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

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Feel Young, Look Young

Feel Young, Look Young

beauty restAre you feeling younger than you look? Aging does tend to play tricks on us. Feeling young at heart and in spirit is wonderful, especially if your look matches the way you feel. Take heart – here are a few simple things you can do to restore your youthful appearance:

Get Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep deprivation puts you on the fast track to premature aging. Staying well rested will help you look younger and feel more energetic.

Whiten Your Smile
A bright smile will help you look younger. Try over the counter whitening strips or visit your dentist for professional whitening.

Change Your “Do”
Highlights can make your face look younger. Face framing layers and bangs can cover forehead wrinkles. Avoid drastic color changes, however, which can make you look older.

Tone Down Your Makeup
Wearing too much makeup is one of the fastest ways to look older than you are. Keep your make-up light and natural. Heavy foundation and powder settle into your lines and wrinkles. Switch from matte lipstick to a pink gloss to make your lips look younger and fuller.

Get A New Bra
A good bra can do wonders for a more youthful profile. Choose one that lifts and supports.

Care For Your Skin
Protect your skin by washing it gently using an alpha/beta hydroxy cleanser, apply a pH balancer like Vitamin-C Serum, use an 8% Zinc Oxide sunblock daily and throw away your moisturizer. The sooner you start taking proper care of your skin, the longer you’ll be able to maintain a youthful glow. Don’t forget your neck when you’re using these products.

Try Botox
Botox is a low-risk way to reduce the appearance of brow lines, forehead wrinkles, and crow’s feet as well as improve the appearance of the eyes. You’ll need repeat injections every 3-6 months to maintain your wrinkle-free look.

Try A Filler
Fillers can restore lost fullness to your face, reduce or eliminate wrinkles, lines and folds and return a youthful appearance to your lips. A youthful profile has full cheeks with a smooth “S” like curve from the eye to the chin.

We invite you to call our office to schedule a consultation appointment to learn more about the many treatments we offer. Now is the perfect time to change your look and get your best face on.

Microdermabrasion De-Mystified

MicrodermabrasionIf tighter, smoother facial skin is on your “beauty” wish-list but you are a bit timid about injections or invasive surgical procedures, a Microdermabrasion treatment may be right for you.

Exactly what is Microdermabrasion?
To break it down, micro means very small or tiny; derm has to do with the skin (as in “dermatologist”); to abrade means to wear down or rub away (like sandpaper). Added together, we find Microdermabrasion defined as “a cosmetic procedure in which rough facial skin is removed by the application of a fine abrasive.”

During a Microdermabrasion procedure, the very thin, top layer of your facial skin (the epidermis) is abraded with a high-pressure spray of tiny crystals which are then vacuumed away. The procedure diminishes the appearance of fine line, wrinkles, discoloration, scars and other blemishes. Microdermabrasion removes dead skin, uncovering a smoother, glowing, more youthful surface. The beauty of microdermabrasion is that your body recognizes the damage done to the epidermis, and it quickly works to replace the lost skin cells with new, healthier cells. Microdermabrasion is designed to treat only the epidermis. The tiny crystals do not affect your lower skin layer, the dermis.

What are the benefits of Microdermabrasion?
The benefits of Microdermabrasion are very similar to those of chemical peels. Skin discoloration is removed, as well as many signs of aging, scars and sun damage. Your skin will look and feel smoother and softer. Additionally, your skin-care products will be more effective following Microdermabrasion, as your new skin is more receptive to topical treatments.

We look forward to meeting you and explaining the effects of a Microdermabrasion treatment at the Center for Plastic Surgery. The procedure is done as an outpatient procedure in our office, with literally no down time.

Call today, to schedule an appointment: (828) 526-3783.

What Do You Know About Wrinkles?

If you are a man or woman “of a certain age,” the aging of your body and skin manifests itself in countless ways, facial wrinkles being one of the most visible and obvious.

Why wrinkles?

What’s the main causes of wrinkly skin? The sun’s UV and UVB rays resulting in an unbalance between the skin and the underlying muscles that, in the face, are attached to the skin.

How does this happen? The sun’s UVA rays cause a loss of your skin’s connective tissues including collagen and elastic tissue making your skin thinner, less elastic and much more vulnerable to wrinkles which are the result. More importantly, repeated, unprotected sun exposure can cause skin cancer. Additionally, the effects of the sun’s damaging rays are cumulative over your lifetime.

Most wrinkles appear around the eyes, eyebrows and mouth. This is because of repeated facial expressions, such as frowning and smiling. Smiling is a good thing, but worrying is not. Those frown lines don’t need extra help to deepen!

