The hand changes radically from infancy to old age, not only in size, proportion, and structure, but also in skin texture, tissue structure, and surface characteristics such as hair density, pigmentation, and size, shape, and texture of fingernails. Its dexterity and capabilities, its responsiveness, its range of gestures, and the subtlety of its emotional communications also change. Studies of the developmental and aging aspects of the hand have sometimes been overlooked in anatomical works. This chapter will trace the development of the hand from infancy to old age.
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