What happens to the skin on our hands as they age?

One of the things I’ve disliked the most about the appearance of my body as I’ve aged, has been what has happened to my hands.  Being a red headed freckly type, I developed sun spots (also known as liver spots or age spots) relatively early.  I also have fairly fine skin which has become quite crepey in the last few years.  Apparently the skin on our aging hands thins by 60-70 per cent by the time we get to 40-50 years of age which is why our bones and veins start to show.

Dr Kathy Gallagher from Shine Clinic in Brisbane is a fantastic doctor who has helped me to navigate my options. She is one of the few doctors I know who actually practices what she preaches. She works out 5 times per week, sticks to a healthy diet and stays abreast of emerging research when it comes to slowing the aging process.  Importantly, she also tries any new interventions on herself before inflicting them on her patients. I feel very grateful to Kathy as she has very carefully guided me and prevented me from making mistakes.

Getting rid of sun spots on our hands as they age

You have several options to clear the hands of spots and to rejuvenate the skin on your aging hands.  Kathy uses photodynamic therapy in her practice and this is a one treatment only procedure. Some doctors user intense pulsed light (IPL) but you’ll need about 5 treatments.  I chose laser as at the time this was the only available choice. This can be moderately painful so find a doctor who is happy to help with pain management!  Kathy uses a fantastic anesthetic cream (EMLA is commonly used but you need something a bit stronger). Once you’ve had this procedure, be sure to religiously apply sunscreen to your hands before going outside so as to maintain the integrity of the skin surface.

Dealing with crepiness and loss of plumpness

The laser will also tighten the skin but to restore the plumpness of the skin you’ll need to look at either fillers and/or hydrating agents.  I’ve used both due to Kathy’s guidance and I have had a fantastic result.  Kathy’s treatments have literally given my hands back their youthful appearance.  Talk about turning back the aging clock in this instance!

Kathy’s protocol:

  • Esthelis filler: 6 – 12 monthly (this will vary depending on the individual)
  • Mesolis hydrating agent: 3 treatments 1 month apart, then another treatment 2 months later and then every 6 months after that
  • Anaesthetic cream: Tetracaine 4%, Lignocaine 1.5%, (Prilocaine 1 5% Euxyl)

Apply the anesthetic cream at least an hour before the treatments.  Treatments consist of lots and lots of tiny injections just under the skin so this can get a bit tedious to say the least. The other thing to note for the self-conscious, is that the back of your hands can look a bit like a pin cushion for a day or two after.

Last Reviewed 10/Mar/2014

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Whilst wielding a couple of dumbbells in a gym class in 2003, Kate experienced an epiphany around the lack of accepted best practice guidelines when it came to staying well and avoiding disease. Kate realized that she had no chance of slowing her own aging process unless she became better educated about her options.

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