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April 28, 2014

// Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal Is A “Multi-Saver”!

It feels like we’ve all been waiting a lifetime for this part of the year to finally come, haven’t we? No, it’s not quite summer just yet. But with May approaching in just a couple of days, it’s pretty safe to say that the season of warmth and sunshine isn’t all that far off. Yes, we may be getting excited a little prematurely. But the truth is, the time we have between now and the actual start of summer needs to be utilized wisely.

Preparing to show off your smooth and sultry self will require some discipline. Hitting the gym, watching those calories and drinking that water are three key ingredients to making sure that you’re looking and feeling your best come the time to shed those layers. But there’s something else that many of us do to prepare for summer that isn’t all that easy. And that’s remove our hair!

We shave, wax and tweeze our way through nearly every day in hopes that we’ll be able to get it just right. Smooth and sultry isn’t all that easy, however, when you’re forced to put up with razor bumps, ingrown hairs, rashes, nicks, cuts and scars. Yes, these are the perils of shaving, waxing and tweezing. But how else can we keep ourselves beautifully hairless for the summer?

Laser hair removal. Yes, this procedure is only growing in popularity thanks to its multi-saving ways. What is “multi-saving” you ask? Well consider the many things that traditional hair removal processes put you through. Now consider how those things can all become things of the past when you go for laser hair removal! Let’s look specifically at just how much you can save.

Money. Once you’ve gone through your laser hair removal treatments, you won’t have to continue spending money on your traditional hair removal sources. Razors, shaving cream, electric shavers, after shave, replacement blades, wax strips, hair removal cream, tweezers and so on – imagine never having to buy any of these items again for the rest of your life. That’s a lot of money you’re saving.

Time. There are people who are required to shave each and every day. It seems like a never-ending process. And that’s because it is! How much time would you estimate that you spend on removing your unwanted hair on a daily basis? Multiply that by a week. Now a year. Now imagine not having to get up early or stay later to do any shaving, waxing or tweezing again. That’s a lot of time you’re saving.

Pain. The perils of shaving, waxing and tweezing are many. And, quite often, they are pretty painful. Especially for those who have sensitive skin, shaving is synonymous with irritable rashes and ingrown hairs. Not to mention, shaving is an easy way to create nicks, cuts and scars on your skin. After all, you’re placing a sharp razor to it practically each day! Imagine never having to do that again. That’s saving yourself from a lot of pain.

Stress. Many people don’t just want to remove their hair for convenience. Many people need to remove their unwanted hair to regain a sense of confidence within themselves. Women who battle with facial hair face a daunting social stigma. Men with back hair tend to want to shield themselves from a sense of embarrassment. Laser hair removal can remove the worry that comes with having hair in undesirable places. That’s saving you from a lot of stress.

At Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, the revolutionary, safe and effective Lightsheer Laser Hair Removal system is used to permanently remove hair. Save yourself from any more of the trouble caused by unwanted hair. For more information or to book a consultation call 403-358-5818 today!

April 21, 2014

// Unwanted Moles

Time To Become A Mole Detective

Cancer has made quite the name for itself, hasn’t it? It has become such a dreaded disease that we can barely say the word. In fact, “The C-word” is sometimes used as an alias to describe this horrific killer. Cancer, however, is clearly not something that can be ignored. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t know someone who hasn’t been affected by cancer. It’s a disease that we’d all love to avoid. So we should take every precaution necessary to avoid it.

To be clear, some things are simply out of our hands. We’ve probably all come across stories about people with cancer who lived completely healthy lives. It’s hard to understand why some of us who maintain healthful lifestyles are affected, and some others – smokers, for example – are not. Dealing with this touchy subject can be difficult. Knowing exactly how to cope with it isn’t easy. So doing all we can to reduce our risk should be a part of our daily tasks.

MSN.com speaks to this point in a recently-posted article detailing the beliefs of many doctors on the subject of cancer. Among the points made about how we can avoid the disease was quitting smoking (obvious, right?), eating plenty of fruits and nuts and getting a colonoscopy. It’s not the most fun procedure in the world to get, but it’s certainly one that is important when it comes to the early detection of cancer.

The site goes on to suggest that we all play “mole detective”. More of a huge favour than a playful game, “mole detective” requires you to notice the moles that are visible on the bodies of your family members and friends. With spring here and summer on its way, there will be a lot more chances for you to see the skin of those you care about the most. And those you care about deserve to have you looking out for them.

