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

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Microneedling, An Excellent Way To Rejuvenate Skin And Reduce Wrinkling

Microneedling, An Excellent Way To Rejuvenate Skin And Reduce Wrinkling

Microneedling is one of several technologies that markedly rejuvenates the skin and reduces wrinkling.  Here we will discuss those technologies and other things that you can do to improve the quality and appearance of your skin.

Retinol/Retin-A

The cornerstone of skin care to prevent wrinkles has been, for many years, the use of a retinol or tretinoin (Retin-A) after the age of 30.  This is because the skin stops continually making collagen, the substance that thickens the skin, at around 30 years of 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.

Peels & Laser Resurfacing

Once you had developed aged appearing skin, the only treatment that could correct the wrinkling/crinkling 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.  The problem with this is that, because of limitation of the body’s ability to resurface the skin, 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 is somewhat raw and oozing with either of these technologies is about 1 ½ to 2 weeks.

Intradermal Filling

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 injected filler.  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 1stJuvederm Volbella®, equally as good if not better, 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 prevent further wrinkling of the skin and allow the tretinoin to use some of the product to thicken and stiffen the skin.  Other than some mild swelling and occasionally minimal bruising that could be covered with camouflage makeup, there is essentially no down time with this technique.

Microneedling/Fraxel Laser

The one thing that leveling peels and laser did was markedly stimulate the dermis to build significant new collagen at a faster rate than it did with just the use of tretinoin.  The 1st improvement to markedly improve the rate of the skin’s collagen production was development of the Fraxel Laser, a laser that, instead of removing the surface of the skin, simply poked holes in it.  Since injury to the dermis is the one thing that causes the skin to markedly produce collagen, this significantly turned on the body’s healing processes.  This laser, however, is quite expensive and uncomfortable.  Microneedling was developed to answer these problems.  It does the same thing by using 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 a physician’s office, uses a device that pushes the needles absolutely perpendicular so that there is only a very minute entry point.  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 in the dermis and, instead of entering and leaving absolutely perpendicular, they enter and exit at an angle actually tearing the skin.

No Downtime Skin Rejuvenation

These latter two developments have allowed us to now achieve skin rejuvenation comparable to leveling peels and laser but without the significant downtime.  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 Volbella®, and then doing a series of Microneedling procedures, all with minimal to no downtime.

If you are interested in rejuvenating your skin, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan at our Highlands, NC office. Call (828) 526-3783 today.

Photoaging: What It Is and What to Do About It

Skin aging, including that from the sun (photoaging), is inevitable. However, we do have some degree of control over how the skin changes over time and it is treatable. One of the fastest ways to age healthy, firm, youthful-looking skin is to spend too much time in the sun. Sunlight is made up of a spectrum of different rays. Some of these, the UVA rays, can even penetrate through a thick layer of clouds, penetrate into shade and buildings and cars, and are present all the time. These rays also get absorbed into the skin, causing cellular changes that result in what is called photoaging.

Photoaging is simply aging that is caused by exposure to UV light. This may come from sunlight and also from tanning beds. Signs of photoaging and their cause include:

  • Spots and hyperpigmentation. These may look like freckles, flat moles, large spots, or general blotchiness from injury of the melanocyte (the pigment producing cell).
  • Fine lines and wrinkles from loss of collagen thinning the support layer of the skin and from loss of elastin. This is increased past 30 years of age since the body normally stops making collagen and elastin about then.
  • Telangiectasia or increased red vascularity from the body constantly turning in its healing, which dilates blood vessels near the injury to bring in the immune/healing system. After continually doing this, the vessels just stay.
  • Precancerous lesions that look red and rough or scaly from more severe injury of the cells. These are referred to as actinic keratoses.

Photoaging affects any area where the UVA rays can reach, and they can penetrate most clothing. It is, therefore, also commonly seen on the hands, arms, shoulders, legs, back, chest, ears, nose, lips, and other parts of the face.

What to Do About Photoaging

Our best advice for our patients is to try and prevent photoaging by avoiding as much sun exposure as possible. Even on a cloudy day, it is wise to wear broad-spectrum zinc oxide sunscreen on all exposed areas and wear sun protective clothing. Zinc is the only practical sunblock as it need to be reapplied only if you wash or wipe it off. All the others last at most 2 hours, and only an hour if outdoors. You can make normal clothing sun protective by washing them in Rit Sun-Guard. See our Info Sheet.

