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Think it’s just your face that gives away your age?

In a 2006 study done 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.)

We know that the hands can give away your age, but help is now at hand. Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are starting to offer their patients rejuvenation techniques that can temporarily shave 10 to 15 years off of a hand within the course of an afternoon. Techniques including injectable fillers and volumizers (either fat harvested from a patient's own body or cosmetic dermal fillers such as Restylane or Perlane) are used to plump up thin, skeletal hands caused by a loss of both connective tissue and fat.

The cost varies depending on the type of filler and can run anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Treatments done with injectable fillers last anywhere from six months up to 2 years while fat injections may last longer, from two to five years. Fat injections, though they last longer, tend to require more sessions, cost more and are more invasive (since the fat has to be harvested first). Results with fat injections are also less predictable.

More common than fillers, individuals may turn to laser therapy, generally intense pulsed light (IPL), to alter skin texture, fix skin color changes, and remove age spots. IPL throws a broad spectrum of light at the skin and helps to remove brown spots and even the skin tone. It has replaced older techniques such as chemical peels, which give less consistent results. Costs vary depending on where the procedure is done.

Painful, waste of money or worth every penny. What do you think?



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