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209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

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Understanding Skin Aging Leads to Beautiful Skin

Understanding Skin Aging Leads to Beautiful Skin

Over the years, we have come to understand  aging of the skin and how we can interact with this process to lead us to beautiful skin for much longer. Not long ago, we had only two options: age naturally or undergo plastic surgery to tighten weak, sagging tissue. The development of scientific based skin care, laser treatments, injectables, and even some plastic surgery procedures is still relatively recent. These techniques and technologies have become common and could only be created from a place of knowledge. Sure, skin aging is, to some extent, related to simple biology. However, from the study of twins with different lifestyles or different treatments, we have learned there are other factors involved. The more we understand them, the better we get at maintaining beauty at every age.

Hereditary factors are outside of our control. When we look at how our parents, siblings, and grandparents have aged, we get a good idea of how our process may go. Beyond that, though, we can alter our course by developing good habits and, when necessary, getting professional help.

Sun Exposure

It has become apparent from research that the sun ages the skin. As we have learned about the sun’s effect on the skin, we have also learned about the sun. The part of the sun responsible for the damage and aging is UVA, which is present all day, all year, and at every latitude. SPF does not let us know about protection from sun aging, only UVB and sun burn. We, therefore, need to apply a zinc oxide sunblock every day and reapply it if we wash or rub it off. Other sunscreens need to be applied every hour if outside or every 2 hours if indoors. It’s impossible to stay out of the sun. Even if we could, it would not be good for our health. The body needs a small dose of sunshine each day to produce vitamin D, which is essential for good immunity and bone strength. We also need it for proper sleep. Fortunately, we can get all we need even wearing sunblock.

Diet

We know that what we eat will affect our weight and our long-term health. We may minimize salt consumption to reduce our risk of heart disease. We may limit our sugar intake so we don’t gain too much weight. These habits are also good for the skin. Sugar and salt contribute to puffiness and inflammation that can cause skin sensitivities and premature aging. Skin-supporting foods include fresh fruits, leafy greens, lean protein, and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, things good for you in general.

Smoking

Smoking, tobacco use, or vaping inhibits the oxygenation of tissues, including the lungs, other vital organs, and the skin. It does this by causing blood vessels to narrow. This reduces the production of collagen and elastin that firm and smooth the skin. It also reduces the repair system. Essentially smoking overwhelms the body’s regenerative processes and speeds aging.

Skin Care

Most people do skin care based on what their mother or a friend told them, what they have read, or what some company making skin care products have told them. One of the major changes over the last few decades is a scientific understanding of what proper skin care is and how to improve our skin. We don’t need most of what we are told we do. We need a cleanser, a pH balancer, an exfoliant and a sunblock as the basics. Moisturizers are, in fact, the worst thing we have ever done to our skin. Once we get to 25-30 we also need a retinol or tretinoin (Retin-A) and Obagi’s ELASTIderm to stimulate production of collagen and elastin respectively, as the body stops producing them naturally at about that age. If you have severe damage, we also now have treatment options based on science, though even some physicians are still peddling quackery.

What you do daily will affect your skin’s aging process. However, you don’t have to tackle aging on your own. In our Highlands, NC office, we offer a full complement of skin care and rejuvenation services as well as non-surgical treatments like Botox, fillers, and micro peels, which we include in our arsenal of skin care services. See how we can address your aging skin. Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule a visit with us.

Exploring Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Anyone who has ever tried to lose body fat knows how difficult it can be to do without a lot of help. Eating the proper foods and exercising regularly are good and necessary for optimal health. They aren’t always the ticket to the slim body contours a person wants, though. At some point, many people hit a plateau that they can’t seem to overcome. Furthermore, fat loss does not happen uniformly, frequently from inherited tendencies so some areas of the body may reduce better than others. This is why there has been such a strong interest in surgical liposuction and nonsurgical fat reduction in recent years.

