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All Posts in Category: Finding Your Best You

Dr Shawn Birchenough Men Body Specialties and Surgeries

Early 50’s Male: “Anything I Can Do to Keep from Looking Older Than I Am?”

“I’m a guy in my early 50’s, and I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to keep from looking older than I am?”


I am glad to hear from and treat male patients! Men of all ages are asking about plastic surgery, to the point where men represent the fastest growing population of those receiving plastic surgery over the past 5 years!


Men want to look younger (just like our female companions!) and have more confidence in our lives. Many men work hard to stay in shape physically, and eat healthfully, but have areas of concern.


I want men to know that I will discuss their issues with them personally, professionally, and discretely.


Here are a few things to think about…

Men are prone to lines and wrinkles in the forehead and between the eyebrows because of the strong action of the muscles in this area. Botox is a great way to soften some of that “mean” or “scowling” look.


For further facial rejuvenation, upper eyelid surgery is a common procedure that can significantly improve the “tired” or “droopy” eyelid look. This surgery could possibly be done in the office with oral sedation only. Lower eyelid rejuvenation is a bit more difficult, but there are ways to treat that too.


“Love handles” are a guy’s nemesis! Especially if you have been working out at the gym and watching what you eat, this can be a frustrating area that stays after other fat deposits go away! These areas of fat deposit are more prominent on men than women, typically. Liposuction can contour these areas to help you match the rest of your abdomen.


Similarly, male breasts can be treated with liposuction if diet and exercise just aren’t doing it. For men that have undergone significant weight loss through diet or surgery, and have significant excess skin, this needs to be removed in the OR with procedures like abdominoplasty, thigh-plasty, or brachioplasty (upper arm skin excision). While more involved, these surgeries greatly improve the fit of clothes, and the overall body contour.


So come in to discuss what Dr. Birchenough can do for you guys too!

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What is a Mommy Makeover? (Am I a Candidate for One?)

“Mommy makeover” is a term used generically for a number of different combined surgical procedures. There is no single mommy makeover surgery, but a general concept of helping regain some of the shape you had before pregnancy. The surgeries may be done in combination, or over more than one setting.

Typically, I am addressing concerns women have with changes they have from pregnancy and breast feeding. However, it can extend to facial changes that women go through due to the stresses of raising kids!

For the breasts, one changes that many women see is deflation, or drooping and flattening of the breasts after pregnancy or when breast feeding stops. This occurs because the enlarged breast ducts start to shrink back down, causing the breasts to get smaller. The constant stretching of the breast skin and breast tissue over the many months of pregnancy and breast feeding eventually leave the tissue very lax (stretch marks are one sign of this).

Most of the time the skin and breast tissue won’t have the same elasticity or “snap back” it used to have. For some women, a breast augmentation (implant enlargement of the breast) is enough to restore the lost volume, shape, and contour of the breast. Sometimes a mastopexy, or breast lift, is needed in addition to the implants. A breast lift can mean any one of a number of different specific surgeries and can involve any one of a number of different incisions and approaches, tailored to you. At a minimum, a breast lift will help relocate the nipple-areola to a more aesthetically pleasing location on the breast mound. Typically, a breast lift will also help round out the entire breast and more the breast tissue back up on the chest.

The belly is another area that goes through a lot of changes too. Stretched, lax skin and additional fat deposits can be a long term issue after pregnancy. Also, many women have diastasis recti – a term for stretched muscle and fascia in the lower abdomen. This is the “bulge” or “pot belly” or “beer belly” of the lower abdomen you may see, even if you are very thin and back to your pre-pregnancy weight. These areas can be helped with a mini-abdominoplasty (mini-tummy tuck) or a regular tummy tuck. These surgeries will address the lax muscle and remove the lower abdominal skin and fat (and stretch marks if they are low on your belly). Liposuction of the flanks / love handles can help contour the waist in addition.

Some women only need liposuction to remove the excess fat of lower abdomen, without removing skin, because their skin has enough elasticity to snap back after removing the extra fat.

Facial lines and wrinkles become more prominent and noticeable after pregnancy, long sleepless nights, and many stressed-out days! Botox and Juvederm filler can help restore some of the look of the face, and reduce those lines and wrinkles.

So! What can I do to help “mommy”? Breast implants and/or lift? Tummy tuck or liposuction? Botox? There are many options depending on which areas concern you the most. Come in to discuss what I can help you with!

For additional information, you may also visit

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“As if you were on fire within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin.”

One of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, penned that line in Ode to a Beautiful Nude.

How appropriate for this post!  How can you feed your skin from within so you have that inner luminosity that no amount of expensive serum, sleep, or sex can create, and that poets write about?

In my experience, clean living and clean eating is the cheapest and most effective way – there’s no magic in it, just a lot of attention to detail (and Pinterest posts and reading the beautiful people’s blogs for recipes) and cooking.  Which means cleaning up too, because your dude just eats it and falls asleep.  Mainly because you didn’t train him right from the very beginning.  But back to clean eating – we all strive for that, and should be doing it ALL THE TIME.  But as usual, I have come up with a way to get around it if you happen to slip up once or twice.  Or five times, or all year.  It happens, because we have lives we have to live.  We need solutions!  That’s why I’m here.  I understand you, AND your needs.

