Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000


Category: Skincare

What Are 3 Pre-Surgery Tips for Self-Care?

Are you patiently counting down the days until your scheduled cosmetic surgery? Your thoughts are probably on what you can do to prepare for your procedure and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat will provide detailed pre-surgery and post-surgery instructions. In addition to these, let’s look at three super-helpful tips you can follow to help you be as healthy and strong as possible before your surgery.

1. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The better your health before going into surgery, the smoother your recovery process will be. To this end, address these three lifestyle factors to ensure you’re in the best possible shape.

Balanced Nutrition

In the days leading up to your surgery, eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Focus primarily on fresh fruits and vegetables – which will help prevent inflammation – and foods rich in protein and nutrients such as vitamin C and D, zinc, and calcium, all of which can aid in your healing. You should also stop consuming alcohol and avoid foods that can cause constipation, like dairy and red meat.

Routine Exercise

Among exercise’s other countless benefits, being more active before your surgery will increase your chances of bouncing back sooner after the procedure. Walking at least 5,000 steps a day will go a long way toward increasing your stamina and improving your cardiovascular health and muscle recovery.

Kick Bad Habits

Use the time before your surgery to quit smoking and drinking alcohol, along with any mood-altering substances that could affect your sleep or anxiety levels leading up to your surgery. Alcohol and nicotine can significantly affect your circulation and can increase your anesthesia risk.

2. Organize Your Personal Affairs

To avoid any anxiety and improve your peace of mind, here are a few things you should take care of before your procedure.

Check With Your Employer

Ensure you understand your options regarding vacation or sick time. Arrange for a colleague to fill in for you during your absence, so any professional responsibilities can keep moving smoothly.

Take All Required Medical Tests

Dr. Mussat will inform you what tests you will need before, during, and after your surgery. Check if any of these may require pre-authorization from your insurer.

Contact Your Health Insurance Company

You must understand what your policy will and won’t cover, including any deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket costs.

3. Arrange for Help

Have a family member or friend agree to drive you to Dr. Mussat’s practice for your procedure and back home again afterward, where they can stay to help you for a day or two. Recruit family members and friends to take over meal preparation, diaper changes, laundry, and most parenting duties at home.

Those helping you both pre- and post-surgery can assist you in packing a bag with all of your basic essentials like toiletries, medications, and loose, comfortable clothing to wear home. They can also ensure you have plenty of water, vitamins, supplements, and healthy food at home.

Finally, make sure you take your personal ID, insurance card, and a list of any medications you may be taking, including the dosage.

Contact Us With Your Questions

If you have any questions about preparing for your surgery, please contact board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL. Schedule a personal consultation online or call (312) 751-9000 today.

Why Facelifts are Growing More Popular with Younger People

When we think of facelifts, we immediately think of older people, like our grandparents, turning back the clock on signs of aging. However, there is a growing trend where increasing numbers of younger patients are controlling the “pre-juvenation” process by actively slowing down their visible signs of aging.

The trend helps avoid reversing the apparent aging process later in life and helps candidates to be more competitive in the job and dating markets. Even career coaches on the LinkedIn professional website are encouraging the use of profile pictures that show a person as bright-eyed and “ageless.”

With younger people gravitating towards facelifts, it’s interesting learning about what might be driving the trend.

Maintain and Extend a Youthful Appearance

We live in an era known as the “Age of the Selfie.” With increasing attention being paid to people’s faces on social media, the millennial demographic is more focused on their facial structures and physical appearance than any other generation.

In particular, millennials seek to maintain and extend their youthful appearance to help them compete in the workplace or find that perfect next date. Better self-care, non-invasive cosmetic procedures, and even invasive surgeries are increasingly being considered by this demographic.

It’s Not About Reversing Aging

Being more aware of the need to always look their best, young people are increasingly taking care of their skin. The simple act of applying sunscreen with a high SPF every day and avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight reduces UV damage and the development of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.

By limiting sun exposure, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, young people know that this improves their chances of keeping their youthful looks for longer. Choosing to have a facelift, especially a mini facelift, can provide better results than waiting another 10 or 20 years.

Advances in Plastic Surgery

As cosmetic surgeons continue to advance their skills, knowledge, and use of continually evolving technology, facelifts are Improving. They have become less invasive, delivering natural, long-lasting results with less downtime for both surgery and recovery.

With facelift surgery becoming less of an obstacle for young people coping with busy and demanding careers, it’s becoming more popular to consider the procedure earlier in life rather than later.


There are several good reasons why this better-now-than-later attitude is becoming popular with younger candidates:

  • Getting that facelift while the skin is still naturally elastic yields the best results.
  • Family genetics can lead to droopy jowls and sagging cheeks, which can be more easily corrected while still young.
  • A modern facelift can last a decade, and by getting the procedure done early, young people can enjoy the full benefits for a longer time.
  • For younger people, there is a quicker recovery and less downtime.