What helps? Here are 7 things to consider:

facial rejuvenationWrinkles are a natural result of aging, that’s true, but there are some things you can do to prevent or reduce them:

1.  Sunscreen is critically important but it doesn’t do any good in a drawer. Be sure to choose a product that contains at least 8% zinc oxide and re-apply it whenever you rub or wash it off (other products are OK, but need to be reapplied hourly outside and every 2 hours indoors). Don’t forget your hands and neck.

2. Stay away from tanning beds. They use UVA, the damaging part of sun rays.

3. Be gentle. Don’t scrub your skin with a rough cloth; don’t rub and pull at your skin; use an easy touch when applying makeup, especially around the eye area.

4.Use a retinol cream applied daily, especially after 30 years of age to reduce loss of collagen. If you are in your 50’s or older and haven’t been using a retinol, you probably need tretinoin (Retin-A).

5. Consider adding Obagi ELASTIderm® that converts some of the collagen to elastic tissue. This is especially true the older you are.

6. If you smoke, quit. Smoking greatly accelerates the aging process and causes wrinkles to appear prematurely.

7. Consider injectables, like Juvederm and Botox, if your wrinkles are deep and pronounced.

Today is the beginning…the rest of your life awaits you! Give Dr. Buchanan a call and request your complementary consultation 828.526.3783.

How to Get Baby Smooth Skin In Your 50’s and 60’s and Beyond

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCIf you have children, grandchildren, or just like taking care of your friend’s children then you know there’s one thing everybody wishes they had that a baby does; smooth skin. A baby’s skin is ineviable because it’s not only flaw-free, but it is also hydrated and soft— something we all wish for. As we age, our skin starts to lose collagen and elastin in it which makes it more wrinkly and less smooth. If you are in your 50’s and 60’s and can’t seem to get the soothe skin that you want, we have non-invasive ways to help. Let’s take a closer look at how.

Tretinoin (Retin-A®) & ELASTIderm®

One reason that young skin looks so good is that all the cells are continually working to rebuild collagen (the main substance of the support layer) and elastin (the part that makes the skin elastic). With sun exposure, this process gets harder and harder and, after about 30 years of age, the cells that rebuild these simply stop working unless they are stimulated. There are several ways to stimulate them such as some lasers and micro needling, but the easiest and best way is to is a good skin care system including Tretinoin (Retin-A®) & Obagi® ELASTIderm®. The former stimulates collagen to thicken the skin and the latter stimulates elastic tissue. By using these over all the movable facial skin you can significantly retain a softer, more hydrated and more elastic skin.

Botox

Fine lines and wrinkles don’t just happen on your cheeks and around your mouth. In fact, most people notice their first wrinkle on their forehead or around their eyes. With injections of a neurotoxin that reduces muscle function like Botox, we can help to reduce the formation of fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and forehead and leave you with a more baby-like complexion.

Fillers

Fillers like Juvederm are designed to do exactly as their name suggests; fill in fine lines and wrinkles. Made from hyaluronic acid (a naturally occurring substance in the body used to build collagen) these two fillers can also help add volume and contour to your cheeks and around your mouth. They are useful especially if you already have wrinkles that are present when the underlying muscles are relaxed. With thin skin and multiple wrinkles, the filer can be placed directly under the dermis (the collagen containing support layer of the skin) to thicken it make it harder to wrinkle. The body can use some of this hyaluronic acid to make new collagen, leaving you feeling and looking one step closer to having baby-like skin.

MicroPeels

Another way to get that baby perfect skin is getting frequent micro peels. Your skin type and your exact issues of concern will help determine what type of peel will be best for you. MicroPeels work by targeting the top layer of your skin removing the outer dead cell layer that has been created by time and sun exposure leaving healthier, brighter skin in the process. They also get rid of external weight that tends to increase the incidence of wrinkles.

Having that smooth baby skin doesn’t have to be an unattainable fantasy. With the help of our staff at the  Center For Plastic Surgery, we have a variety of both non-invasive and surgical procedures we can use to help you get a more youthful glow. To learn more, schedule a consultation at our Highland’s office by calling us at (828) 526-3783.

Myths about the Sun and Protection from it:

We all think we know about the sun, what it does to us and how to protect ourselves from it. Unfortunately, most of us really do not know what we need to know. A great deal of this is because most of the people who write about this and even many Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons keep repeating information that has been outdated for years. Though you may think that this is implausible, several studies have shown that it takes an average of 13 years before a new discovery is adopted into general usage. Unfortunately, it has already taken well over 20 years to adopt new knowledge about the sun and how to protect from it, and it has still not been generally accepted. The following are some widely held myths:

SPF is what you need to look for in selecting a Sunscreen.