Once you have photoaging damage, there are several ways to correct it, including:

  • Using quality skincare. Basic skin care includes an exfoliant to remove the excess cells caused by sun damage and time. It also includes a good sunblock to prevent further damage. To this, you can add ingredients like antioxidants like Vitamins-C to combat the breakdown of collagen caused by free-radicals. At 30, or if you have wrinkles,you add a retinol or tretinoin (Vitamin-A) and Obagi’s ELASTIderm to stimulate collagen and elastin production. If you have spots, we add hydroquinone. If you need all, the best option is Obagi’s Nu-Derm System.
  • Antioxidants are also consumable and are found in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.
  • Light chemical peels. Regardless of how pricy your skincare products are, they are of little value if there is a layer of dead skin cells blocking their absorption. Chemical peel treatment gently sloughs off this layer of cellular debris to reveal healthier, more uniform skin.
  • Microdermabrasion does the same thing as a light chemical peel, it removes the uppermost layer of nonvital skin cells. This procedure works through gentle ablation using microparticles that dislodge cellular debris so it can be suctioned away from the epidermis.
  • Microneedling can also help produce collagen and reduce light wrinkling.
  • Significant wrinkles can be treated by filler injection using a hyaluronic acid filler that will stimulate collagen production.
  • Leveling peels and laser smooth the skin and increase the collagen production. They are useful for severely wrinkled skin.
  • Ellipse IPL® treatment is a form of light therapy that breaks up red or brown discoloration in or beneath the skin. It can treat both brown pigmentation and red telangiectasia. IPL, intense pulsed light, is a popular treatment for photodamage due to its effectiveness with little to no downtime.

We can help you address photoaging with a treatment program tailored to your needs. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to schedule your consultation.

One and Done Beauty: Is it Possible?

Non Surgical Procedures Highlands, NCWe hear this question quite often. “Will one treatment be enough to achieve results?” Unless your cosmetic objectives can be met with a surgical procedure alone, this is an unlikely accomplishment. Even in the case of injectables and soft tissue fillers, which do achieve immediate results, improvements require maintenance every year or so.

To understand the role of professional treatments in ongoing beauty at every age, it can help to think of the skin the same way you do the body. Your skin needs to be “fed” quality products every day to rebuild itself just like your body relies on healthy foods to maintain vitality. Similarly, as much as we would like it to be true, we cannot work out one time and develop six-pack abs. Just like we won’t slim down after one healthy meal or strenuous workout, our skin will not look many years younger after one nonsurgical treatment.

One Way to Feed the Skin

In reality, there are several ways to feed the skin, but there is one objective that may trump all others: collagen and elastin production. By age 30, fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and elastin, begin to slow down. Not just a little, but a lot. Some studies suggest that fibroblasts go dormant, into a state of sweet slumber that allows the signs of aging to creep in. With the body wearing out its existing supply of collagen and elastin at a rate of about 1 to 2% a year, we typically see noticeable changes in the skin by age 40 and continually for the rest of our life. The key to managing aging skin, then, is to encourage the fibroblast cells to continually produce more collagen and elastin.

Professional treatments like fillers correct the signs of aging, which is certainly advantageous. However, injectables alone are not enough to effectively manage the signs of aging. By that, we mean to keep them from worsening. To do this, we recommend adding retinol or Retin-A and ELASTIderm to basic skin care starting around age 30.  The retinol or Retin-A (tretinoin) stimulates new collagen. The ELASTIderm by Obagi is the only product on the market that stimulates conversion of some of that collagen to elastic tissue. Other periodic collagen-inducing treatments like micro needling, actual dermal or just sub-dermal injection of the proper hyaluronic acid filler, peels or laser skin resurfacing can also help. Depending on where you are on the spectrum of collagen degradation, you may need one treatment a year, several treatments a year, or one treatment every few years.

If you are interested in reversing and managing the signs of aging, come talk with us. We may not be able to promise a one and done treatment for every concern, but we can promise that we are committed to long-term results and personal care for each of our patients.

Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule your visit to our Highlands, NC medical spa and plastic surgery office.

