How to Treat Signs of Aging on Your Neck, Chest, Hands and More
At some point in time everyone’s exposed skin of the hands, arms, neck, chest and legs begin to show signs of aging and sun damage. The saying “if you want to guess someone’s age, look at their hands” has much truth to it because we focus most of our skin care efforts on our faces and tend to neglect the rest of our bodies.
Thanks to the to the many surgical, nonsurgical and topical advances in skin care we can often appear to be younger than we are and when the skin of our neck, chest, hands, arms and legs show wrinkling, sun spots, visible blood vessels and other signs of sun damage appear it can come as a shock.
The most common complaints we hear are of the “chicken neck” look, which is the sagging and wrinkling of the skin of the neck along with the platysmal bands, which are the neck muscles, becoming more visible. Other concerns include prominent and all too visible blood vessels of the hands, as well as vertical wrinkles and sun spots on the hands, chest, and legs.
Step One: A Good Skincare Routine
The essentials of skin care, a common topic on this blog are vital to facial skin, apply equally to the non-facial skin. Sunscreens, antioxidants, growth factors, retinols and moisturizers should all be used not only on the facial skin but also on the neck and upper chest – the so-called décolleté. One should keep in mind however, that the skin of the neck and upper chest may be more sensitive to retinols so application of these topical ingredients should be started slowly and only increased as the tolerance increases.
Step Two: Targeted Treatments
Insofar as the neck is concerned there are fortunately several treatment options other than wearing a scarf as we have all seen with a number of aging movie stars. To treat the so-called “chicken neck” when the laxity is considerable, an in-office lift is an excellent choice. This procedure is performed under local anesthetic and can significantly eliminate or dramatically reduce the wrinkles and the sagging of the skin of both the neck and the lower face.
If prominent neck bands are an issue, Botox or Dysport can be injected into these muscles to make them less obvious or visible and thereby greatly improve the appearance of the entire neck area.
Sunspots and the common brown and red mottled spots of the skin of the neck can be treated quite readily with lasers in the office and with topical skin lightening medications which can be applied in the comfort of one’s home.
If the skin on your hands or the vertical wrinkling of the chest is embarrassing, hyalauronic acid, with trade names Restylane and Juvaderm, can be injected to build collagen and thicken the skin so the blood vessels and wrinkling are less visible.
Finally, lasers, which are used in the office for stimulating collagen in the facial area, can also be utilized on the neck, chest, hands and arm skin.
Step Three: Prevention
Most important of the five essentials for facial skin care previously discussed, but equally important for the protection of the skin of the hands, arms and legs- is, no surprise .. SUNSCREEN!
In addition to sunscreen, a good quality moisturizer should always be added. Remember that all five of the essentials typically applied to the facial skin can and should be applied to all skin that is exposed.
Whether it is because patients are uninformed or don’t have the time or money to invest for such large areas of skin, they eventually find themselves having to seek out more drastic and costly solutions for the specific issues discussed in this article. An ounce of prevention can indeed avoid a pound of cure and stop signs of aging.