Few parts of the body reveal your age quite like your hands, and while a glance at them can make you fondly reflect on all the hard work, raising family, and adventure you've had in your life, they can also be a source of regret or pain Don't miss this quick guide to understand how and why your hands are aging and what you can do to turn back the clock on them.
Why do hands change as you get older?
In addition to the wear and tear on your hands over decades, other factors can change the way your hands look as you age:
1. Sun exposure can cause sun spots, also called "liver spots," on your hands and arms.
2. Skin finds it harder to hold in moisture as it ages, which can contribute to wrinkles, dry, flaky patches, and loss of elasticity.
3. As the volume of soft tissues reduces with age, such as collagen and fat in the hands, the veins and bones become more prominent. Your hands are one of the most visible places where this happens.
4. Your nail bed is not holding onto the nail plate as tightly as it once did, which can lead to increased brittleness and breakage of the nails.
Other changes in your hands that you may experience over 60 include decreased grip strength, tremors, joint swelling, and pain (typically associated with arthritis).
Dark bruises can also appear more easily on them as you get older, even from a small impact, because your skin is thinner, or if you take blood-thinning medications like aspirin.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to improve both the function and the appearance of your hand.
How to strengthen your hands?
Want to make sure you don't have any trouble opening jars, texting, driving, or throwing the ball with your grandkids as you age? So work to make your hands and forearms stronger now.
You can use simple tools like stress balls, grip boosters, even tennis balls to squeeze with the tone and strength your hands and arms need. Hobbies such as knitting, sewing, crocheting, playing musical instruments, and cooking can also help you maintain strength and dexterity in your hands.
If you experience any pain in your hands and wrists as a result of its use, check with your doctor to make sure there is no more serious underlying cause.
Sometimes your hands can just hurt from overuse. Chronic pain and discomfort that could affect your independence, however, must be addressed sooner rather than later.
What to do to make your hands look younger
Turn the clock around and prevent future damage to your hands with these helpful ideas:
The American Academy of Dermatological Association shares that applying sunscreen to your hands every day can help prevent excessive wrinkles later on
Your hands get more sun than you realize, especially when you're driving. Get in the habit of applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you leave the house and you'll save yourself from unsightly sun spots later in life.
In addition to staying properly hydrated, make sure your skin receives all the moisture it needs to retain its youthful elasticity and prevent dryness or wrinkles. Applying lotions before bed with retinol or glycolic acid can help treat wrinkles that you currently have on your hands.
Protect your hands
Cleaning, gardening, working outside ... your hands come into contact not only with the sun, but with harsh chemicals that can strip your skin of its natural oils.
Be sure to wear gloves, preferably with a breathable cotton lining, to protect the skin on your hands from damage that could take a long time to repair.
Eat healthy for the benefit of your skin and nails
Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support healthy skin and nails as you age, including omega-3s, B vitamins (including biotin B7), vitamin C, antioxidants, and proteins.
Now, if you have sun spots, super prominent veins, or a mild joint deformity, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about conventional treatments like peels, laser treatments, and filler injections if you dare to do so. This could improve the appearance of them and make you feel more confident and functional.
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