Chemical Peels are Valuable Post-Summer Treatments

Micro Peels in Highlands, NCWe’re not looking forward to the end of summer just yet, understanding there are many cool months ahead. Knowing that the time is coming when the temperature cools and the sun moves farther away from the Earth, we can plan ahead, though. Around here, planning ahead means discussing ways in which all the summertime sun exposure can be addressed. It may come as a surprise to know that chemical peels still offer a great value.

In recent years, several high-tech treatments have been developed. As they have, it has become easier and easier to forget what came before. For years before lasers and light treatments, chemical peels served doctors and their patients very well. We are still huge fans of the chemical peel, even more so with the variety of options that are available today. This method of treatment provides us with the opportunity to help people correct a wide range of sun damage, to improve the texture of their skin, or just to maintain the general health of the skin.

The way that chemical peels work is by removing a precise layer of tissue. Not all peels are intense. In fact, some peels don’t even cause noticeable peeling. DIY methods are posted across the internet, but do not offer what a professional peel does nor the insight to determine which peel will achieve your desired result.

A professional chemical peel is:

  • Tailored to your skin. There are numerous chemical peel solutions used in our office. Each allows us to meet the needs of every individual patient. Before conducting treatment, we perform a thorough skin analysis and consultation in which we discuss your objectives and preferences. The personal attention of a skilled esthetician makes all the difference in making the most of a chemical peel.
  • Professional chemical peels are the result of thorough research and development. Months, if not years, have gone into formulating the right ingredients in the right concentration to achieve optimal results across a wide variety of skin types. There is nothing more powerful than a professional chemical peel when it comes to achieving the ideal extent of exfoliation with the shortest amount of downtime.
  • The safety of professional chemical peel treatment is maximized by the combination of our clinical consultation and careful selection of the right, powerful peel solution. Patients are also monitored throughout treatment to ensure the desired tissue reaction is achieved.

We are passionate about offering patients minimally-invasive, low-downtime treatments that bring beauty to the forefront. To learn more about our chemical peel treatments, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Decoding the Vitalize Peel

In our Highlands, NC practice, adults of all ages can take advantage of numerous modalities that promote younger looking skin. As advantageous as plastic surgery can be for more significant signs of aging, there is a lot to be said about nonsurgical treatments like micro peels. One of the popular peels sought today is the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel. Here, we explain how this peel works, what makes it unique, and what it can achieve.

The SkinMedica Vitalize Peel , is a form of chemical exfoliation that effectively maintains the skin on the face, neck chest, and other areas. Superficial chemical peels accelerate skin exfoliation and help to make your complexion appear more uniform and renewed, diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and roughness.

Chemical Peels: The Nitty-Gritty

Chemical peels generally fall into three classes. There are superficial peels that incur zero downtime at one end of the spectrum and deep peels on the other. Deep peels can require weeks of pre-treatment preparation and weeks of recovery.  The Vitalize Peel  is between the two. This peel enhances skin texture and addresses skin unevenness due to acne scarring or other pigmentary changes. Noticeable results will be seen after just one peel, typically more compelling results after 3 to 6 peels.

Chemical peels are not entirely without risk. A Vitalize Peel should only be obtained from a licensed professional like our experienced aesthetician. Risks such as hyperpigmentation can also be avoided by avoiding sun exposure during and shortly after the peeling process.

Get your skin on point before summer. Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule a chemical peel in our friendly office.

Treating Facial Skin Wrinkles

Wrinkled or crepey facial skin is caused by an interplay of the skin and how it ages, gravity, loss of supporting volume, and action of the underlying muscles. As we age, the skin stops producing both collagen (the substance that gives the skin its thickness and strength) and elastin (the substance that makes the skin elastic). This happens around 30 years of age with collagen only being made after that as part of healing. With both collagen and elastin present, the skin contracts and then, because of its thickness, resists further muscle pull. With the loss of them, the skin does not contract and the muscle pulls the skin further than normal and causes it to pleat. With time, the muscles also hypertrophy and pull even harder and the places where the skin tends to bend become permanent lines. How much the skin crinkles or wrinkles varies due to your genetic predisposition and how you have treated your skin. Smoking, diet and other environmental factors speed the process. There are, however, several things that can be done to improve or reverse this.
 

Use of Botox®

If the muscle can be weakened with Botox® or a similar neurotoxin, the process can be slowed. This works best around the eyes and in the forehead where the muscle function is not essential. If started early, it can even slow the creation of wrinkles.
 

