What do I have in common with Madonna?

What do I have in common with Madonna?
Madonna and I have two things in common

Madonna and I have two things in common. Our hands are a dead giveaway and we’re both not virgins.

But back to where it really hurts – where you live – how you look! According to a study in a reputable plastic surgery journal, ”the leading culprit that causes people to look older is a thin face,” i.e., you need fat on your face to look younger. If you have a youthful plump face, you can afford to sculpture your cheeks with a little bronzer, but the buck stops there. If dieting, exercise and aging have left you with a gaunt version of yourself, you will simply look older.

Getting back to Madonna. One British tabloid gleefully screamed, “At 53, Madonna has the body of a teenager but the hands of a grandmother. Pictured yesterday leaving her gym after a workout, the material girl displayed hands that appeared to be ravaged by age, with bulging veins and paper-thin skin.”

All hands under the table

So, Madonna (and even me) cannot beat the “hands” of time. Women are vulnerable to aging hands when menopause causes a drop in estrogen, the magic hormone that keeps the skin plump and fleshy. Sunlight and chemical exposure also cause thinning and drying of the skin on your hands plus the added insult of brown spots, wrinkles and prominent veins. Veins becomes less elastic with age, so more blood remains in them, pressing them close to the skin, which BTW becomes more transparent with age. Further, since your hands get more sun damage than your face, it’s easy to lose the collagen that keeps them soft and supple.

The picture gets even worse if, like Madonna, you do the right thing and exercise. Strenuous exercise, particularly strength training, increases blood flow, making the veins bigger. Getting hot when you exercise also makes blood vessels dilate. You may notice that the veins on your hands stand out after a gym session, and the older you get the more prominent they become. The result may be that you are perfectly turned out in matching clothing, but your hands (old) may clash with your face (young), especially if you look younger after a facelift or eyelid surgery.

My thoughts on aging hands and Madonna will be continued in my next blog.

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