HAND CARE

Is there anything we can do to look after our hands as we age, and in particular to avoid the knobbly finger joints that we see on some older ladies?
Regards, Shirley Tracy, North Yorkshire

Holding back the years on our face is one thing but a quick look at hands usually reveals age. Hands are exposed to chemicals, smoke and UV radiation causing skin to age. The protein Collagen is responsible for keeping the skin on our hands plump and fleshy but hormones stimulating collagen production decreases during the menopause ageing them.
Diet low in essential fatty acids can cause rough skin patches so eat foods such as salmon and sardines, nuts and seeds rich in fatty acids, or consider taking supplements. If skin is dehydrated deep lines and painful cracks can appear so aim to drink at least two litres of water a day. Colourful fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants which help protect against sun damage and also have high water content.