How to Reverse Sun Damage on Your Hands

by Contributing Writer ; Updated September 28, 2017

The sun's rays can be incredibly damaging to skin all over your body, including your hands. Most people now think to protect their faces from sun damage, however, the hands are often forgotten when it comes to sun protection and anti-aging care. It's often said that if you want to tell a person's true age, look at their hands. Sun damage on your hands can show itself in the form of wrinkles, sagging skin, sallow skin, sun spots and dryness. You can, however, take steps to reverse the damage and improve the appearance of the skin on your hands.

Items you will need

  • Sunscreen
  • Dermatologist
  • Retinoid cream
  • Chemical peel
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser treatments
  • UV-protection gloves
Step 1

Wear sunscreen every single day. Sunscreen is the best and easiest protector against sun damage. You must begin wearing it religiously if you wish to improve the overall appearance of the skin on your hands. If you don't protect your skin from the sun, all the steps you take to reverse existing damage will be moot. If you will be spending extensive time in the sun, reapply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every few hours. Reapply immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Step 2

Talk to your dermatologist about topical retinoid creams. These creams encourage cell regeneration, meaning that your body will produce new skill cells more quickly. Since these new cells are younger, they will have far less sun damage than the older cells they are replacing. You do need a prescription for these creams as they are usually not available over-the-counter.

Step 3

Purchase hand creams that contain Vitamin C. This natural ingredient has been shown to neutralize toxins that occur in the skin as a result of sun exposure. With regular application, people have found they have fewer sun spots and less wrinkling.

Step 4

Get a chemical peel on your hands. This will involve a licensed technician or doctor applying chemicals to the backs of your hands. The chemicals will react with the skin and essentially burn away the top layers of skin, thereby revealing fresher, younger-looking skin below. Chemical peels are available in light, medium and deep strengths. The technician will be able to recommend which strength is appropriate for your particular case of sun damage.

Step 5

Talk to your dermatologist about microdermabrasion for your hands. This is a procedure which uses a buffing-type machine to exfoliate away the top layers of skin. Microdermabrasion is successful at evening out skin tones and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Your skin will be a bit sensitive and red following treatments.

Step 6

Consider laser treatments for the backs of your hands. Lasers have been shown to be successful at reducing the appearance of freckles, broken capillaries, fine lines and even early-stage skin cancers. A doctor or licensed practitioner will apply intense laser light to your skin. The laser will burn the top layers of skin so expect redness, irritation and swelling after each treatment. Your doctor will recommend the number and strength of the treatments you'll need, but most everyone requires a series of sessions.

Tips

  • Since your hands are exposed to a lot of sun while you are driving, purchase a pair of driving gloves that offer full UV-protection. These are usually fingerless gloves that protect the back of your hands.

Warnings

  • Be gentle on your skin following chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments. It's imperative that you stay out of the sun following these sessions as your skin will be even more vulnerable to damage.