SPF is a designation designed to tell you how well the sunscreen protects from sunburn. It has no bearing on whether it protects you from sun damage that causes skin cancer and aging, however. Sunburn is caused by UVB that is absorbed by everything, including your skin. This is the reason it causes a burn (all the energy is concentrated in the outer skin layer) and is present twice as much in the summer as the winter, at noon as morning and evening and in Florida as in North Dakota (because of atmospheric absorption). Since it is UVA that is absorbed into all layers of the skin and causes cellular damage resulting in skin cancers and aging, you need a way to tell if what you are using does that. SPF does not do this.

All sunscreens protect from damaging rays equally.

Since December of 2013, any product labeled as a sunscreen or sunblock have to protect from both UVA and UVB. Any product that simply puts an SPF on the label but does not claim to be a sunscreen or sunblock does not necessarily have any UVA protection and any that it does have is usually short lived. Even those that are approved as sunscreens are not all equal in the protection provided. There is a long list of chemical sunscreens and the manufacturer can use a mixture of them. Some are better than others. The one thing they all share is that they only last about an hour if you are outside or 2 hours if you are inside since the sun actually deactivates them. The physical sunblocks are zinc, titanium and iron oxide. They all protect from both UVA and UVB and last until washed or rubbed off. However, zinc is by far the best, protecting maximally over a larger spectrum and is the easiest to apply.

You only need to use it when you “go out in the sun.”

This, again, is based on what we previously knew about UVB. Since UVB is immediately absorbed rather than being reflected, it is much less strong in the shade or inside. Besides, many modern windows block UVB. None really block UVA, which is present almost equally all day, all year, at all latitudes and even inside and in the shade. We, therefore, need to protect from it all the time every day. This requires the proper sunblock and sun protective clothing.

Something other than an applied sunscreen or sun protective clothing will protect you,

There have been many claims over the years. Most recently, several companies have marketed either a pill or something to drink that is supposed to protect you from sun damage. None of these products work, and the FDA has recently warned these companies to stop making such claims.

For proper sun protection, we suggest:

Since zinc oxide provides the widest spectrum of maximum protection and lasts as long as it remains in place, this is, not only the best, but the most practical. Probably the main reason it has not been adopted better is another myth, “it is that white stuff the lifeguards used to wear on their noses.” A recent health writer even bemoaned that we did not have a reasonable sunblock or “something other than that white stuff.” The fact is that it has not been “white” for well over 20 years and rubs in clear but provides superb protection. Instead of looking for SPF, we recommend that you simply look at the ingredients and buy one with at least 8% zinc oxide. This will give you all the UVA and UVB protection you need. We also suggest that your clothing be sun protective, either bought that way or washed with Rit SunGuard that washes in sun protection for 20 washes. We sell both in the office.

Radiesse® Vs Juvederm Voluma®, What’s the Difference?


dermal fillers Highlands, NC
Let’s face it: unless you’re a teenager trying to pass for 21, no matter how old you are, you want to look younger. Because aging gracefully is now more attainable than ever, there are a variety of surgical and non-invasive treatments that we offer patients here at the Center for Plastic Surgery. Whether you’re in your twenties or significantly older, fillers are one of the most popular noninvasive procedures that we use to help soften fine lines and wrinkles and add more volume to the face and lips.

Two similar injectables that we have offered here at our office to add volume to the cheeks, under-eye, pre-jowl, and nose are Radiesse and Juvederm Voluma. Although both of these injectables are fillers designed for the same problem, they are different. These differences have caused us to prefer one over the other. Let’s take a closer look.

Radiesse®

Radiesse has been used for cosmetic purposes since 2005 and was the first soft tissue filler that was heavy enough to elevate the deep tissue and help with volume loss under the eye, in the cheeks, and in the pre-jowl area. Made from calcium hydroxylapatite— a naturally occurring compound in the body used in cleft palate repair in children for many years— Radiesse works on two levels. When it is initially injected, it works to automatically add more volume to the area but it also works to encourage your body’s natural production of collagen— which helps make the results last longer than other fillers before it. The average longevity is 18 months. Its biggest drawback is its lack of reversibility.

