HANDS: no longer to be held behind your back! | Pocketmags.com

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HANDS: no longer to be held behind your back!

When it comes to rejuvenation, facial treatments have traditionally been prioritised over hand aesthetics. SE1 Medical Aesthetics medical director Lorenzo Garagnani looks at the importance of hands throughout history.

Over the past few years, attention from the scientific community has been drawn to hand rejuvenation procedures, although it is still a relatively new and niche field, reserved for the few who have an interest in it.

It is widely known that the neck reveals the actual age of a person, especially of those who have undergone aesthetic facial rejuvenation. This is the reason why the neck and decolletage areas have become the focus of attention for skin rejuvenation procedures. However, what is the body part that can be moved furthest away from our body, and often regarded as the ‘business card’ of a person? The answer to this question lies right in your hands.

Shaking hands is still an important gesture in many cultures. A looked-after and well-presented hand may make a significant difference when making a first impression with another person – it may be a means of inspiring confidence or even securing the deal of a lifetime. Rough, dirty hands are associated with a lack of self-care, while smooth and clean hands are universally appreciated.

Hand differences, either congenital or post-traumatic, are also an important subject, as they may have emotional or psychological repercussions on the affected individual. Even in the 21st century, these conditions may represent a social stigma in certain cultures or environments. Hand appearance is intimately connected to hand function; improved confidence about the appearance of hands allows an individual to use them more freely and not feel insecure.

Looking back through human history, we realise the significance of hand beauty — from 64,000 year old images found in the Cave of Maltravieso in Spain, to recently discovered impressions in the Tibetan Plateau of children’s hands and feet dating back approximately 200,000 years.

A lump can be seen on the back of the Mona Lisa’s right hand. Why would such an incredibly smart individual and talented artist as Leonardo Da Vinci feel the need to paint that detail, if he did not think that the hands were worth the most accurate representation?

What is the most universally known detail of Michelangelo’s Vatican City’s Sistine chapel ceiling fresco? The hands in the Creation of Adam.

It is no secret that in the Victorian era, pale hands with pristine skin were a status symbol, and this is also reflected in the art of the time.

‘Drawing Hands’, a lithograph by the Dutch artist Escher represents two hands that draw each other, and they do it exquisitely. The proportion and appearance of those hands are just perfect. If they could talk, they would definitively tell us how they like to appear, and certainly, those two hands would appreciate being looked after.

So many jewels have been created for our hands throughout the centuries, but the most important gem are our hands themselves. A broad range of rings, bracelets, and watches have historically adorned hands and wrists. Engagement rings are usually worn on hands, and they are the focus of pictures, often shared on social media. Would anyone consider sharing publicly a picture of something they don’t feel proud of?

Our brain loves our hands too. The representation of hands and faces in the brain occupy the largest region. This is because human hands are tactile organs that can replace sight when eye function is absent or impaired. The hands allow us to feed and clean ourselves, communicate, interact, and perform many daily life-related, professional and leisure activities, or simply rest our heads on them after a long and tiring day.

Fast forward to today’s ever-evolving focus, the comparison of A-list celebrity hands’ ageing, versus their flawless faces. Once that sneaky paparazzi’s long lens has immortalised a gnarled and chalky hand, there is free range to compare not only said hand to the owner’s face but also, to criticise the surgeon’s management of this patient’s expectations. How could such an aesthetic artist so poorly advise their patient, failing to inform them that by ‘fixing their face’ alone, they would be a prime target for the media’s hand rejuvenation police? Also, it raises some suspicion (as well as eyebrows, for those who can) to see stars covering their hands with gloves on any possible occasion. What are they trying to conceal?

Our hands are a beautiful gift. They deserve all the care and attention we can give them – let’s show them off!

This article appears in January 2023

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This article appears in...
January 2023
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Happy New Year and welcome to the January wellness issue of Aesthetic Medicine!
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HANDS: no longer to be held behind your back!
When it comes to rejuvenation, facial treatments have traditionally been prioritised over hand aesthetics. SE1 Medical Aesthetics medical director Lorenzo Garagnani looks at the importance of hands throughout history.
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