Saturday, July 12, 2008

Your Hips Hands Don't Lie: Your Face May Say 30, But Your Hands Might Scream 55

Your Hands May Be Giving Away Your Age
Face forward, face the facts, face the nation, face to face... Our faces are of paramount importance in our society. This is evidenced not only by our language, but the ancient and booming economy of beauty and cosmetics. Only a small fraction of the lotions, creams, soaps and cosmetics are meant for the body. Cosmetic manufactures, instead, have their eyes on the prize: the face. The cosmetic industry isn't the only market that's ancient and still growing, however, as the plastic surgery industry has been dated to be about 4,000 years old - it also has a preoccupation with the face; nose jobs, eye lifts, brow lifts and dermal fillers all take a huge share of the pie. Face it; while your face might lie about your age, your hands may be giving you away.

Like the face, your hands spend a large amount of time exposed to the aging and damaging rays of the sun. They easily become veiny, spotted, wrinkled and calloused due to hard labor and day-to-day activities, but cosmetic surgeons report that few clients request to have their hands cosmetically enhanced. Many undertake cosmetic surgery under secrecy, not wanting others to know that they've been surgically augmented, but aged hands may be the proverbial dead give-away.

So what can you do if your hands have become the albatross around your neck? A cosmetic medical professional can offer your pulse-light or laser treatment to smooth skin and remove age spots. They can also offer cosmetic fillers like Radiesse or Restalyne. Laser and light treatments typically run about $200 to $300 per session and usually require two or three sessions with a totally treatment cost of about $400 to $900 dollars. Fillers typically cost about $1000 per vial per hand and each hand will require one or two vials. A total filler treatment cost would then be $2000 to $4000 dollars for both hands.

Over-the-counter treatments include retinol cream (you can also get a prescription-strength retinol cream from your dermatologist) and alpha hydroxy or glycolic acids. Retinoids are potent and can lighten sun spots, encourage collagen regeneration and improve texture. Alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids are stronger acids for the thicker skin of the hands. Of course, to avoid further sun damage, a zinc-based sun screen is also recommended.

Even if you're not so worried about giving away your age, you should care about sun damage to your hands. The hands are a common area for skin cancer, due to all of the sun exposure to which they are subjected. If you're concerned that your hands may be significantly damaged, you will want to seek the advice of a dermatologist right away.

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