Handing it to youthfulness

By Alicia T. Cappelli

Many of us don’t think of our extremities as being objects of beauty. However, our hands (and feet) are areas that reveal much about our outward beauty, youthfulness and even our overall health.

So many appearance-conscious people spend money on aesthetic treatments from facials to plastic surgery. The emphasis is on the face and other areas that we believe are those that define us as youthful or attractive to others. While perhaps not the focal point of our outward selves, our hands are a real giveaway of our age. Age spots, sun spots, liver spots and sun damage can make a person’s hands look much older than they really are.

“As we age and lose collagen, our hands can appear too thin and almost ‘skeleton-like,’ as some of my patients describe,” says Dr. Joseph J. Sozio, of SkinCenter in Hartsdale, a full-service aesthetic center. “Due to a loss of natural elasticity and a thinning of the skin that occurs over time, the veins also become more prominent.”

What may not be common knowledge is there are many hand-rejuvenation treatments that can improve the look of your hands and even turn back the hands of time (pun intended). For example, there are laser and light technologies that can reverse the appearance of sun damage, sun spots and brown spots on the hands, a tell-tale sign of biological age. In addition, dermal fillers can restore lost volume. As the name suggests, fillers “fill in” the creases and indentations that result from lost collagen, giving the hand a fuller, less-boney look. And for those with sweaty palms, a condition that can be embarrassing in social and business situations that require the essential handshake, a bit of Botox can treat that very effectively and last for a year or more.

By the same token, our feet also reveal something about our well-being. Some people experience a loss of natural padding in the balls of the feet from “wear and tear” and from wearing fashionable but damaging high-heeled shoes.

“That too can be remedied with the use of fillers, such as Juvéderm, for example, which fills in the area to create padding,” Sozio says.

While some of these interventions may sound surprising, it points to the growing concern about wanting to look and feel our best, from our hands right down to our very toes.

So next time you are curious about someone’s age, look at his hands, arms, legs and feet. You’ve got to hand it to him if you cannot tell his true age.

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