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PHONE: (828) 526-3783 | TOLL-FREE: (877) 526-3784

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Beautiful Skin Highlands, NC

Skin Beautifying Treatments

Dr. Buchanan and his highly skilled team at the Center for Plastic Surgery can help you achieve beautifully healthy or rejuvenated skin through the use of proper skin care, skin rejuvenation systems and equipment, spa services, lasers, the IPL, peels, injectables, and mineral makeup.

We all would like to have the flawless skin of babies. Their skin is:

  • smooth
  • hydrated with
  • a thin outer protective dead cell layer,
  • a thick dermal support layer,
  • good elasticity,
  • good blood supply,
  • and an even color.

Many things effect this balance and are a factor over time. The major factors:

  • Sun exposure,
  • Gravity,
  • Loss of supporting volume,
  • Loss of skin thickness and elasticity,
  • Underlying muscle actions,

Sun exposure increases the normal loss of collagen that thickens and supports the skin and the elastin that gives it its contractility. As it disturbs the cells making these necessary components, it also causes abnormalities in the nuclear makeup of other cells that can lead to actinic keratoses, skin cancer or other problems. It also causes an increase of the outer dead cell layer causing dullness and dryness as well as adding weight that increases the likelihood of developing wrinkles. Additionally, it reduces blood supply that speeds the other actions and causes an increase in small abnormal vessels on the cheeks and elsewhere causing redness or a flushed appearance (telangiectasia – also lumped with Rosacea). Smoking, poor diet and some environmental factors increase these effects.

Gravity stretches the skin and underlying tissues and pulls them down. However, the result depends on subcutaneous ligaments that prevent complete descent and cause irregular banding and structures like the tear troughs, the nasolabial and marionette folds and jowls.

Loss of skin thickness and elasticity results in more skin stretch and less resistance to other forces resulting in more wrinkles.

Loss of volume at a time when the skin is not producing elastin accentuates the problems caused by gravity and allows the skin to become irregular or “crapey”.

As the skin thins, it can no longer resist the pull of the underlying muscles as it once did. Loss of elasticity also means that, instead of contracting and simply shortening as the muscle pulls on it, the skin begins to accordion or pleat. With loss of thickness and increase in strength of the muscles with time this is exaggerated.

We believe that good skin care for minimally damaged skin should prevent these and other problems. We, therefore, recommend minimally as Basic Skin Care:

  • Cleansing with a specially formulated gentle cleanser.
  • Removal of the thickened, dry dead cell layer to restore moisture and remove weight by:
    • Use of Alpha and/or Beta Hydroxyls (available over-the–counter), and may be combined with the cleanser.
    • Regular microdermabrasion, or
    • Regular micropeels.
  • Restoration of normal pH and protective lipid layer and protective barrier by:
    • Specialized balancing toners
    • Topical Vitamin-C Serum or
    • SkinMedica Antioxidant Serum
  • Protection using a sunblock containing clear Zinc Oxide, the only product that is practical since it lasts longer than other UVA blocks and also protects you from UVB.

This is, essentially all you need for skin care unless you have an exceptional problem like Acne or another disease process. All the things that the cosmetic industry tries to sell you are mostly either worthless or actually do harm. An example of a harmful product is a moisturizer. It actually discourages your skin from making its own moisture and weights the skin down, encouraging wrinkles. Things like collagen or hyaluronic acid in a product can do nothing for you as their molecules are so large that there is no way they could ever be absorbed where they could do anything for you.

Around 30 years of age, you should add something to the above to keep the cells working making new collagen and elastic tissue. We call this Basic Skin Care Plus. We add:

  • A proven retinol, like Retivance® by Obagi® or Retinol Complex® by SkinMedica, or tretinoin (Retin-A) to stimulate collagen production.
  • ELASTIderm® by Obagi®, the only product at this time that has been proven to convert new collagen to elastin.

»Want younger looking skin? We can help! Contact us today!

If significant problems are present, they must be addressed in addition to the above basic care. This can be a single addition or a combination of treatments. Skin health restoration IS A PROCESS, NOT a product. Healthy skin is Smooth, Firm, Elastic, Evenly Pigmented, Hydrated and as void of predisposing problems as possible. To restore damaged skin to this condition, we:

  • Begin with Basic Skin Care plus as above.
  • Correct the Pigment by removing spots & making the rest of the skin a uniform color using mainly Hydroquinone, some botanicals, and, to some extent topical Vitamin-C (the Obagi® Nu-Derm system combines Basic Skin Care Plus with Hydroquinone in such a way that they all work together 2-3 times more effectively than otherwise) or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), occasionally supplemented with peels and micro peels.
  • Remove abnormal blood vessels (called telangiectasia) using an IPL.
  • Remove muscle function that is increasing wrinkling using BOTOX® Cosmetic, where possible. Unfortunately, many muscles causing wrinkles cannot be treated as they are necessary for normal expression and eye or lip function.
  • Remove wrinkles faster than possible with tretinoin alone with Fruit acid peels, Phenol peels, or Laser resurfacing or, the least invasive method, filling them using Juvéderm™ Volbella and supporting and stiffening the dermis by crisscrossing it or Juvéderm™ Vollure under the area of wrinkles.
  • Treat any severely damaged or premalignant cells by Cryotherapy, Photodynamic Therapy, or chemotherapy like Imiquimod or 5FU (Efudex® or Fluroplex®).
  • Treat the results of gravity and volume loss with surgery (such as Blepharoplasty, Brow Lift, and/or Lip Revision) or improved or disguised by smoothing the skin and reducing wrinkles with injections of fat, Juvéderm® Ultra, Juvéderm® VolumaJuvéderm® Vollure, Juvéderm® Volbella, or a combination (Today’s Liquid Lift).

