If you’re a material girl, get material

If you’re a material girl, get material
If you’re a material girl, get material

When you put your money where your hands are, you can reverse the effects of aging hands. A New York plastic surgeon tells “More” magazine that dramatic results can be achieved using autologous fat transfer. Your fat will be removed from a fleshy body part, like your tummy, and then injected into the dorsal (nonpalm) side of your hands, plumping them up, pulling your skin taut and making veins and bones less apparent.

Fat transfer to the hands requires a small dose of local anesthesia. Results are almost immediate and may last for many years.

Alternately, an injectable synthetic filler may be used for the same purpose. However, fillers give less dramatic results, require two or three treatments and last a maximum of two years.

You can treat brown spots and other discoloration with ablative fractional CO2 laser (as opposed to nonablative laser, such as Fraxel, which requires multiple treatments). The CO2 burns off the uppermost layers of the skin, revealing fresh skin beneath. One plastic surgeon extends the treatment all the way to the elbow to avoid a glove-like result. The disadvantage of this treatment is downtime during which you may have to wear gloves and long sleeves outdoors because your skin will be raw. If you have darker skin, you may be at risk for irregular skin darkening or lightening. In this case, multiple treatments with Fraxel may be your best bet. A series of three to six chemical peels is also effective and less expensive, but this is a slower process.

You can also try to even the skin tone on your hands at home with prescription retinoid and a doctor-dispensed skin lightening product.

Prevention and easy fixes
· Treat your hands as well as your face. By day, use hand cream with adequate SPF; at night, try a richer preparation.

· Treat your hands like your hair. Many women opt for a shorter haircut as they age because it's more flattering. The same goes for nails. Because nails tend become drier and more brittle over time, the shorter they are, the healthier they will look.

· Alter the appearance of your hands with nail color. Got spots? Use sheer, neutral hues (beige or honey) and steer clear of white or dark, opaque lacquers. Visible veins? Avoid cool hues such as hot pink (they play up blue blood vessels). Warm colors like coral or golden brown will be more flattering.

It is what it is
Of course the key to having legs and a torso like Madonna’s is the same diet and exercise, which yields aging hands. So, if you’re between this particular rock and hard place, join the club!

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