As you know, skin suffers from poor nutrition, lack of proper cleansing (inside and out), dry winter air, alcohol, sleepless nights, working too hard…basically, LIVING is bad for your skin.  I’m going to focus on what you can do for your skin nutritionally that really works.  This list serves as an addition – the “extras” – to a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement containing at least 10,000 units of Vitamin A, a good spectrum of B-vitamins, and adequate Zinc.  This is your base.  There are several out there that may fit your lifestyle, be it one-a-day, 6 a day, including digestive enzymes to prevent that vitamin burp, or containing supplemental herbs for women’s health.  Pick a great one!

Number 1 on my list is a good MULTI:


What makes skin beautiful?  The structural proteins of skin (collagen, elastin, and keratin) give it firmness and elasticity.  You want the kind of skin that snaps back like a baby’s cheek.  Collagen is the main structural protein of the connective tissue in the body created by epithelial cells and fibroblasts.  The various collagens and the structures they form all serve the same purpose: to help tissues withstand stretching and GRAVITY.

The surface layers of the skin are supported from below by columns of fibers made up mostly of collagen and elastin. This network of fibers forms the molecular sponge known as connective tissue.  The spaces within this sponge are filled with a composition of water, protein complexes, and hyaluronic acid. This jelly-like complex transports essential nutrients from the bloodstream, via the capillaries in your skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts and holds water, which is what plumps your skin so that wrinkles and lines are less visible.

To make collagen, the fibroblasts need amino acids (building blocks of protein) like proline, glycine, and lysine.  They also need certain co-factors including ascorbic acid, or vitamin C.  The thing about vitamin C is that we burn through it really quickly in the stressful world we live in today, and it’s water-soluble, which means what isn’t used in a few hours is excreted in your urine, NOT stored for later use.  Fortunately, it’s easy to get in food and supplement form, and there’s a timed-release option available.  BINGO.

So, Number 2 on my list is Timed-release Vitamin C:

Next is protein.  Amino acids are found in all sources of protein.  Some are more easily digested and absorbed than others, which increases the bioavailability.  In general, animal proteins have a more complete amino acid profile, and plant proteins need to be combined.  Collagen protein is 20 times higher in glycine and proline than other sources (remember the fibroblasts and their needs) and is very well-absorbed, which makes it ideal for boosting collagen production in the body.  It’s derived from gelatin, which as we all know, makes your hair and nails grow.  Take this stuff, 2 Tbsp a day, and you will be amazed.  I am not kidding!  It’s virtually tasteless.  I mix it in my coffee, tea, soup, smoothies, and sometimes in the interest of just gettin’ it done, in some plain hot water.  Two choices, both excellent.

Number 3 on my list is Collagen Peptides:

Since collagen is a very cross-linked molecule with a lot of bonds to make it strong, you need sulfur to help make it.  A good source of sulfur with several other health benefits is MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane. MSM helps make the skin cells more permeable, and therefore more absorbent and receptive to plumping and hydration. The sulfur provided by MSM produces generous quantities of collagen and keratin, both of which are vital for healthy hair, skin and nails. In fact, MSM is often referred to as the ‘beauty mineral’ owing to its ability to add to enhance the thickness and strength of nails as well as hair in a very short span of time.

Number 4 on my list is MSM:

We’ve all heard that Biotin helps your hair and nails grow.  It’s true, but it also helps your skin glow.  Your body needs Biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which as you know, is integral for building your infrastructure – keratin, collagen, and elastin.  Biotin deficiency is rare because, in general, intestinal bacteria produce biotin in excess of the body’s daily requirements.  However, we all know that the average person’s microbiome may be compromised.  Supplementing with Biotin is safe as long as you avoid daily doses above 5000 mcg (5 mg).  Some people report acne with too much biotin.
Number 5 is Biotin:
Next are the GOOD FATS.  Fat has made it off the black list and is now considered a beauty nutrient.  Good fats are Omega-3’s, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed organic butter or ghee, fatty fish like sardines and wild-caught salmon, and raw organic nuts and seeds.  Personally, I love getting this through diet alone.  If you don’t feel you can, take a high-quality fish or Krill oil or try Udo’s 3-6-9 Blend for a balanced 2:1:1 approach.
Number 6:  Omega-3 and Good Fats
Avofish  Udo

Hyaluronic Acid is a viscous fluid carbohydrate (not one to avoid!!!) that attracts and holds water.  Roughly 50% of the Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in our body is found in the skin. HA and Collagen are vital to maintaining the skin’s layers and structure. It is the collagen that gives the skin its firmness but it is the HA that nourishes and hydrates the collagen.  HA is well absorbed orally when taken on an empty stomach.  As an aside, it is also excellent for joints.  Take 70-100 mg twice a day with other supplements that are absorbed best without food.

Number 7: Hyaluronic Acid


To wrap it up, if you had to pick one, it would be the Multi.  The second one I would get is the Collagen Peptides.  This is of utmost importance if you’re considering an aesthetic procedure or healing from one.  The rest are icing on the cake!

