Signs of the Aging Hands: brown spot prevention

How many times have you looked at your hands and thought, “Oh my gosh where did those brown spots come from?” or, “those are my Mom’s hands!”. The aging process is inevitable and by the time someone asks what’s the best way to reduce the signs of aging; the damage is already done. One’s lifestyle is key to a healthy, fit, and youthful appearance, however, if this is done in too much sun, no matter how fit, they will appear older than their stated age. One simple analogy is to ‘look at a grape and look at a raisin’.




grape to raisin
The middle grape is usually when one notices what chronic sun damage does to one’s skin. Prevention will help the inevitable ‘raisin-look’. (


In dermatology, we are frequently asked how can one maintain a youthful appearance or slow down the aging process. While the later depends on lifestyle, the one thing we can all do is use protection while in the sun. A good way to judge how the sun has affected our skin is to put your hand on our bare buttock and look in the mirror. The skin, that is mostly covered, is still plump, soft, smooth and without wrinkles.


So, are there any treatments for brown spots on the hands? Yes, IPL is known as intense pulse light. It is not a laser but a pulse of light that heats up the dark brown spot, known as ‘solar lentigo’ or lentigenes (pl) and creates a superficial burn of the lentigo. This then turns into a fine scab and falls off, then ‘viola’, its gone or lighter in color. Multiple treatments may be required. However, the lentigo may return once your hands are back in the sun.

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This is an excellent example of IPL light treatment from



Protecting the back of the hands from sun exposure is hard to do. No one wants to wear full gloves, especially in the summer or when playing or working outside. They are too hot and cumbersome to wear. This is why I designed the PalmFree™SunGlove.


PalmFree ™SunGloves are fingerless and palmless UPF 50 gloves that protect the back of the hands, leaving the palms open to release heat, maintain dexterity and sensitivity. These comfortable, slip-on/slip-off sun gloves pack away easily and protect better than any sunscreen on the market.


Brown spots on the hands definitely reveal our age, our sun exposure history and aren’t too sexy. No matter what sun exposure activity you are enjoying, prevention is key in reducing the aging process. This simple sun protective solution is also much cheaper and longer lasting than IPL treatments for a more youthful appearance.