Improving the Quality of the Skin:

You can also slow the process and even reverse it by adding collagen and elastic tissue to the skin. Collagen can be added by use of tretinoin (Retin-A) or good retinol or by microneedling or similar laser procedures. We prefer tretinoin or retinol regularly as it continually stimulates collagen production, is less invasive and, we think, more reliable. Elastin can be added by use of Obagi’s ELASTIderm®, the only product proven to do this. We generally add these to Basic Skin Care at about 30 years of age when the skin stops producing collagen and elastin without some encouragement.
 

Reversing Wrinkles:

If the wrinkles are minimal or small, the above options will reverse them, but it takes about a year or so to do so. There are 2 things you can do to improve the wrinkles faster. One is laser resurfacing or a leveling peel that brings the surface of the skin down to the level of the bottom of the wrinkles and stimulates significant collagen production. Both these, however, have a prolonged recovery. The other is to fill the lines or depressions with a filler like Juvederm® Volbella and then crisscross it under the skin to stiffen it. This also helps the tretinoin work since it can increase the body’s use of the hyaluronic acid from the filler to convert it to collagen (something that is now proven to happen). Fillers are also the answer if the wrinkles are due to volume loss as they fill deep, replacing the lost volume, and stretch the skin back, flattening many of the wrinkles. This is especially true with lip wrinkles. The recovery from this is minimal with only a little swelling and, occasionally, some bruising that is easily camouflaged.

To find out more or to determine what is right for you, call 828-526-3783 to make an appointment at our Highlands office.

Frankenstein Beware: How to Take Care of Your Acne Damaged or Age Wrinkled Skin

Whether you suffered from a lot of acne in your youth or if you have been hit with some serious hormonal, stress or sun damage induced acne as an adult or have wrinkles from aging, there’s one thing that’s for certain: you don’t want to continually look at them. The good thing about most scars and wrinkles is that they can soften with time with use of tretinoin (Retin-A), which makes them a lot less noticeable. If, however, you have scars or wrinkles that are deeper and you wish to reduce them quickly, then we may recommend a laser resurfacing to help eliminate them.

Luxor CO2 Laser

There are quite a number of different CO2 and combined lasers that can be used to flatten severe acne scars or wrinkles.  The Luxor Specialized CO2 Laser is unique by using very intense bursts of laser light which are spaced further apart than normal which reduces residual redness after the procedure better even than CO2-Erbium or other combined lasers. In non-computer mode it also allows  precise targeting of the scars or wrinkles to remove them with tissue reaction. All this means that you will have a faster recovery time. In fact, most people heal from this treatment after just 5-10 days.

What Is Healing Like?

Because the Luxor CO2 laser does not cause significant tissue heating, recovery is rapid. Initial care is gentle cleansing and ointment. Once the healing has started, we will show you how to apply makeup to disguise any redness.

If you feel like your acne scars or wrinkles would make even Frankenstein seem a bit concerned, then it’s time to take matters into your own hands and learn more about our skin resurfacing. Schedule your consultation appointment at our Highlands office today by giving us a call at (828) 526-3783.

Give Yourself a “Hand”

Consider your hands. Think of all the things they have accomplished over the course of your life: The meals prepared, the love given, the dishes washed, the diapers changed, the letters written and the flowers planted. Your hands have worked hard and are one of the first places to show the visible signs of aging. With time, you may begin to see darkened “age spots” or a loss of fatty tissue which makes your hands look bony and perhaps older than your age.

hand careHand rejuvenation treatments can reverse the visible signs of aging, including the effects of sun damage and can help restore your hands to a more youthful appearance – one that matches your youthful, active lifestyle. Various treatments are available and treatment options may be combined to help you achieve the look you desire.

