Call Us Now!

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

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

Facebook IconGoogle Plus IconTwitter IconRealSelf Icon

What Do You Know About Wrinkles?

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.


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 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.


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.

Looking to Up Your Skincare? Why You Should Consider Epionce

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCIf you read fashion magazines, watch daytime television, or look at fashion blogs online, then you probably get your fair dose of skin care ads. However, with so many options available, it can sometimes seem overwhelming to choose a skin care product line and regimen that’s suited to you, your age, and your skin type.

Here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we know just how important good skin care is which is why we offer a number of unique systems, one of which is Epionce.

What’s Epionce?

This four-phase basic skin care system is designed to cleanse, renew and fortify, protect and prevent sun damage, and strengthen the skin’s own mechanisms. Plus, because it’s made with botanical ingredients, you won’t have to worry about adding any harmful chemicals to your skin. The goal of Epionce is to strengthen your skin to improve function, restore the barrier, and reverse any destructive skin inflammation or issues.

As a skin care system that is sold exclusively to physicians and skin care professionals, you know that you will get comprehensive results from Epionce. Plus, as an evidence-based system, we have seen our patients get real results that are worth bragging about every time.

Who Is It For?

Epionce is a system that’s primarily beneficial for patients with minimal sun damage who are looking for basic skin care products. During your appointment with Dr. Buchanan or our aesthetician at the Center For Plastic Surgery, we will go over your skin’s current condition and the results you are hoping to see to help you decide if Epionce is right for you!

Healthy, clear, youthful skin starts with a good skincare routine. Our Epionce skin care system is great at hydrating, firming, and cleansing the skin and protecting it from any further sun damage.

Are you ready to learn more about Epionce and whether or not it’s right for you? Contact our Highlands office today and call: (828) 526-3783.

Going to be Outside a Lot? How to Keep Your Skin Protected

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCWith nicer weather, it is highly likely that we all will be out in the sun more. Though we need to protect ourselves and our families at all times since the UVA Aging Rays of the sun are present even in the shade and indoors, we need to be especially careful when we are directly in the sun.  Therefore, we thought we would create a list of best practices that will keep your skin protected. Let’s take a closer look.

Wear Sunscreen

The best — let’s repeat that again — the best thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen each and every day, rain or shine. Make sure you are applying sunscreen to every part of your body that is not thoroughly covered with sun protective clothing. Since there is a huge difference in sunscreens, make sure you are wearing the right one. There are 2 ways to get full effective coverage for both UVA and UVB. One is to use a combination of chemical sunscreens including avobenzine. The other is to use Zinc Oxide, a physical sunblock. The difference is that the chemical sunscreens are effective for only about an hour outside and perhaps 2 hours indoors. Zinc Oxide, which now goes on clear, however, is effective until you wash or rub it off. It, therefore, is practical and our recommendation. Using a sunblock with at least 8% Zinc Oxide gives you all the UVA and UVB (SPF) protection you need.

Try Self-Tanning Creams and Sprays

A lot of people think that because their skin is light and it hasn’t seen the sun in a few months, that they should get it ready and hit the tanning bed. However, tanning beds are basically a path toward skin cancer (Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists call them “skin cancer machines”). Skip the skin cancer and give your skin the extra glow by trying some sunless tanning cream or spray.

Cover Up

Another way to keep your skin shielded and protected? Cover it with a big hat and clothes. Hats are not perfect, but they do reduce some of the sun that gets to your face. Clothes are far from perfect either. Most only slow the UVA rays a little bit. There are, however, 2 things you can do to improve the effectiveness of clothing. One is to buy specific sun protective clothing. These are available at the Highland Hiker and other stores that sell sporting clothing. You can also wash the clothes you already own with Rit SunGuard, available at our office, on the net and some stores, once every 6 months.

Taking good care of your skin when out in the sun doesn’t have to be difficult. With these easy tips, you can, hopefully, keep your skin healthier and younger for longer. To learn more about skin care tips, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office today (828) 526-3783.

Is Good Skin Care Really Worth It?

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCIt can seem like there is a marketing scheme for just about anything— especially skin care. Use this, and it will make you instantly younger. Put this on your skin, and your wrinkles will vanish. And, even though there are some skin care products out there that claim to do things that they will never do, here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we recommend skin care products that we can stand by.

But is skin care something that’s worth investing in or is your money better spent elsewhere? Let’s take a closer look.


Everyone, no matter your age or your skin’s condition, needs 3 basic things, an alpha or beta hydroxyl cleanser to remove the outer dry dead cell layer, a pH balancer to restore the skin’s normal function, and a UVA sunblock for protection. Although all are important, if there’s one thing you cannot be without, it is the proper sunscreen, your skin’s defense against skin aging and cancer development. The ideal sunscreen is zinc oxide, at least 8%, every day, rain or shine. It also has enough SPF to protect you from UVB and does not have to be reapplied every 1-2 hours like the other UVA blocks. Notice nothing was said about a moisturizer. That is because it is something that most people use but shouldn’t, as it actually dries the skin and weights it causing wrinkles. None of these are expensive but all significantly help maintain youthful skin.

