Spots might be great camouflage for leopards. But on a woman’s hands, nothing about them is discreet. On the contrary, far from masking anything, those spots could be giving away your age.
As a skincare aficionado, you know just how damaging the sun is for your face. And while you remember to slap on a shield of sun protection daily, you might forget the backs of your hands. Brown spots, lackluster skin and dryness. There’s no feigning youth, when your hands reveal all the gritty details.
The best way to turn back time on your hands is prevention. And in this case, a stitch in time could save you nine years! Thwart splotchy sun spots by taking refuge in the shade and slathering on sunscreen. Sounds easy enough, right? But as you go through your day, your hands are washed multiple times and they rub against your body, clothes and handbag. That sunscreen you carefully applied in the AM is gradually wiped away. So be sure to replenish your protective barrier a few times throughout your day.
After long-term sun exposure, skin is drained of its natural oils. We see this a lot, especially at the tail end of summer. Loads of patients come in with skin that’s taken a beating by the sun. The damage manifests as dry, flaky and prematurely wrinkled skin. Luckily, this damage is superficial and can be immediately reversed. Replenish lost oils and create a protective barrier that’ll help skin retain moisture. We often recommend you save some of your favorite facial moisturizer for your hands. As alternatives jojoba oil, cocoa butter or shea butter are great. Not only do they moisturize but they provide a protective occlusive barrier as well.
While dehydration can be reversed, certain hyperpigmentation issues caused by sun exposure cannot. Freckles and tans might fade, but sun spots reflect permanent damage. So what causes sun spots? UV rays penetrate skin and trigger a hormone that activates melanocytes, which are special melanin-producing cells. Melanin is essentially a deep pigment that’s created to absorb harmful UV rays and protect the skin cells below. It’s what gives you tanned skin or freckles after a day in the sun. Excessive exposure to UV rays, however, causes melanocytes to activate permanently and multiply unevenly. As a result you’ll see splotchy indelible sun spots that don’t fade with time.
Thanks to innovations in skincare there are ways to temper those pesky sun spots. Topical retinoids encourage new skin cells to grow so that old layers of skin will slough off. As a result, your skin will shed those sun spots. Topical vitamin C is another great sun spot fighter. Once penetrating your skin, vitamin C prevents the production of melanin. As a result you’ll see those sun spots fade.
Sometimes sun damage might be too extensive for topical treatments. Other times patients prefer a quicker, more effective treatment for sun spots. In these situations, we suggest IPL or Fraxel treatments for the sun spots on your hands.
IPL harnesses a wide spectrum of light to address premature aging on hands. It’s especially effective at targeting sun spots. As an added bonus, many patients see smoother skin along with their newly evened skin tone. Fraxel is a laser that’s concentrated to penetrate the top layers of your skin. It focuses on rejuvenating your skin from within—old skin cells are cast off as new youthful ones are formed. Fraxel delivers newly-formed healthy skin that’s smoother, tighter and more evenly pigmented.
To find out if IPL and Fraxel treatments are right for you, call us to schedule an appointment!