Give Your Hands Some TLC!

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An individual’s age can often be judged not by the face, but by the neck and hands! It is of utmost importance to take care of your hands, as they are responsible for executing so many of all our wants and needs. Hands can also be called the “Karkamal” in Hindi, as they fulfill our work.

As we age there are certain changes in the quality of the skin of our hands. In addition, the veins and blood vessels become more visible as we lose fat from our hands, giving them a more bony, older appearance. The hands also start to show brown or black age spots, much more than our faces. The skin gets drier and the nails more brittle.

How to take care of your hands:
We wash our hands a lot throughout the day, so the soap exposure to the skin on our hands is much more than on the rest of our body. We should moisturise our hands each time after we wash them. It is advisable to use a moisturiser on damp hands, as it provides better absorption to the skin.

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The cuticle or skin around the nails gets cut and dried out as we work with our fingers. Since women tend to do a lot of chopping and cutting, they are more prone to this problem. The juices from various vegetables may also lead to darkening and cutting of the skin. Using a cutting board can help prevent the damage. A cuticle cream or a home preparation of glycerin with rose water can be used at night to care of the hands

Nail care: The nails often get brittle, discoloured and dirty with our daily activities. If you like to grow your nails they must be kept clean and properly filed at all times. The use of nail polish all the time may cause discolouration and yellowing of nails. There must be some polish-free period for nails, so alternate polish and polish-free on a weekly basis.

The food we eat with our hands – especially the curries – can make our nails yellow. The best way to deal with this is to use half a lime and rub it into the nails to get rid of the colour.
The importance of parlour treatments or manicures for the hand cannot be overemphasised. Professional cleaning helps maintain the cleanliness and suppleness of our hands.

Diet: It plays an important role in the overall appearance of the skin, hair, and nails. As we age, skin renewal slows and we need to increase our bodies’ protein content as our skin, nails, and hair are mainly made of protein. Adding

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vitamin C and increasing water intake also improves the quality of skin and nails.

Medical Treatments:
There are some types of interventions, if needed, that only a doctor can provide.

Pigment management: The application of chemical peels and laser treatments can help fight age spots on the hands. These are generally multiple sessions carried out at a clinic, which can help depigment and rejuvenate the hands.

Hyaluronic acid fillers like JUVEDERM™ can be injected into the skin to help regain volume and give the hands back their youth. It not only adds volume but also hydrates the hands, and the entire procedure takes about 45 minutes. The treatment lasts for about 12 months and can be repeated after a year. The results are quite dramatic.

Some people suffer from a medical condition of excessive sweating of the palms, which can lead to embarrassing situations such as not being able to shake hands with other people. BOTOX® is one type of treatment for this condition. The product can be injected in the palms and can reduce the amount of sweating drastically. The procedure is performed as a 30-45 minute treatment that can give results that last up to four months with a single session.

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Overall, a combination of home care along with medical and parlour care can ensure that our hands stay their beautiful best. Here are some final, useful tips:
Wash your hands with a mild soap; face wash can also be used if you want to be extra gentle.

Moisturise with olive or almond oil at least once a week.

Use raw milk as a cleanser –dip for 5-10 minutes once a week.

A natural exfoliation with a pumice stone or a homemade walnut and rosewater scrub once a month can be helpful.

*With input from Dr Reema Arora; Cocoona Centre for Aethetic Transformation