Juvederm Voluma®

Here at our office, we offer a variety of  Juvederm fillers used for different purposes, but we are going to focus on Juvederm Voluma. Voluma hasn’t been around for as long as Radiesse but took off when it was released in 2014 because of its safety and longevity. Made from hyaluronic acid, also a naturally occurring substance but reversible, Voluma works the same as Radiesse by filling deep spaces to help add more volume. It, too, unlike any other filler other than Radiesse, is heavy enough to support the tissues. It lasts a minimum of 2 years and we have seen it last well beyond 3 years. Because the price per month of longevity is less than Radiesse and, because of its reversibility making it safer, it is now our preferred filler for volume replacement. We combine it with the other Juvederm products to give you the best results for whatever problem you have that fillers can correct.

If you want to learn more about fillers, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office today by calling us at (828) 526-3783.

Forehead Lift VS. Botox®: How to Decide Which One is Right For You

Forehead Lift Highlands, NCAs a patient, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to look at all of the cosmetic procedures that are available to you. However, here at the Center For Plastic Surgery, we make it our goal to make sure that all of our patients feel confident and informed each and every time they are seen. Two procedures that some of our patients have a hard time choosing between are either a forehead lift or Botox. So, what are the differences and how can you decide which one is right for you?

Botox

If you suffer from fine lines and wrinkles across your forehead and around your eyes— welcome to the aging club. Botox can correct these and also elevate the brow as long as the tissues can be held up against gravity. Because of this, Botox has remained one of the most popular non-invasive procedures amongst patients desiring to rejuvenate the brow and peri-orbital area because it is fast, safe, and frequently very effective. Also, because it’s non-invasive, you don’t have to worry about recovery time. The major drawback is that it only lasts an average of 3-6 months and there are some patients that are just not candidates.

Forehead Lift

If you are looking for something that’s a little more permanent than Botox, then a surgical procedure like a forehead lift may be right for you. It is also indicated if the brow is so lax that the forehead muscles cannot elevate it once the muscles pulling it down are eliminated.

When it really comes to choosing between something non-invasive like Botox and something surgical like a forehead lift, it comes down to the type of procedure you want and the results you desire. During your initial consultation, we will help determine which one of these procedures (or even another procedure) is going to give you the best results possible to meet your needs.

Are you ready to learn more about these and other procedures? Schedule your consultation at our Highlands office today by calling (828) 526-3783.

Ring In the New Year with a New You

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCA new year is all about trying new things and investing in yourself. Although it’s important to make resolutions to better yourself financially, mentally, spiritually, socially, and personally, it’s also beneficial to make sure that you’re taking care of your body and physical appearance as well. Make this the year of trying new non-surgical face and body procedures and looking the best body you had in a long time. Let’s take a closer look at some options.

Botox

If you haven’t discovered Botox yet, make 2018 the year that you do. Whether you’re in your 20’s or 80’s Botox is popular for a variety of reasons including its ability to temporarily soften fine lines and wrinkles while returning you to a more youthful look including, frequently, a change in the relationship of the brows and eyes, the areas around the mouth or bands in the neck.

Zerona

If you can’t get rid of that extra fat around your stomach, upper thighs, flanks or buttocks, you are certainly not alone. As we age, our body starts to store fat in places which makes it hard to get rid of it no matter how much kale you eat and how much exercise you do. Put down those leafy greens and take a seat for a minute while we tell you about Zerona, a non-invasive procedure that uses a laser to target and reduce your fat cells, leaving you with a slimmer body in just a few sessions. So, if getting a slimmer body is on your list of new year’s resolutions, let Zerona give you a hand.

Fillers

Fillers are popular for a variety of different reasons including their obvious ability to temporarily fill fine lines and wrinkles around your nose, cheeks, chin, eyes, forehead and mouth. But, surprise, surprise, that’s not all fillers are good for. In fact, fillers can be used to add volume to your lips or improve their contour, reduce the bags under your eyes and help add contour and definition to your cheeks. Here at the Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer patients a variety of different fillers depending on your needs.

Whether you are interested in Botox, Zerona, fillers, or anything else to improve your appearance, see us at our Highlands office, schedule your consultation today!

3 Reasons to Get an Obagi Blue Peel

Obagi Blue Peel® Highlands, NC

Hopefully, everyone knows basic skin care and what you should be doing for your skin every day: washing your face with an alpha or beta hydroxyl cleanser, applying a pH balancer, preferably one that is also an antioxidant such as Vitamin-C Serum, and wearing a greater than 8% zinc oxide sunscreen. Traditional superficial peels can also help keep your skin radiant. For fine wrinkles and crinkles you should add tretinoin (Retin-A) and Obagi®’s ELASTIderm®. However, if this is not working fast or well enough, there is an answer. A type of chemical peel that we offer here at the Center For Plastic Surgery, the Obagi Blue Peel, is safe and effective. This article will list three reasons why you should consider getting an Obagi Blue Peel. Read on to learn more.