Examples of Nonsurgical Fat Reduction Body Contouring

Historically, body contouring has been achieved with liposuction and other shaping procedures like abdominoplasty. Now, we have several ways to reduce areas of excess fat without surgery. Common examples of nonsurgical fat reduction include:

  • Injectable lipolysis. This is better known as Kybella, the injectable treatment that breaks down fat cells under the chin with deoxycholic acid. Though we have used Kybella, we find it more uncomfortable, more unpredictable, and slower to achieve results than liposuction and have abandoned it.
  • Many people know cryolipolysis as CoolSculpting. This method of reducing fat works by freezing fat cells, causing crystals to destroy them. The body flushes these cells over several weeks. This, however, is quite uncomfortable and has a tendency for the removed fat to rebound
  • Laser lipolysis destroys fat cells by heating them, leading to destruction. This, however, is more of a surgical procedure than regular liposuction.
  • Radiofrequency lipolysis also heats fat cells through the skin. We have found it minimally reliable.
  • Unlike other forms of fat reduction, Zerona disrupts fat cells using low-levels of cold-laser technology. This energy causes the fat cells to release the stored fat, is totally painless and somewhat more reliable than the other non-surgical modalities. This is what we use for our patients.

As you can see, each of these treatments works through unique technologies and techniques. Individual results can vary within any one of these modalities. Most forms of nonsurgical fat reduction offer some degree of gradual improvement over a few months. While none are intended for weight loss, each can result in a slimmer physique and better-fitting clothes. Also, none require downtime.

The Real Question to Ask

Many people procrastinate in getting treatment that can achieve their desired result because, with so many options, it’s difficult to know which one is right. This isn’t the real question. All you need to do is decide that you have done all you can with dietary and lifestyle modifications and that you still have some areas you would like to change. You then discuss with Dr. Buchanan how to achieve your desired outcome. Zerona nonsurgical treatment is ideal for larger to medium sized areas of excess fat. For small areas, minimally-invasive liposuction is frequently the best path to a better body.

We are here to help you find your way to your best self. To learn more about body contouring in our Highlands, NC office, call (828) 526-3783.

MedSpa Services can Get You Holiday-Ready in a Flash

Medi-Spa Services Highlands, NCWe all have different times that mark the beginning of the holiday season. For some, that mark has just passed. This means the next month may be a flurry of activity. If you’ve told yourself every year that you are going to be fully prepared for your holiday appearances and have not managed to meet your expectations, we’ve got a way to make this year different.

The Center for Plastic Surgery in Highlands, NC also has a fully-established medical spa. In our facility, clients can explore several treatments that can refresh their skin well in advance of that first holiday gathering. What is so wonderful about medical spa treatments is that they take so little time you can schedule your visit right in the middle of your holiday shopping.

How Can You Gift Yourself Well?

Medical spa treatments are widely varied. This allows every person of just about every age, from teens to seniors, to find a bit of pampering in the midst of seasonal mayhem. Consider how the following treatments might make your season a little brighter.

Refreshers for the Skin

You may not need a full overhaul to gain a sense of satisfaction with your skin. Perhaps a nice exfoliating treatment would do the trick. Options include:

  • Chemical peels (our micro peel service). Proprietary ingredients can be applied to dislodge debris and dead cells from the skin. A light peel won’t keep you from your busy day.
  • During this hour-long appointment, the provider passes a small wand over the skin. Abrasives on the want gently and painlessly remove debris and dead cells. No downtime is needed after microdermabrasion.

Rejuvenating and Contouring

The last thing anyone wants for their holiday season is to look tired or angry. Anti-aging treatments don’t have to be complicated to get results. Many of the treatments we offer work quickly and incur no downtime. These include:

  • Botox injections to ease frown lines or lift the brow. Or both!
  • Juvederm Voluma to restore plumpness and contouring to the cheeks.
  • Juvederm Volbella to fill in tiny lines around the mouth or other areas. This product is also commonly used for lip enhancement.
  • Juvederm Vollure to smooth lines and creases around the nose and mouth.

There’s time to be ready for the holidays this year. We can help. Give us a call at (828) 526-3783 to schedule your no downtime treatment.

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