Laser Skin Resurfacing continued...
But how do they keep hands looking younger? Marmur says by stimulating new collagen and elastin to grow, the treatments restore the skin's underlying support structure, making wrinkles disappear. Within several weeks you replace some of the firm, tight look of youthful skin.
An added bonus: Marmur says laser treatments help re-texture the skin itself, so your hands look younger and fresher almost instantly.
Your new collagen and elastin are permanent, but since the aging process and sun exposure continue to break them down, lasting effects vary. Marmur says with good care and judicious use of sunscreen, you could see the improvement up to five years or more.
The Risks of Laser Skin Resurfacing: In one study of 961 patients published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery in 2008, doctors reported that about 7.5% of those treated with fractional lasers on the face developed complications. The most common were temporary acne breakouts or local recurrences of the herpes simplex virus. Patients with darker skin were at greater risk for temporary inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The study's researchers noted that there was also a small risk of scarring reported.
The Cost of Laser Skin Resurfacing: Expect to pay approximately $750 per pair of hands, per treatment. Most people need three to five sessions.
Getting Rid of Liver Spots on the Hands
One sure sign of aging: those pesky brown spots or liver spots that appear on the back of the hand as early as your 30s -- and grow more prominent and darker with age.
"This is just a natural part of the aging process, but it's definitely influenced by the sun -- and the more sun exposure you had when you were young, the more brown spots you're going to see as you age," says Goldberg.
The professional treatment of choice: Lasers designed to rid the skin of excess pigmentation. Goldberg adds that IPL (a pulsed light treatment similar to lasers) also works to remove brown spots.
Although IPL treatments are generally regarded as safe and effective, a small but significant study published in the March 2008 Archives of Dermatology suggests there may be room for caution: Researchers from the University Hospital of Geneva found IPL treatments dramatically increased the level of free radicals in the skin similar to the results of exposure to UVA rays -- the kind of sun damage linked to both premature skin aging as well as skin cancer.