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Caring for Your Hands (Aging Skin)
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Caring for Your Hands

Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

The hands can show the first signs of aging due to its comparative exposure, and overuse compared to other parts of the body. Another factor to this is that while most of us are aware of, and care for other visible parts of the body, such as the face, but our hands are often neglected. Here are some tips for proper hand and nail care, and rejuvenation tips.

Hand Rejuvenation Tips:

  • Hand rejuvenation is relatively simple and rarely results in significant complications.
  • Injections like Restylane® or Sculptra® can restore the skin fullness and increase its natural protective qualities, reducing the chances of bruising or cutting. This can be helpful for those with thin skin due to accumulated sun damage.
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments can reduce or eliminate brown spots, or live spots as they are commonly referred to.
  • For severe cases, Levulan® can be applied to severely sun damaged skin, and in conjunction with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment, will help restore your skin.
  • Retisol-A 0.01% a combination of sunscreen and tretinoin can help prevent further skin damage from sun exposure.
  • Prevention and proper protection is still your best defence against skin aging and damage.

Nail Care and Protection Tips:

  • Keep nail care simple: Clip the nails, and otherwise leave them alone. Do not try and clean the space under the nails as it will enlarge the space between the nail bed and the nail plate.
  • Do not use nail hardeners as they can make the nail brittle, causing the nail to break or split easier.
  • For clipping, do not pick at the cuticles or otherwise fiddle with it, as it can lead to infection and irritation. Your nails should for the most part be left alone. Disturbing it will often result in unnatural growth, or make it more prone to various infections including fungal infections.
  • Formaldehyde that is contained in nail hardening products can often be a source of allergic contact dermatitis.
  • If psoriasis is affecting your nails, do not try and apply cream under the nails. Anti-inflammatory medicines can be injected into the nail fold by a dermatologist, and can be an effective treatment. For more information on nail psoriasis, visit www.psoriasisguide.ca/basics/types/types_of_psoriasis.html.

If you are satisfied with the appearance of your hands, remember to continue to protect them appropriately from sun damage and trauma, which can quickly damage your skin and nails. If you are unsatisfied, and wish to improve the appearance of your hands, contact your dermatologist and discuss ways to rejuvenate your hands.

Related:

aging skin,   hand care,