Hi Dr. Irwin, I’m 62 years old, but my hands look like they’re 90! They are so wrinkled and NO fat-layer cushion in them…only skin and bones. I really started to notice how bad they began to look after a day in the garden wearing gloves. My hands would be so sweaty….it was like all moisture in my hands would be gone. Could wearing gloves and sweating make someone’s hands thinner looking? If that is the case, I will start wrapping my waist in plastic wrap when going outside!! 🙂 I know you can get fillers in your hands to make them look better. Maybe I need some tips on that. Thanks for all your expertise and knowledge and trying to make us all beautiful! Paula – Denham Springs, Louisiana I loved this question – thank you Paula! I also love Louisiana. The first time I went to your beautiful state, I felt so at home. And who doesn’t love the music and artistic energy of New Orleans? Maybe you’ll start a fad for waist cellophane with your comment above. : )
Next post will be on what to do about general hand aging problems. The below is important and can be used by everyone.
On wearing gloves, sweating and hands, in health care we have the same problem. We wear gloves all day, changing several times even with a single patient. And with washing, and even with lotion each time, it takes it’s toll. There’s no science on this, but short answer is yes. I think the constant use of gloves adds to the wear and tear. Sweating then drying, the abrasion of taking them on and off, the drying from the cleansers and sanitizers, it all add up.
Improving or protecting your hands during Covid:
Constant washing. Most of us are washing for longer and more often. Try to carry your own cleanser with you, since the cleansers in the wall dispensers are harsh. Those small Cetaphil or Cerave drugstore samples are great, and you can just refill from a pump gentle cleanser of your choosing.
Gloves. In health care, we are in latex or vinyl gloves all day which is necessary. But for gardening, see if you can find gloves that “breathe” a little and have some fabric on them, or leather. You can buy several pairs and throw them in the wash when they need it.
Hand sanitizers. These are drying (most are mostly alcohol), let’s face it. But, I’ve been surprised at how well most patients and our staff tolerate them. We’ve seen an uptick in hand eczema but mostly in those who were struggling with this problem before. Using a lotion after each use really helps. And rinsing them off periodically, and then reapplying lotion also helps.
Hand cream and lotions. Best used 20 times a day (only partially joking here). Ease of access is the key. Put pump bottles of your favorites in multiple places in your home and/or office. Bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom, desk, etc are all good spots. Look for lotions with actually hydrate and moisturize. Fewer chemicals are better, although CeraVe or Cetaphil are ok, and very easily obtained. Better are lotions with more natural ingredients and light natural oils. Look at the ingredient list and try for lotions with shea butter, avocado oil, safflower or sunflower oils, etc. in the top 5 ingredients. Avoid lotions with glycerin, dimethicone, other silicones, chemicals in the top 5 ingredients.
Hope this helps, and next week I’ll tackle aging hands.
Dr. Brandith Irwin
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