Here are four ways Dr. Buchanan can treat your aging hands at The Center For Plastic Surgery:

  1. Laser Like Skin Rejuvenation – The Ellipse IPL® offers the advantages of intense pulsed light therapy, a proven technology that treats the red and brown areas of sun damage using short bursts of laser like light which penetrate and gently remove “age spots.”
  2. Chemical Peel – The Obagi® RADIANCE Peel is a salicylic acid peel that can improve the look, texture and feel of your hands in minutes with no down time. Glycolic fruit acid peels remove the dry, top layer of the skin to reveal healthier, moist skin underneath.
  3. Microdermabrasion – This is a superficial skin polishing that “sands” off the first layer of the skin with tiny crystals. The procedure is non-surgical, non-invasive, fast and easy.
  4. Injectables – When injected, fillers such as Juvederm injectable gels or your own fat plump the skin on your hands to give them a more youthful appearance by somewhat hiding the veins, bones and tendons.

As with any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to have realistic expectations and keep in mind that these procedures are designed for improvement, not perfection.

If you would like to know more, call 828-526-3783 for a consultation with Dr. Buchanan, today, and enjoy younger looking hands.

Seven Excellent Reasons To Try One Of Our Chemical Peels

chemical peels

Why you need a chemical peel?

A chemical peel can make a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels. Peels are fast, effective and very popular.  If you’ve considered a chemical peel and are curious to learn more, read on. Dr. Buchanan specializes in providing his patients with glowing, youthful, skin, and a chemical peel is just one of the ways he can accomplish that for you.

We offer peels tailored to your unique needs, ranging from very mild to strong, including:

  • The Obagi® Radiance® BHA/ Salicylic Acid Peel
  • The Therapon® 70% Lactic Acid “lunch-time” Peel
  • The TCA Obagi® Blue Peel
  • Jester’s BHA, AHA and Resorcinol Peel
  • The Croton Oil/Phenol Peel

Our peels achieve the most optimum results possible with the least amount of down time. Each type of peel is different; each has its treatment modalities designed to improve and enhance your skin.

Renewing your skin and reviving how you feel about yourself are two great reasons to schedule a chemical peel. Here are 7 more:

  1. Increase the production of collagen
  2. Improve minor acne scars and treat existing acne
  3. Correct surface aging problems
  4. Reduce fine lines
  5. Reveal softer, smoother skin
  6. Un-clog pores
  7. Remove sun spots, freckles, and blotches

During your peel, your skin will feel warm. You may also feel slight stinging, or burning. After your peel, your skin will feel a bit dry and tight, and may be red for an hour or so. Your skin will be sensitive to the sun, so you must be extra diligent about using a good sunscreen.

Call to schedule a consultation appointment and let us de-mystify the various types of peels we offer, and help you determine which one would be best for your unique skin type and conditions. You may want to enhance your peel with another procedure, such as a Botox treatment or a dermal filler. Don’t wait! Call, today: (828) 526-3783.

It’s Possible to Maintain a Youthful Look into Your 50’s & Beyond

 Medi-Spa Services Highlands, NCAging gracefully doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact, one of our goals here at the Center For Plastic Surgery is to help everyone age as well and gracefully as possible. If you have reached that point in your life, maybe around your 50’s, where you are looking in the mirror and wondering where your youth went, then let us help you find it again. Although we won’t be able to take you back more than a few decades,  we can reverse considerable aging of your skin, face and body.

Watch Your Skin Care

If your skin care regimen has not  maintained your skin looking young and radiant, then it is time for a medical grade system that will reverse everything that has happened to it. If you have maintained most of your skin’s youthful properties, you may just need to modify a few things to keep it looking healthy and young. Frequently, we don’t realize how our skin is aging until it actually requires a lot of work to reverse the problems. That is why we suggest adding retinol to basic skin care of a gentle cleanser, pH balancer, exfoliant and sun block at about 30 years of age. This can markedly help reduce fine lines and wrinkles later on.

Try Fillers and Botox

If you haven’t already, give fillers and Botox a try. Both of these injectables are great at reversing early facial aging without having to undergo surgery. Plus, because they are more affordable than surgery, they may be a good jumping off point. Botox is also one of the mainstays of preventing wrinkles by correcting the imbalance between thinning skin and increasing muscle function, one of the main contributors to wrinkles and crinkles. Once wrinkles are present, fillers are important also in reversing the problem without laser or peels.

Consider Surgery

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a surgical lift; whether it be a forehead lift, eye tuck or something else. In fact, it’s the best way to get long-lasting results. Our present procedures are easier and have a faster recovery than those in the past.

As you can see, we have more than a few ways to help you maintain or get your youthful look back. To learn more about these and other options, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office by calling us at (828) 526-3783.

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