It’s Different Than Other Peels

Most chemical peels that you get at traditional day spas use glycolic acid. Although glycolic acid peels are great at helping get rid of dullness and some color irregularity, they sometimes aren’t as strong as our patients like. Made from trichloroacetic acid, the Obagi Blue chemical peel is stronger and works to correct areas of concern that even a facelift cannot. Additionally, it is much safer than other trichloroacetic acid or phenol/croton oil peels because of the unique blue dye in the preparation that more accurately identifies the depth that the peel has reached, thus allowing better control of the result.

It’s More Effective

As previously mentioned, because the Obagi Blue Peel is a stronger peel than glycolic peels, it can reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and some scars and help with overall skin tone. It actually peels the entire epidermis and into the dermis (the skin’s support layer), removing superficial wrinkles and crinkles. All the other peels do is remove the top layer of the epidermis, well above what causes the wrinkles. If you haven’t gotten the results that you have wanted from a glycolic or lactic acid peel alone, then the Obagi Blue Peel may be worth looking into.

It’s Non-Surgical

If your age has started to take a toll on your appearance, but you aren’t quite ready for a facelift, then you may want to consider an Obagi Blue Peel. This can actually do things for the face that surgery can’t.

Our Obagi Blue Peel is a medium-strength chemical peel, designed to help patients look and feel younger. If you would like to learn more about this peel or schedule an appointment, contact Center For Plastic Surgery today!

Treatment of Brown & Red Spots with IPL

Ellipse 2

Sun damage produces a number of skin changes, the most common of which are red and brown spots. The brown spots vary from generalized “freckles” to scattered small spots to larger spots. Genes and hormones may contribute to larger dark areas called melasma. The red caused by sun damage is a form of “rosacea,” or “red skin,” more properly called telangiectasia. It is essentially an abnormal increase of the small capillary blood vessels just under the skin. Another type of rosacea is natural flushing, or dilatation of those normal capillaries due to heat, drinking, exercise or other stimulus. Frequently, with good skin care, when you remove the thick outer layer of the skin, also caused by sun damage, the underlying red is exposed making it appear darker. An IPL can be used to treat both these problems.

What is an IPL and how does it work?

An IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is a laser like machine. However, instead of producing a single wavelength of light, it produces a spectrum of wavelengths. This allows it to target several areas where the target absorbs light and avoid having to use a very strong light pulse that can injure areas that are not targeted. For instance, Hemoglobin, the target when treating small vessels, absorbs light at 418, 542 and 577 nm (nanometers, a measurement of the wavelength of light). No laser puts out just one of those. The Ellipse IPL, on one setting, emits light from 400-620 nm, thus encompassing all absorption areas, allowing it to work at a lower power setting, thus causing less discomfort and less risk of injury to anything other than what is being treated. Melanin, the target in brown spots absorbs between 550-950 nm. Another setting of the Ellipse IPL targets this spectrum and does not extend above 1000 nm where water in all cells absorbs the light, thus not causing heat damage to the skin.

What is the Treatment and Recovery?

Treatment consists of exposing the area to be treated to the light using a rectangular lens placed on the skin. Each treatment takes from 10-20 minutes. It is slightly uncomfortable when administered, but all discomfort resolves in about 5 minutes. There is usually some increased redness when treating red that lasts about 4-6 hours. When treating brown spots, they generally turn darker. Some or all of the red fades in 2-3 weeks. The brown spots either fall off or also fade over the same time period. Any residual can be treated again in 3-4 weeks. To completely remove the problem may take 1-6 treatments, depending on the severity of the problem and your individual response. Although possible, blisters or other skin irritation is extremely rare, unlike with treatment of these problems with a laser. Most people can return to normal activities immediately after treatment.

Other uses of the IPL

The IPL can also be used to treat more severe sun damage like actinic keratoses. When this is done, the involved area is treated with amino levulinic acid that is absorbed over 6-18 hours into the severely sun damaged cell and converted to a porphyrin that has a very high affinity for blue light. The skin is then treated with high doses of blue light (400-500 nm). Because only the severely sun damaged cells contain the porphyrin and absorb the blue light, only those cells are superheated by the light energy and destroyed. This method is as effective as using chemotherapy like 5FU (Efudex, Fluroplex) and imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara), but, instead of taking 6 weeks or more, treatment takes only a day and recovery only a week or so for the places to crust and fall off.

Because active Acne areas are inflamed and also absorb amino levulinic acid, a similar treatment is available for severe Acne not controlled by standard means.

 If you are bothered by any of these problems, call The Center for Plastic Surgery to see if an IPL treatment can help you.