The first signs of facial aging start to appear in our thirties. Before considering a facelift, non-surgical injectable options like medical-grade, topical retinoids, a Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Medical Grade Peel, Botox®, or other dermal fillers, might be the perfect first step to minimizing wrinkles and fine lines.

While these injections relax the muscles for only a few months with each treatment, by preventing the muscles from contracting, wrinkles are prevented from worsening, effectively slowing down the aging process.

Contact Us for Your Youth-Preserving Facelift

If you’re interested in discovering more about why facelifts are growing in popularity with young people, please contact board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL. Schedule a personal consultation with her online or call (312) 751-9000 today!

Caring for Your Skin Beneath Your Face Mask

Now that we’re a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are getting used to wearing face masks. For some of us, they’re a requirement at work; for others, they’re a protective measure when we’re out of our homes. And for many of us, they are causing problems with our skin.

When worn for long periods, face masks can cause chafing, rashes, peeling skin, itchiness, and acne flare-ups. Health care workers, who’ve had some of the most extensive experience with face masks, have dubbed these types of skin problems “maskne.”

How can you protect your skin when you wear a face mask? Here are some tips:

Wear a Well-Fitting, Comfortable Mask

Unless you need to wear a medical-grade face mask for your work, choose a tightly woven cotton mask that’s sewn in two or three layers. Cotton keeps the skin cooler than synthetic fabric does, so it is gentler on your face. Cotton also wicks moisture and oil from the skin’s surface and is less likely to trigger an acne breakout. Masks made of synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, and rayon, can irritate your skin by trapping heat, moisture, and facial oils.

A mask with an inside layer of silk can be even more comfortable and less irritating to your skin. And silk may be more effective than cotton in blocking aerosols.

If you need to wear an N95 mask for work, as many healthcare workers do, select a mask that fits well. Take the time to adjust it for a proper fit; it should be snug but comfortable — tight enough to create a seal around the edges but not so tight that it digs into your skin.

Wash Your Cloth Mask After Every Use

Don’t wear the same mask for a second day without washing it. The fabric may collect virus particles, which need to be washed out, and it will undoubtedly accumulate pore-clogging particles like dirt and oil. It’s best to keep extra masks on hand so that you always have a fresh one. No special measures are required for cleaning a cotton mask—just throw it in the washing machine after you’re done with it. You can also use fragrance-free laundry detergent and skip the fabric softener, especially if your mask causes skin irritation.

Wash Your Face Regularly

Wash your face with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser before putting your mask on and after you take it off. Cleansing will minimize the amount of oil and dirt on the inside of your mask while you wear it.

Apply moisturizer every time you wash your face, too. Choose a product that’s right for your skin type: a moisturizing lotion for normal skin, a cream for dry skin, or a gel lotion for oily skin. Apply the moisturizer while your skin is still damp from washing, just after you’ve gently patted it dry.

Protect Your Skin from Mask Friction

Friction, where your mask or its straps rub against your skin, can cause chafing. You can protect your skin from moderate friction with a petrolatum ointment, such as Aquaphor or Vaseline. (Both are oil-based, so don’t use them on areas with acne, if that is a problem for you.) For more severe chafing — from the extended wearing of N95 masks, for example — you might try hydrocolloid bandages.

To help reddened skin heal when you aren’t wearing your mask, hydrocortisone 1% cream may also be a solution. But don’t apply this cream to broken skin. Instead, cover open wounds or cracks with a bandage.

If the skin behind your ears is irritated from a mask with elastic ear loops, switch to one that ties behind your head. Wearing masks with different tie arrangements on alternating days can give your skin a chance to recover.

Take a Break from Makeup

Makeup can clog pores and cause acne in the warm, humid conditions beneath your facemask. Products like foundation and concealer are the worst offenders. No one will see that part of your face anyway, so skip the makeup to protect your skin. It’s fine to use makeup on areas not covered by the mask, such as your eyes and eyebrows.

Choose a Chicago Plastic Surgeon You Can Trust

Dr. Florence Mussat is a board-certified plastic surgeon in downtown Chicago who has extensive experience in facial treatments and cosmetic surgery. Call our office at (312) 751-9000 or contact us online to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Mussat and our team today.

How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

As if frequent breakouts weren’t enough, the unflattering scars they leave behind are always unfortunate reminders of previous attempts to control acne breakouts. Fortunately, our Board-Certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Florence Mussat, can rescue your previously damaged skin with a professional set of treatments and at-home recommendations.

What Causes Your Acne Scars?

Before looking into the treatments, let’s consider the types of acne scars with which you might be dealing. These come in several shapes and sizes and are often accompanied by various signs of facial aging, including forehead and eye wrinkles and other signs of photodamage.

Atrophic or Depressed Scars:

Most prevalent on the face, these commonly seen scars create an indentation in the skin. The depth of the scars can vary depending on their shape. Where wide, U-shaped scars tend to be shallow, narrower V-shaped scars can extend deep below the skin’s surface.

