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November 25, 2013

// Spider Veins

Avoiding The Season Of Varicose Veins

As the holiday song goes, “baby, it’s cold outside”! And if you’re already one of those individuals who can’t stand winter weather, the following information won’t exactly get you to change your mind. Winter, according to Saliha Cuvelek of Today’s Zaman, is “varicose vein season”. Perhaps, you never knew that such a condition was celebrated – and really it isn’t. It’s just that the cold seems to bring out the worst in us. Literally.

According to Cuvelek, winter weather tends to force those who would normally enjoy spending time outdoors to stay in. Instead of taking a walk in the park among other outdoor activities that are best enjoyed during the summer, people become more detached from their active lifestyles, she writes. This lack of exercise can sometimes result in health issues. Varicose veins, happens to be one of them.

“Varicose veins occur when the veins in our legs become dilated, thereby partially losing their ability to channel blood back to the heart,” writes Cuvelek, “Doctors state that varicose veins most often occur in the winter and that the best times to cure the condition are fall and winter.” She goes on to list a number of methods that people can try to avoid varicose veins.

Maintaining a healthy weight tops her list. Walking around with excess weight on your body puts stress on the veins in your legs. Varicose veins can often be the result of such stress. This is the main reason she refers to winter as “varicose vein season”. The less exercise you’re able to get in, the harder it is to remain varicose vein-free. She suggests exercising at least three or four times a week for at least half an hour each time.

Other suggestions for how to avoid varicose veins include not standing for extended periods of time, showering your legs with cold water in the evening, avoiding high-heeled shoes and as if you needed this advice – quit smoking! When all else fails, hope is still well within reach. There is a treatment available that is considered “the gold standard” when it comes to the removal of varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective procedure that involves the injection of a “sclerosing” solution into unwanted veins. This process works differently than laser treatments. Once injected, the solution closes the “feeder veins” under the skin that cause varicose and spider veins to form. The closing of these veins cause them to disappear from sight.

Following a Sclerotherapy treatment, a patient’s leg is compressed with stockings or bandages which are generally worn for about two weeks. There is very little discomfort and the results are outstanding! Some patients may require more than one treatment, but this is always determined by a doctor based on a patient’s situation. Your best bet, of course, is to consult your doctor.

Of course, the professionals at the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre are happy to assist you with any questions you may have about varicose and spider veins as well as the Scelerotherapy treatment that addresses them. They can be reached by dialing 403-358-5818. Here’s hoping we can get this winter to be the season of putting an end to your varicose veins!

November 18, 2013

// Skin Care

Thermage Reduces The Signs of Aging

Looking and feeling younger has a lot to do with the treatment we give our bodies on a daily basis. As always, healthy eating and exercise will play big roles in how well we look and feel. But it goes without saying that we all age with the passing of time. And, sometimes, we simply can’t help the changes in our bodies that come with age. This, of course, is nothing to be ashamed about.

After all, no one is immune to aging. And as we age, the collagen in our skin breaks down. This causes wrinkles and other fine lines along with sagging and bulging skin. These obvious signs of aging can develop without warning. They just happen to be facts of life that are pretty much impossible to avoid. There’s nothing wrong with experiencing a wrinkle or two.

But there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to shave off a few years in the looks department. And this can actually be done quite easily! Where diet and exercise are unable to adequately help, Thermage can step in and do quite an excellent job. What is Thermage, you ask? Well it’s a revolutionary way to keep our skin looking smoother and tighter without the use of a laser.

Laser treatments have worked wonders for many a patient. But that doesn’t necessarily make everyone completely comfortable with the concept. So instead of a laser, Thermage uses an extraordinary radiofrequency (or “RF”) technology that safely heats the deeper layers of your skin. This heating stimulates your existing collagen in order to produce new collagen growth.

The end result is fresher, firmer, smoother and tighter skin! Without any need for cutting or injections as you would experience during traditional cosmetic surgeries, Thermage helps to contour your skin for a natural, younger looking appearance overall. In many cases, patients find that after just one treatment, there are immediately visible improvements. And these can last up to six months!

Another great benefit of Thermage is that it requires little to no downtime. Patients are able to quickly get back to their normal routines following treatments. As well, Thermage provides yet another benefit over laser treatments. It’s colour blind! In other words, the radiofrequency technology works just as safely and effectively on all types of skin colours. And you won’t have to worry about avoiding the sun either!

But what does a Thermage treatment feel like? Patients have reported that they notice brief heating sensations during their treatments. This is actually an indication that the collagen in their skin is reaching effective temperatures for tightening. Thermage also has an impeccable safety record. The primary side effect is a mild redness that generally disappears pretty quickly.

Many patients tend to utilize Thermage to smooth out and tighten the skin around their eyes. Often referred to as the area of the face that most reveals one’s age, the eyes have been known to experience wrinkling or “hooding” as we get older. For more information on how Thermage can help reverse such signs of aging, contact the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.

