New York: Hands reveal a person’s real age, says a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Roxanne Guy, MD, President elect of ASPS says: “A primary motivation to have plastic surgery is to look and feel better, often by seeking a younger looking appearance. However, looking younger after your facelift or eyelid surgery can conflict with aged hands that simply do not match the face.
“After the face, hands are the second most visible, tell-tale sign of one’s age. If your goal is to look more youthful or you are bothered by the appearance of your hands, you may seriously want to consider hand rejuvenation.”
In the study, people examined photographs of female hands and were asked to estimate the women’s ages. In the majority of cases, participants were able to accurately estimate the age of each woman in the photographs.
Participants were also asked to compare digitally altered photographs of female hands – blemishes and hand veins were removed or jewelery and nail polish were added – to unaltered photographs to assess which hands looked younger. The majority of participants felt that the altered photos of women’s hands appeared younger. However, alterations to photos of very elderly hands – characterized by thin skin, age spots, wrinkles, deformity, veins and prominent joints – did not change the participants’ ability to distinguish the person’s age.
Overall, the physical characteristic which most commonly gave away age was prominent hand veins.
In altered images where hand veins were removed, participants significantly felt hands looked younger. Fullness and a lack of wrinkles and veins characterized the youngest looking hands. Nail polish and jewelry were also found to make hands appear younger looking.
“The good news is, although your hands may reveal more about your age than you desire, there are remedies out there,” said Dr. Guy. “A good medical skincare regimen that focuses on the hands can be highly effective in maintaining skin thickness and fullness. Non-surgical procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels can reduce age spots. Fat injections can be used to plump up hands and reduce the visibility of veins and laser ablation of unwanted hand veins can reduce veins.”
American Society of Plastic Surgeons