Dr. Sandra Read, who is a spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Foundation, writes that she noticed a dark spot on the back of one of her friends during a pool party a year ago. Although it was a “little mole”, she thought it was worth looking into in order to determine if it was melanoma or not. In fact, her initial response to seeing the dark spot was “I think you have a melanoma!” She took her friend into her office and ended up confirming her suspicions.

“Only a doctor can diagnose a suspicious mole as skin cancer, but really anyone can spot one,” writes Dr. Read, “That’s why monthly self-exams are so important—and friends can examine areas we may not see, like the back and scalp. So be sensitive to your own instincts that tell you something on a friend or spouse has changed. Any mole that looks suspicious, appears out of nowhere, or changes in color or size should be checked by a physician.”

This summer, don’t be afraid to be a “mole detective”. What may come off as an insult at first, could actually end up being a life-saving gesture. Of course, not all moles are diagnosed as melanoma. But wouldn’t you rather know for sure? It should go without saying that cancer should be avoided at all costs. If there’s anything we can do to prevent it, it should be done. And if you have a mole, or know someone with a mole, and it concerns you, look into it right away.

At Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we’d be happy to take a look at any mole that may be of concern to you. If you’d like to remove your moles, you’ll be happy to know that we use the VariLite laser. Its ability to remove moles effectively and safely is unparalleled. It has long been known to provide excellent results without any bruising or need for significant down time! For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-358-5818.

April 14, 2014

// Spider Veins

5 Factors That Lead To Spider Veins

Here’s hoping that it won’t jinx it to say that spring is finally here! Well, maybe on some days more than others, it feels as if the warmer weather is back for good. Either way, it’s clear that people are clamoring to get outdoors wearing less layers than they did during the winter. And that means exposing their skin to the elements a lot more. There are some aren’t all that worried about the sun though.

Well prepared with sunscreen, warm weather-lovers are excited about getting outside in their shorts and t-shirts. And then there are those who are battling that pesky old spider veins issue! To some, warmer weather brings up a sense of dread. How will I cover up those spider veins in my legs? And how did they get there in the first place? WomensHealth.gov explains that there are several factors that contribute to spider veins.

Increasing age. Yes, sadly some things are simply unavoidable. And growing older is one of them. Hey, we should all be so lucky to reach ripe old senior citizen ages, right? Well, one thing that you may not be able to avoid with age is the fact that the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well, says the site. As a result, spider veins may appear in your later years.

Medical history. It is possible to be born with weak vein valves, says WomensHealth.gov. You may want to look into your family history to discover if your family members have a history with spider veins. The site reveals that about half of those with varicose vein issues have family members who have the same problem. Like age, hereditary factors are unavoidable.

Hormonal changes. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause – these are all life occurrences that can change your hormonal balance. As well, “taking birth control pills and other medicines containing estrogen and progesterone also may contribute to the forming of varicose or spider veins,” says the site. You’ll want to watch for side effects in the medications you may be taking.

Pregnancy. This is a wonderful time in a couple’s life. There’s nothing quite as exciting and joyful as bringing a baby into the world. Except, of course, for the fact that pregnancy increases the amount of blood in the body, and this causes veins to enlarge. And while a woman’s growing uterus can add pressure on the veins, resulting spider and varicose veins usually subside three months after the date of delivery.

Obesity and a lack of movement. According to WomensHealth.gov, “being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. This can lead to varicose veins.” The site goes on to mention that “sitting or standing for a long time may force your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart. This may be a bigger problem if you sit with your legs bent or crossed.”

Now we know the numerous factors that contribute to the appearance of spider veins. But is there a cure? You better believe it! Sclerotherapy is a safe and effective procedure that involves the injection of a medication into unwanted spider veins that cause them to disappear. In fact, it’s known as the “gold standard” when it comes to spider vein removal!

For more information, call Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.

April 7, 2014

// Unwanted Moles

Can Household Products Safely Remove Moles?

Society tends to have varying opinions about moles. Many think they’re unsightly, while others think that they’re quite attractive – depending on their size and placement, of course. Cindy Crawford comes to mind as a person who is revered thanks to her famous upper lip mole. However, our looks are the least of our worries when it comes to the appearance of moles.

WebMD.com reminds that “the vast majority of moles are not dangerous” however, “if you notice changes in a mole’s colour, height, size or shape, you should have a dermatologist (skin doctor) evaluate it.” Naturally, you’ll want to avoid the risk of cancer. But are there ways that you can remove moles yourself? WikiHow.com reveals that there are some home remedies than can assist with mole removal.