Hypertrophic or Keloid Scars:

While more common on the chest and back for some people, these scars are especially visible, as they sit higher than the surrounding skin. Their prominence is caused by an excess of collagen developing in the area as the scar heals.

Professional Acne Scarring Treatment

Whether you’re a skincare novice or religiously follow the latest cosmetic dermatology news, any new skincare regimen should start with a visit to a trusted expert such as Dr. Mussat. She typically will start by prescribing medical-grade, topical retinoids to treat your acne conditions.

Depending on the condition, depth, and appearance of your current acne scars, Dr. Mussat may also recommend either additional in-office or at-home treatments.

Prevention of Future Acne Scars

To prevent new acne breakouts, continue following your prescribed course of topical retinoids and do the following.

  • Wash your face regularly at least twice a day and after exercise to remove dirt and sweat to that pores don’t clog
  • Stay out of the sun. Overexposure to the sun can darken scars and make them look more prominent
  • Avoid overwashing or scrubbing scarred areas, which can further reduce skin elasticity and heighten the scar’s appearance.
  • Avoid picking at scars. Bacteria from unwashed fingers and nails increase the risk of new cysts forming, leading to the development of a larger scar.
  • Use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UV rays. Blocking harmful UV rays isn’t only critical for preventing skin cancer; it can also diminish the appearance of acne scars. As scars heal, the newly developing skin can darken faster than the surrounding tissue.

With the help of Dr. Florence Mussat, you can enjoy clear, smooth skin with minimal reminders of past acne outbreaks. To begin your journey towards achieving the look you’ve always wanted, call Dr. Florence Mussat at (312) 751-9000 or schedule a personal consultation with her online today!

Top Skin Treatments to Soothe Summer Sun Damage

Summer is a wonderful time of year – a chance to enjoy relaxing outdoors in the warmth of the sun. But your skin can pay a price for the extra sun exposure. Now that summer is over, you’re probably noticing how the sun has dried your skin. New lines and wrinkles may have formed, and you may see new areas of uneven pigmentation. Fall is the perfect time to soothe and repair your skin. Here are four valuable skin treatments that can help restore your sun-damaged skin to health. 

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel removes dead and roughened cells from the skin’s outer layer and stimulates the production of smoother young cells to replace them. In addition to replacing thickened and damaged skin with fresh, youthful cells, a chemical peel can eliminate skin discoloration and uneven pigmentation, reduce wrinkles, and tighten loose skin.

Fall is the perfect time for a chemical peel. The treatment requires time out of the sun while the new skin replaces the old, and at this time of year, it’s natural to spend more time indoors. Your doctor may recommend a series of mild chemical peels, one every few weeks, or a single moderate-strength or deep peel for optimal results.


Microdermabrasion is another technique for removing the sun-damaged outer layer of skin and stimulating its replacement. In microdermabrasion, fine crystals are rubbed across the skin using a medically-calibrated wand, loosening and removing the skin’s rough outer layer. After treatment, moisturizer is applied to the area to protect and nurture the new skin.

Microdermabrasion can eliminate dull, unevenly colored and textured skin and give you a brighter, smoother, more uniform complexion. This, too, is an excellent option for fall skin treatment. It speeds the skin’s natural process of sloughing off damaged skin and gives you a fresher, younger, and healthier glow for the new season.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation

Laser skin rejuvenation, also known as laser skin resurfacing or a laser peel, uses another technology — a concentrated beam of light — to gently exfoliate the skin’s sun-damaged outer layer. The treatment also heats the underlying skin, accelerating its growth as it replaces the damaged tissue with fresh-looking, smooth new skin. It does this by stimulating the production of collagen in the new skin.

In addition to healing and restoring sun-damaged skin, laser skin rejuvenation can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten sagging skin, and eliminate uneven pigmentation. It can also be used to erase scarring from acne, chickenpox, or an injury or surgery. Because of its versatility, laser treatment is an excellent option if you have more than one concern about your skin that you’d like to address.

Retinol Creams

Made from vitamin A, retinol is a potent ingredient in many restorative skin-care products. It works by boosting the production of collagen in your skin and speeding up the natural process of renewal. With higher levels of collagen, the skin retains more moisture and becomes plumper, filling in and softening fine lines and wrinkles.

Fall is a good time to use retinol, not just because your skin needs restoration after the summer, but because the treatment makes your skin more vulnerable to additional sun damage. It is important to follow instructions to moisturize the skin during use and keep out of the sun while the new skin is growing. Be careful, too, not to overdo the treatment, as too much retinol can result in dry, irritated skin.

Dr. Florence Mussat is a board-certified plastic surgeon in downtown Chicago. Call our office at (312) 751-900 today or contact us online to schedule a personal consultation and find out which treatments will best meet your skin-restoration needs.