When it comes to treating the visible signs of aging, many people focus on the face and forget the hands. Facial skin can be protected by sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, retinol creams and peels, BOTOX® and cosmetic procedures. In the meantime, the hands are often ignored, and can develop discolorations and sagging skin just as the face can. With so many readily accessible cosmetic treatments for the face available today, often the biggest clue to an individual’s real age is the appearance of their hands.
IPL for Hands
Intense pulsed light systems, or IPL, are ideal for treating aging hands. Hands often develop an assortment of red and brown discolorations called liver spots, and are affected by thinning, sagging skin caused by a reduction in collagen and elastin production. An IPL treatment can treat all of these problems simultaneously. The energy of the IPL is absorbed by the pigmented areas on the skin, causing them to break apart and slowly vanish. The energy of the IPL also encourages the skin to produce more collagen and elastin, resulting in a more youthful-looking texture.
IPL therapy uses high-energy light similar to lasers. However, a laser emits a pulse of light that is one wavelength. IPL emits a broad range of light wavelengths of light, allowing various skin pigments to absorb the light effectively. A single IPL treatment can treat brown, red, and purple discolorations on the skin while simultaneously promoting collagen formation and rejuvenation of the skin. The wide range of wavelengths also allows the treatment to be precisely customized for each individual’s natural skin color as well as the problem being treated.
What to Expect
The hands will be cleaned and covered with a cooling gel prior to treatment. The handheld device that applies the IPL will be passed over the skin, and there may be an unpleasant sensation that is often described as being similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. If the sensation is too uncomfortable, a local anesthetic can be applied to the skin. Treating the hands takes less than half an hour, and patients can return to their normal activities immediately.
The skin on the hands may be reddened and slightly tender and swollen for a day or so after treatment. Cold compresses can help with the tenderness and swelling. Dark pigmented areas may flake off a few days after treatment. As the skin on the hands will be more sensitive to the sun, they will need to be protected against sunlight for several weeks after each treatment.
Most patients need multiple sessions to achieve the desired results, which are generally scheduled once a month. Three to six sessions are usually necessary to create an even skin tone and healthy, smooth texture on the hands. Contact Doctors Approach today to schedule your consultation. Our team will work with you to determine the safest and most effective treatment for your needs.