November 12, 2013

// Unwanted Moles

Making Moves To Remove Melanoma

Moles really aren’t that big a problem. Or are they? This is a question many people have considering that moles are so common. In fact, it is likely that each and every one of us has some kind of mole, birthmark or beauty mark of some kind on some part of our bodies. So what’s the big deal? If moles are so common, should they really be anything to worry about?

In most cases, the answer is generally “no”. Moles are usually harmless. The only time a person would have cause for concern would be if he or she has developed “melanoma”. This refers to a type of malignant growth that may be a sign of skin cancer. In such a case, removal of the mole would be necessary. But how does one know if he or she has developed melanoma?

On MayoClinic.com, it is explained that there are a few factors that can help determine whether or not a person’s moles may potentially run the risk of being cancerous. It’s important to note that the following factors don’t automatically signify cancerous growths, they are simply indications of such a possibility. As always, it’s important to consult a physician if you’re experiencing these issues.

Large moles present at birth. Mayo Clinic writes that large moles that are present at birth are referred to as “congenital nevi”. According to Wikipedia, “This type of birthmark occurs in an estimated 1% of infants worldwide; it is located in the area of the head and neck 15% of the time.” These rare types of moles may increase the risk of malignant melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.

Atypical moles. Also known as “dysplastic nevi”, these moles are usually larger than a quarter inch or about 6 millimetres in diameter. Mayo Clinic describes the size as a bit larger than a pencil eraser. These moles are commonly hereditary, and are often uneven forms as opposed to round circles or dots. These types of moles also present a risk of malignant melanoma or skin cancer.

Numerous moles. Unfortunately, the more moles you have, the greater the risk of developing melanoma. Mayo Clinic writes that you should regard 20 or more moles as a warning sign. Again, it should be reiterated that only a physician can properly assess your situation and determine the potential your moles have of developing melanoma. And this is isn’t hard to do.

In fact, none of the above mentioned information should be too alarming considering that moles are quite easy to treat. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, the VariLite laser is used for the safe and effective removal of moles as well as skin tags, small red blood vessels (or “telangiectasia”) and other pigmented skin spots. TheVariLite laser has also been used to treat fine spider veins in the legs.

One of the greatest aspects of this laser is that it provides amazing results without causing any bruising. Patients also require virtually no down time. Some people prefer to remove their moles for cosmetic reasons. But in some cases, avoiding the potential of skin cancer is a reason to go ahead and remove your moles right away. Contact the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 to book a consultation today.

November 4, 2013

// Skin Care

Solutions For Your Fresh New Look

During the cold winter months (that are practically here already), it requires a lot more of us to protect our skin. Drying out and chapping are common ailments that we incur when we are not properly moisturizing the parts of our bodies that are exposed to the elements. It’s important to remember that, even during the winter, sunscreen is necessary. This is especially true during days when the sun’s UV rays may be bouncing off of the snow.

No matter how much we do to protect our skin, the elements always seem to catch up with us at some point. The signs of aging, as we all know, are inevitable. Thankfully, there is help for those who wish to do away problems such as sun damage, discolouration, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Whether the sun, the cold, your age or a combination of all of the above is the culprit, Microdermabrasion may be your answer.

As explained by WebMD.com, “Microdermabrasion uses tiny exfoliating crystals that are sprayed on the skin. It works best on problems such as dull skin, brown spots, and age spots…Microdermabrasion works on all skin types and colors. It makes subtle changes, causing no skin color change or scarring.” Its main purpose is to gently remove dead, dry layers of skin in order to reveal fresh, glowing skin underneath.

It’s all about getting a “fresh new look”. A much safer way to go than the traditional face lift which can leave scarring, be very painful and require a lot of downtime (not to mention, produce fake, plastic-like results), Microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin to give it a natural glow. In addition, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre offers a variety of chemical peels to produce this new glowing skin of yours.

PCA Peel. Many people spend a lot of money and time trying to deal with acne issues. You would think that once your adolescence is over, so would your battle with pimples. But that’s not always the case. PCA Peels help those with acne, scarring and other signs of aging. Using specific combinations that are tailored to your skin type and needs, these peels are great for creating “fresh new looks”.

Medique Peel. This peel helps with cystic acne, which About.com describes as “deep, inflamed breakouts develop on the face and/or other areas of the body. The blemishes themselves can become large; some may measure up to several centimeters across.” The site admits that while cystic acne can affect anyone, it is most prevalent in teenage boys and young men.

General causes for this condition include overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells within hair follicles and large amounts of acne-causing bacteria. Of course, regular facial cleansing will always be important. But when severe acne persists, Medique Peels work wonders. These peels also help to repair sun damage, discolouration, fine lines, wrinkles and drab skin.

If you are battling acne, sun damage or other signs of aging, you are not alone. These skin conditions affect people from all walks of life. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well you take of your skin. It is possible that either Microdermabrasion or chemical peels may be for you. For more information on these treatments or to book a consultation, call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.