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Your hands are constantly exposed to the environment and therefore are prone to aging caused by the sun and damage. Facial skin is also subjected to such kind of exposure, but most people follow a proper skin care routine for their face while neglecting their hands.
Combined with natural aging, wrinkles therefore often appear on the hands before any other part of the body. These changes can take away from your youthful appearance.
On a positive note, taking proper care of the skin on your hands through regular cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturizing can go a long way in preventing and fading wrinkles. You can also try natural home remedies to help manage wrinkles and make the skin smooth and healthy.
Causes of Wrinkled Hands
A number of factors can cause the appearance of wrinkles on your hands, including:
- Age: The skin loses its elasticity and collagen content with age, thus making the skin saggy, fragile, and wrinkly.
- Excessive sun exposure: Prolonged, unprotected exposure to the sun may break the collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to the early development of wrinkles. This is also known as photoaging.
- Occupational causes: Many workers have a higher chance of developing wrinkles on their hands due to the nature of their work. They include cleaners, chefs, caregivers, mechanics, hairdressers, dentists, nurses, doctors, machine operators, beauticians, florists, and construction workers.
- Hand dermatitis: An inflammatory skin disorder that causes severe itching and dry flaky skin on hands and palms, hand dermatitis affects approximately 10% of the population. The condition may occur due to genetic factors or may be triggered by exposure to allergens or irritants. (1)
- Latex allergy: An allergic reaction to latex causes itchy, dry, red rashes that appear wrinkled. People with latex allergy must use latex-free or nitrile gloves.
- Excessive washing: Repetitive washing of the hands can disrupt the barrier function of the skin and cause dry, chapped, and wrinkled hands.
- Nutritional deficiencies: A deficiency of vitamins or minerals can affect your skin health, often leading to the early formation of wrinkles.
- Frequent use of sanitizer: The high alcohol content of sanitizers can lead to skin dryness and therefore wrinkles.
- Dehydration: Optimum hydration is vital for your skin’s health. A lack of water in the body can therefore affect your skin’s elasticity and cause wrinkles.
- Smoking: Tobacco contains an abundance of carcinogens and mutagens, which can lead to premature skin aging that presents in the form of wrinkles.
Home Remedies for Wrinkles
The following are natural and easily available ingredients and treatments that you can use to help fade wrinkles and improve premature skin aging. They are easy to use and can help promote overall skin health.
1. Apply olive oil
Olive oil has been used for the treatment of wrinkles for a long time. It nourishes the skin with vitamin E and fatty acids that elicit an increase in collagen formation, thus helping fade wrinkles.
It has been shown that the consumption of olive oil-based foods may prevent photoaging to a certain extent. (2)
How to use:
- Take a small amount of olive oil and massage it onto your hands for 5–10 minutes before bedtime.
- Cover your oiled hands with cotton gloves and wash in the morning with lukewarm water.
- Repeat this remedy every day.
2. Use coconut oil
Coconut oil has a high antioxidant content that can help prevent premature aging by combatting the free radicals responsible for it.
It also provides deep moisturization to the skin, similar to mineral oils, therefore aiding in the treatment of wrinkles. (3)
How to use:
- Heat some extra virgin coconut oil.
- Massage it onto your hands for 5 minutes using circular motions.
- Cover your hands with gloves overnight.
3. Massage with aloe vera
Aloe vera also helps prevent premature aging of the skin. Moreover, its high polysaccharide content boosts skin regeneration.
How to use:
- Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Apply the aloe vera gel to your hands, and massage it in for a few minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
4. Use honey
Honey contains moisturizing and antioxidant properties that can help fade and prevent wrinkles. Additionally, honey is a natural humectant that can keep the skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. (6)
How to use:
- Dab on some honey on your hands.
- Rinse it off after 10 minutes with lukewarm water.
- Repeat the remedy twice a day.
5. Make an overripe banana paste
Bananas are natural moisturizers that can help reduce wrinkles on your hands. It is also loaded with iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, and E, which can help reduce wrinkles and boost skin rejuvenation.
How to use:
- Mash an overripe banana and apply it to your hands.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
6. Prepare a glycerin soak
Glycerin is a humectant that helps retain skin moisture and therefore aids in the treatment of wrinkles by making the skin smooth and soft.
How to use:
- Mix 1 tsp each of rosewater, glycerin, and lemon juice.