Apple cider vinegar. This household product is listed as an inexpensive way to rid yourself of moles without leaving scars. By putting a few drops of the vinegar on a cotton ball and then bandaging it to the mole for an hour, you will have started the removal process. The site indicates that you should try this technique once a day until the mole either drops off or disappears.

Iodine. A 5% iodine solution can be “an effective mole zapper”, says WikiHow.com. Apply a drop of iodine on the mole twice day and then cover it with an adhesive bandage. Do this once in the morning and once at night. Doing this for at least one week should work to remove the mole. The site mentions, however, that iodine is toxic in large quantities. Be sure to never ingest it.

Garlic. This solution sounds a bit less dangerous, doesn’t it? Apparently, garlic does a whole lot more than warding off vampires and seasoning your meals! The site advises that you slice a clove of garlic in half, put the half piece of garlic on the mole and leave it on overnight wrapped in a bandage. Do this for several days in order to remove the mole. But, you may be removing some friends while you’re at it!

Banana Peel. Okay, how’s this for a less smelly solution? WikiHow.com suggests that you peel a banana and place the inside of the peel against your mole. Doing this for several days will apparently dry your mole up to the point that it falls off. And you thought banana peels were only meant for making people slip and fall! It seems they make moles slip and fall off as well.

Strawberries. Perhaps, strawberries are the sweetest solution yet. The site recommends that you slice a strawberry and put the slice over your mole. Several days of doing this should help the mole to disappear. Now, if you think that these suggestions are silly and even absurd, you’re not alone. Not only can we not confirm that any of these tips work, but WikiHow.com itself admits that home treatments have side effects.

Skin damage, scarring and possible infection are listed as potential ramifications of trying to remove a mole yourself. Instead, the site insists “that the safest way to remove a mole is by going to a doctor.” We agree. At Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the VariLite laser to treat moles. It provides excellent results without bruising or any real down time! For more information, call 403-358-5818.

April 2, 2014

// Skin Care

5 Ways To Protect Your Skin This Spring

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring! Well, almost. Within the coming weeks, the weather will be warmer, the sun will be brighter and most of us will be up to our old tricks again. And, by tricks, we mean going out in the sun – without sunscreen! Unfortunately, it’s still something that many of us forget to do. We’re so excited about getting outside without winter coats on that we neglect the most important coat of all.

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is recommended all year round. But when the weather is warmer and we’re covering less of our skin, it’s especially important to lotion up before heading outdoors. There are, of course, others ways that you can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays during the spring. It’s certainly a good idea to take heed to certain precautions to avoid sun damage.

Cover Up. According to HowStuffWorks.com, “about one million Americans were diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in 2005.” It’s important to be mindful that the sun’s rays are the most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Therefore, The Skin Cancer Foundation advises that hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven materials should be worn during these hours as they best absorb ultraviolet light.

Don’t Forget Your Lips. The 3 Little Birds 4 Life blog reminds us not to forget those lovely lips of ours. It notes that skin cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can affect the lips as well. However, regular sunscreen can irritate the sensitive skin on our lips. Instead, the blog recommends that you use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30. For best protection, reapply every two hours.

Protect Your Ears. As mentioned, we often forget to cover up or put sunscreen on some of the most sensitive parts of our bodies. HowStuffWorks.com reminds us that the tops of our ears in addition to our noses, hands and hairlines need some of that protection as well. According to the site, “The Skin Cancer Foundation says 80 percent of skin cancers occur on the head, neck and hands.”

Avoid Other Sources of UV Light. It isn’t just the sun that sends out ultraviolet rays. You may have been craving the chance to get working on your tan all winter long, but during the rainy days of spring, a tanning bed should not be seen as an ideal alternative to the sun. In fact, you should stay away from tanning beds altogether! The 3 Little Birds 4 Life blog calls tanning beds and sun lamps “huge culprits” when it comes to the skin cancer causes.

Watch Out For Reflected Light. During the winter, we tend to forget just how much the white snow can work as a reflective bounce pad for the sun’s UV rays. During the spring, concrete, sand and other surfaces can provide the same service. HowStuffWorks.com reminds us to protect often-forgotten places like underneath our chins so that reflected light won’t damage the skin in those areas.

Even with all of these precautions, sun damaged skin is still very much possible. Prolonged sun exposure can leads to wrinkles, fine lines and sun spots. And when all else fails in protecting you against all of the above mentioned issues, ProFractional can help repair the damage. ProFractional is a quick and safe laser procedure that pinpoints problem areas in the skin to smooth out skin irregularities causes by sun damage!

For more information, call Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.