Yours in safe beauty,


Original Post here:


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Holiday Refresh-Skin Care Peels

Well, it’s the time of year to put your best face forward. Clark, Rusty, Uncle Eddie and the rest of the Griswolds will be visiting soon!  (Am I dating myself with this quite funny movie?)
So what do you do to freshen up your look, without having a lot of social downtime?
Skin Care Peels (Chemical Peels, if you will….), that’s what!  Dr. Birchenough and his staff have 2 effective treatment lines (VisaoMD and Glo Therapeutics) that will get your skin refreshed and get you back to decorating, trimming the tree or make the roast, all while entertaining your guests (the invited ones, and all the others!!)



VisaoMD Skin Care PeelsCombinations of Vitamin A and C extracts, along with glycolic acid, collagen, enzymes, peptides, and hydrating serums can make a big difference to the overall tone, texture and health of your facial skin
 What Can You Expect?
Superficial peels (BRILLIANCE PEELS )are usually done without anesthesia and allow an immediate return to normal daily activities. Fine lines and mild sun-damage are usually treated. The exfoliation process will help promote new outer-layer growth. Typically, the skin may be pink and lightly peeling for a few days after the peel (and sun avoidance is mandatory!), but the results are obvious within a week!
 Medium depth peels (PRESTIGE PEELS) may require some oral relaxing medications prior to the peel, due to the deeper level of penetration. Healing takes longer, up to 5 or 7 days, with more redness, peeling and flaking of the outer non-viable skin layers. However, the moderate wrinkles and worse sun-damage and pigmentation dark areas will be more fully treated. Sun avoidance is, again, mandatory to optimize results and minimize the side effects.





Glo-Therapeutics® – Customizable Skin Care Peel MIXOLOGY!

Dr. Birchenough and his staff will customize a chemical peel for you, personally, through the Glo-Therapeutics line. Chemical exfoliation promotes cellular turnover with the exclusive Glo Complex, letting  you “Heal while you Peel!” A unique combination of Spin Trap, Carnosine, Alma and Niacinamide, added to TCA, Jessners or Glycolic Acid, and we can individualize your treatment. These extracts help preventing free-radical damage and support the skin structure. Come in to discuss what mix we can serve up for!


Hope to see you soon, SB.

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What are you giving yourself this year?

In the late nineties a department store in Canada (Zellers) aired a television commercial that pretty much summed up how we can get lost in Christmas preparations. It’s a great thing to consider as we make our way into the holiday season.

So tell me- before you start making your grocery lists or inviting friends and family over for a great holiday gathering- what are you giving yourself for the holidays this year? The gift of family is a very important one, but what have you done to ensure you spend quality time enjoying their company? Moreover, aside from the hostess gifts or presents eventually stowed under the tree- what is it that you can give yourself this year that will make the coming months happier and more fulfilling?

Take some time over the next few weeks and consider making a list of things you can do for yourself. Set some time aside to start that book you’ve been putting off. Ditch twenty minutes of shopping time and go for a brisk walk. Take some time for coffee or a glass of wine with friends you wish you saw more of. Visit a health coach, fitness pro, beauty bar professional or even (dare I say it?) a cosmetic surgeon to start talking about how you can look and feel your best for the holidays.

Whatever it is you choose to do with the time you make for yourself- enjoy it- revel in it… and make it the first of many such times you schedule yourself into your busy calendar. Remember- when you feel fulfilled and happy friends and family will be happier too…

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Shiny Happy Woman

Open House Event

We are hosting an open house event Friday, December 5, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Village Hospital at Pelham Office.

Get ready for the holidays with special pricing and beauty offers!

Come in and meet with Dr. Birchenough.

RSVP Amber at 864.849.9330.

For more information, please check out the event details featured in Town magazine right here.

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Evening of Beauty Event with Amy Zimmer

Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 6, 6:00PM for an Evening of Beauty with Amy Zimmer & Dr. Shawn Birchenough. Learn more about LiveLifeBeautifully and BeautyCounter skin care.

Where: Couture Closets, 192 E. Main St, Spartanburg. RSVP at 864-586-8272 or

For more information, check out the event flyer here.


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Dr Shawn Birchenough Plastic Surgeon Blog Joy Arms Up on Beach

Hello world!

We are so happy to unveil our new site and blog and share them with you! Check in with us every week for great tidbits of information on everything from beauty to fashion, health and fitness from Dr. Birchenough and some of his most trusted partners and friends.

Looking and feeling your best is never a one off thing to do- it’s a commitment to finding out what makes you happiest and helps you feel your best. It’s about being fulfilled, confident and strong. We call it finding your best you- and that will be your own unique health journey.

Curious about quick, easy and fab beauty tricks? Healthy-eating recipes? Great-get started fitness tips or- how to take your fitness to the next level in a fun accessible way? Affordable, wearable fashion ideas that will take your wardrobe from drab to fab?? And let’s not forget all the great specials and events Magnolia and Dr. Birchenough will be sharing. You’ll find them all here.

Stay tuned y’all- we’re hoping that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship- and a happier, healthier you!

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