Skin Deep: You can tell a person's age by their hands
Dr. Larry Bishop
For FLORIDA TODAY October 11, 2012
When I was a kid, I went to the Ohio State Fair every year. Although the rides were a hit, I really loved the midway. Carnival barkers would talk me into investing my hard-earned cash on games of skill. They taunted me into knocking over milk jugs with baseballs and playing ring toss, but the game I loved most was the “Guess your age, guess your weight” booth. Of course, I knew the prizes they gave out were worth less than the dollar the players ponied up, but I was amazed at how often the man who ran the game was right.
Every year, I would sidle up to the guy with the microphone and ask him how he did it, and every year he would tell me to beat it. But, one night, I got lucky. “Kid, it’s like this. Look at their eyes, look at their teeth and look at their hands. It’ll give ’em away every time.”
Now that I am a dermatologic surgeon, I get it perfectly. People who are trying to rejuvenate their appearance, commonly get treatments for the lines around the eyes with Botox and Elastiderm. For inevitable changes to our teeth, we often look to a cosmetic dentist or over-the-counter products to whiten and brighten our smiles.
But what about the hands? For most patients, the hands take a tremendous beating, particularly from the sun. We work with our hands, garden with our hands, wash the car with our hands. What we don’t do is protect them nearly as well as we should. As a result, we see our hands reveal our age.
So, what should you do about the spots, thin skin, the sunken appearance between the bones of the hand? Luckily, there are all sorts of tricks to which we, as dermatologic surgeons, can resort.
The most dramatic improvement in a short time comes from the use of intense pulsed light. The “age spots” on the hands are very sensitive to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), and in one or two treatments most of the unsightly brown spots can be eliminated.
For the thinness of the skin, we resort to using the wrinkle remover Retin-A or one of its similar cousins. By using this class of drugs, known as retinoids, the body is stimulated to produce collagen, which in turn thickens the skin.
Finally, we can reduce the sunken appearance of the area between the bones by using a dermal filler called Radiesse. It provides a smoother, more robust appearance to the hand.
Who knows? Use these tricks and maybe you’ll beat the carnival barker.
Dr. Larry Bishop is a board-certified dermatologist practicing with MIMA since 1995. Contact his office at 321-751-9097.