Call Us Now!

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

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

Facebook IconGoogle Plus IconTwitter IconRealSelf IconYoutube Icon


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.

Is Your Mask Causing Skin Problems?

Maskne from Mask WearingMaskne: A Problem of our Time

Before 2020, the term “maskne,” a term for skin problems caused by wearing a facial mask, did not exist. There was no need for a term like this before mask-wearing became the new norm. Once the threat of the novel coronavirus passes, and it will, we may go back to living our lives mask-free. For now, though, while we are masked, many people have to deal with an increase in inflammatory skin conditions. Maskne isn’t just more frequent acne flare-ups, it can also be new or worsening bouts of other dermatological problems.

It isn’t difficult to see why wearing a mask can result in these frustrating problems. When we talk and breathe under a mask, our breath creates the warm, humid environment bacteria and other flora love. Unfortunately, this problem may get worse as, because or the newer strains of the virus, we need masks that filter better, thus trapping warmth and oral bacteria more. The more microorganisms thrive in this environment, the more chance there is for skin irritation that results in physical symptoms like redness, itching, and pimples.

Can we Prevent Maskne?

Knowing that wearing a mask sets the stage for bacterial growth, we can implement a few strategies to minimize this risk.

  • If you wear a disposable mask, dispose of it regularly! Do not attempt to reuse this type of mask. If you wear a fabric mask, have a few on hand and wash them with a fragrance-free detergent often using warm water and a heated dryer.
  • Proper skin care is more important than ever. Wash your face twice daily using using an exfoliant at least once daily. Use of Vitamin-C Serum, an anti-inflammatory, can also help. It also acts as a pH balancer, which you need if you do not use Vitamin-C.
  • If you get significant irritation, you may need an antibiotic or other cream to control the problem. We are here to help with that.

If your skin is already showing signs of irritation from your mask, don’t wait to get help. Contact our Highlands, NC office. We may be wearing masks for a bit longer, but that doesn’t mean our skin has to suffer. Call (828) 526-3783 today to schedule your visit.

What to Expect at Your First Botox Appointment

Botox has been used for around 30 years for cosmetic purposes. After the FDA approved this drug for cosmetic rejuvenation, the first of its kind, in 2002, adults interested in looking younger have relied on Botox to achieve anti-aging goals of reduced wrinkles. While Botox is not magic, it does accomplish amazing results when treating dynamic wrinkles. We consider it a valuable adjunct to good skin care and maintaining a youthful appearance. If you have been on the sidelines and are ready to give Botox a try, you may be wondering what it will be like to get this injectable treatment. Here, we walk you through the process.

Your Botox Consultation

Because Botox has been around for so long, new patients tend to schedule visits with this treatment in mind. Regardless, an experienced provider will begin the appointment with a brief consultation. To know if Botox is right for you, we have to know what concerns you have and what you would like to achieve. Botox is a great treatment for crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown lines, and a droopy brow line. If you have concerns beyond these, such as depressed mouth corners or creases around your nose and mouth, we can discuss how to address those, as well.

Treatment

If you so choose, we can perform your Botox treatment right after your consultation. We usually use a topical anesthetic to make the injection as painless as possible. Also the injections are administered with a very small needle. You may feel tiny pinching sensations with each injection, though this is not painful. Each sensation lasts only a moment. Depending on the purpose of treatment, several injections may be given.

Recovery and Results

Botox is well-known for its convenience and safety. After treatment, most people experience nothing more than slight swelling and redness where injections have been given. Adverse side effects are rare. The most common is a slight bruising. A rare patient may develop a slight headache that may last a few hours or body aches that feel like the flu that generally disappear within 24 hours.

Full effects from the injections usually occur form about 6 hours to 6-7 days. Improvement typically lasts from 3 to 6 months. Touch-ups can be scheduled as needed.

If you’re new to Botox, you will appreciate our conservative, gentle approach. To schedule a consultation at our Highlands, NC office, call(828) 526-3783.

It’s Time to Care for Winter Skin

It’s time to care for winter skin. When the temperature dips, and we have many months of cold weather ahead, it’s time to start thinking about the skin. Low temperatures affect the skin just as much as hot, humid weather. In this case, the skin on the face, hands, and body can get so dry and flaky that painful itching or cracking occurs. Here, we offer a few tips on caring for your winter skin so you can avoid unnecessary stress and discomfort.

