SJP's Zombie Hands? Get The Facts on Hand Rejuvenation

A recent feature in Star Magazine quoted Sex and the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker, as saying she didn't realize how bad her hands were until a friend pointed them out to her - and she's been freaking out ever since! SJP has reportedly been looking into procedures to make her hands look younger and less veiny. It's rumored she even stopped having her nails done so less attention would be drawn to her so called "ZOMBIE" looking hands!   

SJP is likely exploring the idea of hand rejuvenation. We picked the brain of one of our resident skincare gurus about this procedure to see exactly what Ms. Bradshaw would have to go through to make her hands camera and papparazzi ready. Read on to learn more about the procedure and click through the slideshow for a few before and after shots of hand rejuvenation patients.

What makes our hands always betray our age?

The number one cause of aging on the back of the hands is sun damage. Many women don't put sunblock on their hands because they are worried about their chest and face, and don't even consider this area. Also, a loss of collagen in the hands due to aging will contribute to the zombie look, as veins and tendons are more visible.

Do men and women experience the same type of aging in their hands?

Men experience sun spots and veiny hands as well. However, more attention is brought to women's hands due to manicures and jewelry.

What can women do to prevent 'zombie hands'?

To prevent zombie hands, women should first take steps to prevent sun damage on the hands. Always wear SPF, or a hand lotion that contains SPF (these have become more common in recent years).  Also, keep hands moisturized, which will keep skin plump, and minimize the appearance of collagen loss due to aging. Antibacterial hand gel can dry hands out, so use a hand sanitizer with aloe in it to prevent dry skin.

How can 'zombie hands' be treated?  What are the different types of treatment options and is there any pain involved?

There are two areas that typically need to be addressed when treating zombie hands - volume loss and skin tone.  For volume loss, we have dermal fillers like Radiesse that can be injected into the area to stimulate collagen renewal in the area and minimize the appearance of veins and bones.  There are several laser treatments that can be used to rejuvenate the skin on the back of the hands. One of the best options is a treatment called Fraxel Re: Store Dual. This advanced technology produces thousands of tiny columns of laser energy that penetrate the skin, stimulating collagen production and  the body's natural healing process to create new healthy tissue to replace skin imperfection. This treatment is perfect for the back of the hands because it is relatively gentle, softens the skin and also improves tone and texture.

How long is the overall procedure?  How long do the results last?

About 15-30 minutes - it's quick. None of the procedures require any downtime. After treatment with the Fraxel Re: Store Dual, most patients experience a "light sunburn" sensation for about 90 minutes, but there is typically little discomfort. The skin may have a pinkish tone for several days, and mild swelling will last a day or two.  Dermal fillers can leave a little bruising in the injection area, but that's rare. The treatment reverses sun damage, so results depend on the individual. It also depends on the steps that the patient takes to prevent sun damage in the future.  Most patients see good results for up to a year.

What types of preventative measures should patients take after they have recovered to ensure youthful-looking hands for years to come?

All patients treated should use sunblock on the treated area following treatment, along with moisturizer. They should continue practicing safe sun and moisturizing to protect hands.

Any additional tips or tricks to keeping hands soft, smooth, and wrinkle-free?

Moisturizing and using sunblock SPF 30 or higher is the best way to prevent wrinkles and keep hands soft and smooth. There are also lotions that boost collagen production, and dark spot serums that can help reduce the appearance of zombie hands. These products are made for the face, but can also be beneficial for the hands.

Thanks Dr. Chasin!

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