[By Kelly Van Geertnee Wong]

For Lisa Ong, it was her “banana hands” that did it.

“You know how a banana skin starts to get dark spots as it gets older?” says the 52-year-old businesswoman and socialite. “I looked at my hands and the uncanny resemblance struck me. I looked like an aging banana here.”

So Lisa had her hands “done”, more specifically, her doctor used a laser to zap away those undesirable age spots.

Wang Xiaomin, 48, a hair salon owner, had a different problem. Instead of spots, her hands had a sunken-in hollow look. Her solution was to have her doctor plump them up with an injectable filler. “We all worry about our faces, but your hands can give it away in two seconds.” Muses Xiaomin. “You put your hands up to your face and your face looks fine. But that’s a pair of creepy old, witchy hands up there I would rather hide.”

Certain body parts such as the neck, hands, knees and earlobes tend to announce or exaggerate one’s actual age, especially if they are not well cared for.The lines on your palms might not reveal your true destiny but the appearance of your hands can certainly be a dead giveaway to a woman’s true age. Up until a few years ago, those hoping to hide their true age were forced to feint their way to a youthful facade with high-end manicures, gloves, and a collection of chunky distracting bracelets. But today, a new wave of hand rejuvenation procedures offers the cosmetically conscious a chance to turn back the hands of time.

“The newfound acceptance of laser and light devices, as well as the technological advancement in filler materials has remarkably changed the ‘face’ of hand rejuvenation.” Explains to Dr. Low Chai Ling, medical director of the SW1 Clinic, a one stop destination of medical spa, cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge aesthetics surgery in Singapore. “By using some of the latest technologies to restore lost volume and remove sun damage, we can reset the clock.”

In other words, these days the hands do lie.In a 2006 study in England, nearly 100 participants were asked to examine unaltered photos of female hands and then guess their age. The results showed that hands with wrinkles, veins, prominent joints, thin skin and spots were routinely and accurately characterized as older. But when altered images of older hands were shown with veins, wrinkles, and age spots digitally removed, participants classified those hands as younger. (Nail polish and jewelry also helped lower the age, but not to the same extent)

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Plump up the volume

Dermal fillers are increasingly used to improve the appearance of “off-face” sites such as the hands.

Cosmetic and skin docs have begun to offer their patients rejuvenation techniques that can shave 10 to 15 years off of a hand in fast as a 30 minute procedure. Injectable fillers and volumizers such as Restylane and Juvederm Voluma are increasingly requested as off-face fillers that can be safely used to plump up thin, skeletal hands. These dermal fillers are FDA approved and made from naturally occurring, non-animal sourced hyaluronic acid. Besides the hands, other oft-neglected smaller body parts are quickly falling into the anti-aging radar. If you tend to favor oversized accessories on a regular basis like 60’s IT girl, Edie Sedgwick, give your poor, stressed-out earlobes some much needed TLC. A touch of Natural Dermal Fillers placed judiciously on the affected areas of volume deficit will do the trick in a New York minute, rejuvenating your age-telling earlobes to their former fleshy glory. As these areas are not subjected to a lot of movement from day to day, fillers administered into the earlobes will have a relatively longer life-span compared to its use in other areas.

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Revitalift is a state of the art injection technique whereby minute quantities of deeply nourishing hyaluronic acid fillers are carefully placed beneath the skin over the dorsum of hands to provide deep tissue hydration and to raise the skin level so that tendons, joints and veins lose their prominence

Dr. Low who plumped up Xiaomin’s hands says the problem with aging hands is that they lose both connective tissue and fat, which is why look ‘stringy’.

“You end up seeing the tendons and veins you don’t see when you’re young.” Says Dr. Low. “By injecting fillers, you can give a buffer layer between the skin and the tendons and bones so the hand appears more youthful.”

The effects of Restylane last about six to eight months, while the longevity of Juvederm Voluma is typically between 12 to 18 months.

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When ‘freckles’ are no longer cute

Treating the dorsum of hands with Fraxel Dual Laser to target brown spots and fine lines

Age spots, or sun spots, otherwise known as solar keratoses are caused by the formation of excess pigment accumulated over many years of excessive, unprotected sun exposure which are repulsive and can make the skin look older than it really is.Not only are the hands a vital and visible part of your body, it is also one of the first areas to show signs of aging, thanks to unprotected sun exposure and general neglect. Because the skin over the hands is thinner and lacks elasticity or resilience, it is prone to fine lines, wrinkling.

Skin texture, skin color changes and age spots are unmistakable tell-tale signs of aging that women are opting to correct with medical lasers. As with fillers, there are different types of laser technologies that can be engaged to treat the varying needs of different individuals.

“The Pico Pigment Laser is equally effective in spot removal of targeted lesions and addresses uneven skin discoloration at the same time while the Fraxel Dual non-ablative laser system provides the ultimate skin rejuvenation, erasing unsightly signs of ‘age-graffiti’ to help restore some youthfulness to a pair of crepey, sun damaged hands.” Explains Dr. Low.

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Targeting undesirable signs of a pair of aging hands with state of the art non-ablative fractional Fraxel Dual Laser technology

The Fraxel Dual Laser brings about total skin renewal to stubborn dark spots and reverse years of sun damage to the hands, with the state-of-the -art Thulium 1927nm wavelength working remarkably well against targeted superficial brown pigmentation. Improving the texture, tone and color of your paws by affecting only a fraction of your skin at a time with thousands of tiny microscopic laser spots just like a photographic image that’s being restored, pixel by pixel, Fraxel Dual brings about overall rejuvenating benefits that refreshes the skin so that it looks younger, softer and smoother. Expect a few days or mild redness, slight swelling and discrete peeling of the treated area afterwards.A series of five sessions spaced four to six weeks apart is recommended to produce a gradual remodeling of the dermal matrix components collagen and elastin, leading to nothing short of a total skin rebirth.

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