILL THESE COST ME?
If you’re getting a laser done, since the area on the hand is similar to that of the face, the cost is also more or less the same. Laser done for pigmentation usually costs less than 10,000 baht and if you’re getting collagen stimulation laser for the winkles on your hand then you’ll be paying anything between 10,000-20,000 baht. And if you’re opting for fillers then it depends on the volume loss on your hands, the cost of filler or fat injection could be anywhere between 20,000-60,000 baht depending on the type of the filler and the degree of volume loss.