Face Cream

Further skin care should address specific problems like spots, abnormal vasculature and/or wrinkles. It is within this arena that most skin care products make a claim of
efficacy. However, you must realize that the skin is exceptionally good at doing its job and keeping things out. For a product to work to restore problems, it must penetrate to the cellular level in order to correct spots, reduce wrinkles or improve the skin’s health in general. Most products simply sit on the top and disguise the problem, like collagen and hyaluronic acid that are the new ”magic ingredients” but whose molecules are so large they could NEVER penetrate to where they could work. There are, however, a number of products that can penetrate to the cellular level to change the injured skin cells and correct the problems. Additionally, some have been specifically formulated to penetrate to achieve your goals. We have specifically studied this problem and recommend only products that can get your skin to where you want it.

In addition to using the above, some problems or the desire for a “quick fix” require other modalities like microdermabrasion, fillers, Botox, chemical peels, laser and/or IPL, all of which can help you look younger in no time.

Ready to learn more about how you can take better care of your skin efficiently without wasted effort or money? Contact us in Highlands today at (877) 526-3784.

Restoring Moisture to Your Skin

restoring moisture to your skin

Now that the weather is cold and the air dry, your skin may be flaking and itching. Although the most common thing people do is lather on a moisturizer, this is really the worst thing you can do to your skin. First, it turns off the skin’s ability to moisturize itself. Additionally, it further adds weight to the skin that increases the development of fine lines and wrinkles. There are things you can do to help your skin moisturize itself and feel smoother. With the help of exfoliators, peels and good skin care, we at the Center for Plastic Surgery can help give your skin that extra boost it needs to feel smoother and more moist.


If you don’t already exfoliate your skin regularly, you need to start as it is the first step in good skin care and allowing your skin to feel moist. Exfoliating with a face scrub, preferably with a handheld device like Clarisonic is one of the best ways for you to get rid of dead, dry skin that accumulate over time from sun exposure and reveal smoother, healthier, more moist skin in the process.


Okay, we aren’t talking about the type of peeling out you did in your car in the parking lot when you were young, although that was a lot of fun. In fact, we are talking about micro-peels. Here at our Center For Plastic Surgery Office, we provide patients with a variety of different peels to help treat and target different skin concerns including dryness, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines, and more. Some are quite refreshing and have absolutely no down time. During your initial consultation with our staff, we will help determine which one of our peels, Radiance, Glycolic, Jessner or Blue (trichloroacetic acid) is the right option for you and your skin.

Improve Your Skincare

If your skin is unusually dry and sensitive to the touch, look at the skincare products you are using on your face. Most of the skin care sold does your skin no good and only attempts to disguise its problems. In fact, most are actually doing your skin harm and are responsible for what most of the symptoms you have, including sensitivity. Good basic skin care consists of an exfoliating (alpha or beta hydroxyl) cleanser, a pH balancer (like Vitamin-C Serum or acidic toner, etc.) and a Zinc Oxide (clear, long lasting, thus practical UVA blocking) sun block. Switching what you are doing to this can frequently make a tremendous difference in how your skin feels. For specific problems, there are also specific solutions that can correct those problems that have developed from doing the wrong thing.

Ready to learn more about how good skin care can markedly improve your skin? Schedule your consultation at our Highlands office today at 877-526-3784!

O is for Obagi: The Benefits of Obagi for Your Skin

Obagi Nu-Derm® Highlands, NCThere are two types of people: those that tell everyone when they’ve found something amazing that they love and those that keep the good news and benefits just for themselves. Lucky for you, we are the first. Once we discover something good, we share it with all of our patients. One of those things? The Obagi Nu-Derm skin care line. If you came to our skin care event last month, you might have learned why we choose Obagi, if not, let’s take a closer look!

One of the main reasons that our patients like to use the Obagi skin care system is that it contains a unique skin bleaching ingredient called hydroquinone. Containing 4% hydroquinone, Obagi works to lighten sun spots, acne scars, freckles, age spots, and melasma. It can also help those with vitiligo, or whitish areas, by lightening the other skin. Depending on your area of concern, our staff at Center For Plastic Surgery will help you choose the right Obagi products depending on the needs of your skin.

Another one of the biggest reasons why our patients rave about Obagi and why we recommend it to patients time after time is for its unique ability to correct other signs of aging such as a loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles as well as pigmentary problems. Although this process is slower than correcting spots, the Obagi system is 2-3 times more effective at doing so than anything else on the market. It is the perfect accompaniment to Botox by reducing or eliminating any wrinkles that Botox does not treat.

The other reason we love this system is that it actually rejuvenates your skin, reverting it to its previous healthy state, not just hiding the problem. Patients notice visibly smoother, clearer, and younger looking skin. It also prevents these issues from reoccurring.