Moisten the Air to Nurture Your Skin

When we worry about getting dry skin, we often think about what we use topically. During the winter months when the air naturally gets drier, daily lotion application is not the answer. The skin is moistened from what we put into the body and the air. To care for winter skin, dermatologists suggest drinking more fluids to sustain adequate hydration. The skin loses moisture when the air is extremely dry. Experts have long talked about the benefits of using a humidifier during the winter months, especially when the heater is running more often than not, as furnaces dry the air.

Switch up Your Products

The skin is more prone to irritation during the winter months due to the dryness of the air. Therefore, there is a need for gentler products. A foaming wash can be optimal most of the time, but a gentle cleanser may be best in the winter. Going from a 15 or 20% Vitamin-C to 10% or switching from one sunblock to another frequently helps. Adding Hydrate to an Obagi protocol can help some people.

Skip the Exfoliating

We usually tout the efficacy of exfoliation for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. This practice of loosening dead and damaged skin cells for faster turnover can be beneficial in the right circumstances. Reducing exfoliation can allow slightly more dead cells that reduce some of the evaporation from the skin into the dry air..

Dry Skin Thoroughly Before Going Outside

Whether you’re running errands and wash your hands or need to run the trash out after you’ve washed the dishes, it is necessary to avoid going out into the cold with damp skin. The cold air interferes with the integrity of your skin’s natural barrier, increasing the risk of chapping. On the same note of skin getting chapped more easily, it is also necessary to avoid licking your lips when outdoors in cold weather. Instead, maintain moisture with Jane Iredale’s Lip Drink (that also protects them from sun damage).

Our practice offers several skincare and medspa services to help you nurture your skin any time of year. To schedule an appointment, call | (828) 526-3783.

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.

What to Expect from Juvéderm Voluma

Liquid Facelift Highlands, NCRecently, we’ve seen the meteoric rise in filler use among adults of all ages. Soft tissue fillers like those in the Juvéderm family are known for achieving consistent results whether the goal is to smooth wrinkles and folds or plump areas of the face that have lost their volume and normal contour. The cheeks and area below the eyes are prime areas where this happens, and treatment using Juvéderm Voluma XC is one of the best ways to correct these problems.

What is Juvéderm Voluma?

Several products make up the Juvéderm family of fillers. All of them are made of varying compilations and consistencies of hyaluronic acid (HA). This chemical is a naturally-occurring sugar compound that the body uses to keep the skin, joints, and eyes lubricated and to produce new collagen, which thickens the skin and supports the surrounding tissues. The Juvéderm products also contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that reduces discomfort during injections. Juvéderm Voluma has been developed with a heavier consistency to achieve specific results. There is, in fact, only one other filler nearly as thick as Voluma.

Having a denser consistency, Voluma XC can build more structure beneath the skin. The name of the product, Voluma, indicates its purpose, to restore structural volume of the tissues. This filler was the first to be FDA-approved for cheek enhancement. As we age, this part of the face loses its shape. The fat pads that overlay the cheekbones and make them look more pronounced decrease in volume over time. As the face loses volume, the tissues descended as far as the next ligament and folds resultat teh ligament and depressions occur above. By midlife, the mid-face looks rather flat and, as a result, the lower face looks wider, fuller and saggy. Occasionally a similar appearance occurs from congenital anatomic variations and younger individuals look older than their actual age. When Voluma XC is placed on the bony of the cheek, it elevates, rounds, and firms the overlying tissues.

What to Expect During and After Voluma Treatment

Filler treatments are very popular but that does not make them right for everyone. We conduct a consultation and brief assessment of the skin, underlying muscle and bone structure, and facial volume to make sure that an injectable can achieve the desired outcome. The treatment itself takes only a few minutes. Injection is done using a very thin cannula through the absolute minimum of skin punctures. The Voluma is carefully placed on the underlying bone under where extra volume is needed. This technique not only is safer than use of a sharp needle, it is more controlled and gives superior results. Thanks to the lidocaine and tiny cannula, there is minimal discomfort.

Results are visible as soon as the Voluma treatment is complete,. You may experience short-lived firmness and swelling for a day or so. Except occasionally at the point of entry through the skin, there is almost never any bruising. To reduce the risk of bruising further you should avoid strenuous exercise for the first 8 hours after injections.

We can help if you have a congenital volume deficit or believe you are aging. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to explore what Juvéderm Voluma can do for you.

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.

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.

Call Now Button