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Treatments help aging hands

We use our hands to express ourselves, and they say a lot about us, too.

"When I'm working in the doctors office I have to be always talking to patients with my hands, and I see that they don't go with the rest of my body," said nurse Yolanda Florine.

Miami dermatologist Dr. Leyda Bowes said fat loss is a key factor in aging hands.

"We start have concavities or gapes between the tendons that are unsightly," Bowes said.

To plump things up, Bowes uses one of two common fillers.

"Perlane and Radiesse are both good in the hands because they stimulate collagen growth," Bowes said.

Bowes targets the deep planes in the hands, pulling the skin up gently to make the injection.

"You stay away from blood vessels," she said.

After injection, Bowes gently massages the hands to help evenly spread the filler through the hand.

"The biggest risk is bruising from the injection, but with proper technique, that's easily minimized," said Bowes.

The injections are followed with a Fraxel laser treatment to address surface texture and discoloration.

"The Fraxel is a type of light source that goes deep into the skin, and it drills columns of damage so we can eliminate old collagen and generate new tissue growth," Bowes said.

A single injection with fillers costs between $1,800 and $2,100 and can last a year or more.

Benefits from the laser treatment can take from two to four sessions at a cost between $400 and $600 for each session.

"For me, it was very relaxing, and I think it was great," said Florine. "I mean, for me, if I had to do it all over again, I would do it."

Bowes said there are many simple, inexpensive steps people can take to minimize the signs of aging hands.

"First and foremost, use a good hand lotion daily, especially after washing your hands. The process of washing is pulling lipids out of the skin, so look for moisturizers that contain lipids and fatty acids as well as cerimides, which prevent water loss," she said.

Unless you plan to walk around with gloves on, Bowes said the use of sunscreen is a must.

"Get a tube-size full-spectrum product and apply it every time you leave your office or home to go outside," said Bowes.

Before sunscreen, apply an antioxidant containing Vitamins A and C to help block the action of free-radicals in the environment.

"At night, look for products to repair damage from daily exposure. These would be products containing Retin-A or retinol," said Bowes.

All the products mentioned above can be bought over the counter at drug and grocery stores.

"More advanced formulations are available through a doctor's office. We have seen a dramatic difference with products containing growth factors," said Bowes.