For further information, please see:


Microneedling, An Excellent Way To Rejuvenate Skin And Reduce Wrinkling

Microneedling is one way to markedly rejuvenate the skin and reduce wrinkling. In fact, our present protocol for rejuvenation of sun damaged, wrinkled, crinkled skin is beginning tretinoin, injection of the wrinkles to reduce as much as we can using Juvederm Volbella®, and then doing a series of Microneedling procedures. This has proved as effective as other methods with significantly less down time and expense.

Skin care to prevent wrinkling:

The cornerstone of skin care to prevent wrinkles has been, for many years, the use of a retinol or tretinoin (Retin-A) particularly after the age of 25 to 30. This is because the skin stops continually making collagen, the substance that thickens and stiffens the skin at around that age. If the skin is not stimulated to continue the process of collagen production, the dermis, the support layer of the skin, thins and multiple crinkles and wrinkles result. If you have failed to use these in the past and have developed significant crinkles and wrinkles, then use of the more potent tretinoin is still the mainstay of skin rejuvenation.

Procedures to reduce wrinkling:

Once you had developed aged appearing skin, the only treatment we used to have to correct the wrinkling/crinkling quickly was a leveling peel or laser resurfacing that removed the surface of the skin between the wrinkles to the level of the bottom of the wrinkles and allowed the skin to grow a new surface epithelium over a smoother dermal base. Since the surface of the skin was removed to the mid dermal level and, if the right laser or peeling agent was used, the dermis was stimulated to make significant new collagen and became thicker and smoother from within. The problem with both of these is that, because of the limitation of the body’s ability to resurface the skin quickly, like healing a scraped knee, they became the procedures with the longest downtime of any of the modern plastic surgical procedures. Although we could push the body some, the minimum downtime where the skin remains somewhat raw and oozing with either of these techniques is about 1 ½ to 2 weeks.

Because some lasers did not cause collagen stimulation, we learned a lot about the body’s ability to create its own collagen and what turned on its system to do so. This led to the development of the Fraxel Laser that did not remove the skin’s surface but simply poked multiple small holes in the dermis to stimulate significant collagen production. This laser, however, is quite expensive and its use is uncomfortable. Microneedling, a less expensive technology that can be done with topical skin analgesia, was developed to answer these problems. It does the same thing by using multiple small needles that create holes in the dermis and also turns on the body’s healing processes, markedly stimulating collagen production.

The procedure, done in the office or spa, uses a device that pushes the needles absolutely perpendicular to the skin so that there is only a very minute entry point. It also extends to a very precise adjustable depth, depending upon the skin in the area where it is used. Because of the marked success of this process, “Microneedling” rollers are now being sold for home use. The problem is that they do not produce uniform holes to the proper depth of the dermis and, instead of entering and leaving absolutely perpendicular, they enter and exit at an angle actually tearing the skin. These, therefore, either do not work or cause significant harm.

Combining Microneedling with other procedures:

Although fillers have been called “dermal fillers” for many years, until recently no one actually injected the filler into the dermis, the support layer of the skin. If they did, frequently a greenish or bluish line would appear when light reflected off the filler within the dermis. Only in the last 10 years have we had fillers that did not cause this blue line, the Tindal effect. Belotero Balance® introduced in 2011 was the 1st. Juvederm Volbella®, a better option, was approved in 2016. These allowed us to actually inject fillers into the dermis elevating the surface of the wrinkle to reduce or eliminate it. We have also discovered that if the product is placed just at the bottom or under the dermis perpendicular to the wrinkles, it can stiffen the skin and prevent further wrinkling and allow the tretinoin to use some of the product to thicken and stiffen the skin more permanently. Using Microneedling also increases the body’s use of the hyaluronic acid in the filler to produce its own collagen. Other than some mild swelling and occasionally minimal bruising that can be covered with camouflage makeup, there is essentially no down time with this technique, a marked improvement over that of leveling peels and laser resurfacing.

What else does Microneedling help?

Microneedling was actually 1st tested on reducing acne scars. It was found to do an excellent job of this. It also reduces other skin irregularities and can improve the appearance of large pores. Additionally, because the body’s natural tendency when healing is for the healing tissue to contract, it can tighten minimally loose skin in the treated area.

How is Microneedling performed?

We perform Microneedling in the Spa. After cleansing the face, an anesthetic is applied and left long enough to allow the skin to become somewhat numb. The Microneedling device is moved over the area of concern. A soothing emollient is then applied.

Is Microneedling painful?

Because of the numbing cream, most people find this only minimally uncomfortable.

How often do I need to do Microneedling?

Microneedling turns on the body’s healing system to cause it to repair itself and build new tissue. This activity tends to slow after a while although we are trying to get the body to continually create new collagen. We, therefore, generally recommend repeating the Microneedling once every 4-6 weeks for at least 6 sessions. Your body, however, will determine how often this needs to be repeated.

When will I see results?

Because the body’s system is slow it will take some time to see significant results. When used with injecting the wrinkles, visible results will be even slower since most of the wrinkles have already been mostly corrected. However, at the time the filler should wear off, generally at about a year, the filled wrinkles should still be looking significantly better than before treatment. If we are treating acne scars or skin irregularities that have not been injected, they should gradually improve over time and reasonable results should be apparent within several months.

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