Let’s face it, your skin and your self-esteem go hand in hand. If You have noticed a loss in your self-esteem due to your complexion or signs of aging, Obagi by it self or with other skin care treatments from our office, can help you get your self-esteem back before you know it.

If you would like to learn more about Obagi or to schedule a consultation, contact our Highlands office today!

The Importance of Upkeep

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCKeeping up with the Kardashians is one thing but keeping up with your skin’s health and appearance is a whole other ballgame. No matter what age you are,16 or 86, it’s essential to maintain your skin’s health and appearance both with in-office and at-home treatments. Whether your goal is to fight off wrinkles and/or spots or just to shield your skin from further sun damage, here are a few ways you can achieve these goals.

Fight Off Wrinkles

As we age, several things cause us to develop fine lines and wrinkles. First, we lose volume below the skin and the sun’s UVA rays cause the dermis, the support layer of the skin, to thin. As this happens, wrinkles begin to appear. With thickening of the outer dead cell layer of the skin weighing it down and increased function of the underlying muscles of facial expression, these wrinkles and lines worsen. If you do what you have been taught all your life and put a moisturizer on instead of removing the dry dead cell layer, you simply make the wrinkles worse. Luckily, with the combination of using face creams that contain ingredients like retinol to thicken the dermis and an alpha hydroxyl to remove the dead cells, getting frequent facials to remove the dead cells, using Botox to weaken the muscles and refilling the area under the skin with one of the Juvederm products or fat, you can fight off your wrinkles from the inside out.

Combat Hyperpigmentation or Redness

Exposure to the sun can result in hyperpigmentation and/or increased abnormal vascularity causing redness. Disease processes and hormonal fluxes can also cause pigmentary problems. These can leave you feeling self-conscious and always having to wear foundation to hide them. Luckily, with good skin care, frequent facial treatments such as microdermabrasion, facials or peels and/or IPL treatments we can correct these problems, leaving you with a more even complexion and a younger look.

Prevent Further Damage

One of the harshest things on your skin is no other than the sun itself. Not only can sun damage put you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, but it can also cause premature wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, redness and other damage. We encourage our patients to wear a daily sunblock containing zinc oxide since it is impossible to stay out of the sun, even indoors. The new (actually over 20 years old) zinc oxide sunblocks are practical since you need to apply them only once or twice a day and they go on clear. The only other sunblock that blocks UVA, the cause of the problems, needs to be applied hourly if you are outside or every 2 hours if inside.

Here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we understand the importance of upkeep and offer our patients a wide variety of non-invasive procedures and skin care options. Schedule your consultation with our Highlands office today!

3 Things to Know About UV Rays

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NC

When it comes to protecting your skin from the sun there is a tremendous amount of misinformation on the internet, in published articles and passed from person to person. Most physicians, and even some dermatologists and plastic surgeons, haven’t taken the time to learn all the new information available. We now know that sunscreen is not only your skin’s best defense against getting sunburned, it is vitally important on a daily basis and year around to prevent sun damage and aging. This is because there are two harmful rays. UVB that cause sunBurn and UVA that cause skin cell injury and Aging. This article will list three things for you to know about UVA rays. Read on to learn more.

  1. They Are Present All Day Every Day

Some people assume that if they are going to spend time outside, they should only do so during the early morning or the later afternoon. This is a carryover from thinking only about UVB rays that are 90-95% absorbed by the atmosphere depending on the latitude and time of day and year. They are stronger midday, down south and in the summer. The reason that sunburn occurs is that 70% of UVB rays (basically a form of energy) are absorbed in the outermost layer of the skin. However, UVA rays are present all day, all year and at all latitudes, essentially everywhere you have light from the sun. So, even during those times when you are not likely to get a sunburn, you need to make sure that you are keeping your skin protected with a hat, a UVA blocking sunscreen like the new clear zinc oxide, and protective clothes.

  1. They Can Get In Through the Windows

Many people assume that if they are spending time in the car or indoors that they are automatically shielded from the sun. However, when it comes to the sun, there is no such thing as hiding when there are windows around. In fact, most people get a lot of sun damage from driving down the road or even sitting next to their living room window.

  1. They Cause Direct Tissue Damage

UV rays don’t just cause sunburns and freckles. In fact, the damage that they do penetrates a lot deeper than you may be aware. UVA rays cause direct skin tissue damage along with the release of free oxygen radicals which damage normal skin cells in the process. They cause thickening of the outer dead cell layer of the skin that gives your skin dullness, injury to the pigment cell that causes freckles and dark spots, thinning of the dermis, the support layer of the skin, causing wrinkles, production of abnormal capillary blood vessels causing redness of the skin and injury to the various cells of the skin which can eventually result in skin cancer.

UVA rays are the number one enemy of your skin. Not only can sun damage causes premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles and sun spot, but it can also result in more serious things like skin cancer. If you would like to learn more about how you can take better care of your skin and/or how you can reverse the damage you already have, contact the Center For Plastic Surgery today!