- Apply the mixture to your hands and massage it in.
- Allow the mixture to dry on its own.
7. Go for a paraffin wax treatment
Paraffin wax is commonly used in the treatment of wrinkled hands as it traps moisture by acting as a barrier. As a result, it makes the skin soft and supple.
How to use:
- Melt some paraffin wax with mineral oil over a double boiler. Allow it to cool down slightly.
- Dip your oiled hands into the wax for a few seconds.
- Once the wax layer air-dries, dip your hands in the wax again.
- Repeat the process to achieve 4–5 layers of wax and cover your hands with gloves.
- After 15–20 minutes, remove the gloves and wipe off the wax.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Wrinkles
Here are some habits that can help fade existing wrinkles and prevent or delay the formation of new ones:
1. Moisturize your hands regularly
Washing your hands repetitively can make them prone to dryness. Therefore, it is suggested to apply hand cream every time you wash your hands to help prevent skin dryness and roughness. (7) This also traps in the hydration from the water, making moisturization more efficient, resulting in soft, smooth skin.
2. Drink plenty of water
Consuming optimum amounts of water is essential to maintaining body hydration and skin moisture levels. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, and avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine as they can cause dehydration.
3. Exfoliate your hands
Exfoliating your hands one to two times a week removes the buildup of dead skin cells and cleanses pores. It also helps the skin better absorb moisture from the environment. Moreover, hand creams and lotions can penetrate the skin better when it is exfoliated.
4. Use retinol
The use of retinol removes damaged skin layers and softens the skin. It also boosts collagen production, therefore assisting in wrinkle treatment. It is best to apply retinol at night and rinse it off in the morning.
5. Try hand fillers
Consult a dermatologist for hand fillers, which plump up the skin and therefore smoothen out wrinkles.
The treatment involves injecting a runny, hyaluronic acid-based fluid in the skin dermis, hydrating the skin and smoothing out fine lines. The effect of hand fillers may last for 6–8 months.
6. Get hand peels
Consult your dermatologist on the use of trichloroacetic acid peels, which exfoliate the skin and boost collagen synthesis. This treatment makes the skin smooth, soft, and even toned. You may repeat the treatment every 3–4 months.
7. Take beta carotene supplements
You can take carotene supplements for wrinkle treatment and prevention upon consulting your doctor.
8. Improve your diet
Consume foods rich in nutrients and vitamins to improve skin health. Include foods high in antioxidants in your diet to delay skin aging. Eat turnip greens, spinach, kale, almonds, Swiss chard, shellfish, and fish.
9. Get plenty of sleep
It is when you sleep that your skin renews itself. Therefore, optimum sleep is essential for good skin health and recovery.
How to Prevent Wrinkles
While natural aging is inevitable, you can avoid premature aging, delay natural aging, and steer clear of wrinkles by taking the following preventive steps:
1. Protect your skin from the sun
Sun damage and photoaging are among the most common causes of hand wrinkles. Therefore, it is vital to protect your hands from sun exposure. This can be done by wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Select a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, and apply it every day before stepping outdoors.
2. Use gloves
To protect your hands from excessive water exposure or damage from dirt, it is recommended to wear gloves while cleaning and gardening.
3. Use mild soap only
Switch to soft, mild hand soaps rather than harsh bar soaps that can cause skin dryness. Similarly, avoid getting detergents and dishwasher liquid directly on your hands.
4. Avoid hot-air dryers
Do not dry your hands with hot-air dryers as it can cause skin dryness. Instead, air-dry your hands or wipe them with a soft towel.
5. Limit processed foods
Processed foods containing added sugars and saturated fat can lead to skin aging. Limiting their intake can potentially keep wrinkles at bay for longer.
6. Quit smoking
Smoking is a common cause of premature aging and poor skin health. It is best to avoid it altogether.
Skin aging is a natural process and is often first noticed in the form of wrinkles on the hands and face. This age-related change, combined with constant exposure to environmental factors such as damage from the UV rays, can lead to the development of wrinkles at an early age.
Since the skin on your hands is thin and sensitive, it requires constant care to prevent wrinkles and other skin problems. It is suggested to use sunscreens, moisturizers, and mild cleansers daily. In addition, you can try various natural remedies or in-office treatments to help reduce the existing wrinkles and prevent the formation of new ones.