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May 26, 2014

// Spider Veins

Preventing Spider Veins For A Satisfying Summer

With summer fast approaching and the weather starting to warm up (yay!), the winter wear has officially been put away to make room for the shorts and skirts. Now what do these types of garments have in common? Yes, they each begin with “S”. But they also all happen to be clothing that exposes your legs. So for those who are experiencing the appearance of spider veins in their legs, summer can be an “S” they’d rather avoid.

You don’t have to spend your summer wearing long pants. There is another “S” that can take care of your spider vein problem. Sclerotherapy is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to eliminating both large spider veins (also known as “telangiectasiae”) as well as smaller varicose leg veins. Sclerotherapy isn’t a laser treatment, by the way. Instead, it involves the injection of a “sclerosing solution” in the veins.

The solution works to close up the “feeder veins” underneath the skin that cause spider veins to form. Patients then have their legs compressed with stockings or bandages for a couple of weeks and are encouraged to do a lot of walking during that time. Now if you don’t yet see any spider veins in your legs, there are a few things that you can do to prevent them. WikiHow.com offers up a few tips.

1. Don’t inhibit circulation in your legs. This includes moving around and not staying in the same position for too long. “The veins in your legs have to work against gravity to carry blood back to your heart,” says the website. So it’s important to not sit or stand in one spot for too long a time. You’ll also want to avoid crossing your legs as it cuts off circulation and puts extra stress on your veins.

2. Wear comfortable shoes. Keeping your feet cozy isn’t just good for your back and your posture. It’s also a great way to improve the circulation in your legs. As WikiHow.com notes, shoes that pinch or inhibit blood flow can contribute to the appearance of spider veins in your legs. You’ll want to avoid high heels and tight boots to remain spider vein-free.

3. Wear compression hose. According to the website, compression hose provides additional support to your legs and can aid in the circulation of blood. This helps to prevent your veins from getting strained. Compression hose applies pressure to certain spots of your legs to promote circulation. Some can actually be prescribed by a doctor, notes WikiHow.com.

4. Take care of your skin. This is a tip always worth taking. It should go without saying that with the sun beating down on your skin this summer, you’ll need to wear sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. The website notes that healthy skin is less susceptible to appearances of spider veins. Be sure to moisturize your skin to keep it from drying out as well.

5. Eliminate foods that make you retain water. According to WikiHow.com, that includes foods that are high in salt (including fried foods and canned soups) and alcoholic drinks. Instead, eat more fibre. That would include a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains (like steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa and oat bran) as well as fibre supplements. Exercise, in addition to a healthy diet, by the way, is always helpful.

And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to call Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 to learn more about Sclerotherapy and book a consultation.

May 21, 2014

// Skin Care

5 Reasons To Rethink Your Ink!

Tattoos are world famous. Rock stars have them. Professional athletes have them. And let’s be honest. You don’t have to be famous to sit in a tattoo parlour. Quite frankly, we all know a bunch of people who are “inked up”. And interestingly, that means we all know a few people who wish that they could get “un-inked”. Do you happen to be one of those people?

While most people truly love their tattoos, there are always those who regret the decisions they made to permanently mark their skin. Often, tattoos hold special meanings. And then there are those tattoos that were simply spur-of-the-moment ideas. In some cases, tattoos lose their original meaning. And in others, those hasty decisions become big regrets. Here are five reasons why you may want to rethink your ink.

1. Dying trends. Some tattoos represent significant trends that are fashionable for the time that they were designed. But as time passes on, certain trends die. Consider the fact that you haven’t worn the exact same style of clothing throughout your entire life. If your tattoo was a cool fashion statement back in the 90s, it might not exactly be the look you’re going for today.

2. Break ups. Oh, those dreaded “I love (fill in the blank)” tattoos! When people are in love, they’ll do crazy things. You know, like getting tattoos of their partners names placed on their bodies? What happens when the relationship ends? Big time regret sets in. If there was ever a good reason to remove a tattoo, it’s because it is the name of a former boyfriend or girlfriend.

3. Job change. Let’s be honest. We all know that tattoos don’t exactly cut it as part of the dress code for many business types. Perhaps, if you’re working in a music store, bike shop or comic book store – no problem. Trendy, youthful environments tend to welcome the tattooed-look. However, if you’re moving on to a job that takes place in a professional office setting, your tattoos may need to be removed if they can’t be hidden.

4. Career advancement. Interestingly, it’s not just office spaces where tattoos may be frowned upon. Members of the acting world are starting to find that their tattoos don’t make for ideal fashion statements when trying to secure jobs. That’s because if an actor’s character doesn’t have tattoos, he or she is required to spend several extra hours in the makeup chair covering them up. Just ask Mark Wahlberg. He’s had several tattoos removed in order to advance his acting career.

5. Spelling mistakes. Imagine getting a tattoo to commemorate a special person or event in your life. You have the entire image and text planned out and you give it to your tattoo artist. And when it’s done – there’s a spelling mistake! If only there was an eraser strong enough to take that mistake away! Luckily, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre has such an eraser.

The clinic uses the most advanced tattoo-removing technology available. It comes in the form of Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers which use PhotoAcoustic Technology. This safely and effectively penetrates the skin to target each tattoo ink colour with specific wavelengths. Tattoos generally fade away over the course of 5 to 15 treatment sessions. For more information on our Tattoo Removal treatments or to book a consultation call 403-358-5818 today!

May 14, 2014

// Skin Care

How To Nourish Your Skin With The Right Foods

With summer slowly but surely creeping up around the corner, many people are getting the itch to get back to the great outdoors more often. In last week’s blog, we listed a few of the wonderful foods that people should consume in order to help keep their bodies in tip-top shape for the summer. But looking and feeling your best will also have a lot to do with the ways in which you treat your skin.

Yes, you’re very likely aware that it’s important to stay hydrated. Getting in ample amounts of water on a regular basis is a must – especially when the weather heats up. You also likely understand the need to put on your sunscreen whenever you plan on exposing your skin to the sun. But did you know that there are a number of foods that work to keep your skin moisturized as well? Let’s look at a few.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids. On TheBeautyBean.com, Jillian Fleischman writes that “foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids limit water loss in skin cells, keeping you looking and feeling refreshed”. Such foods also help to smooth out the appearance of wrinkles while helping your body to regenerate moisture. They include salmon, tuna, olive oil, anchovies, walnuts, almonds and avocado.

Fruits and Veggies. Surprise, surprise, right? Have you ever seen a list of healthy foods that didn’t include its fair share of fruits and vegetables? In addition to some of their more obvious health benefits, this food group also provides the body with Silica. Fleischman writes that in addition to promoting healthy bones and teeth, Silica helps to hydrate skin and maintain elasticity.

Vitamins B and C. According to Fleischman, both Vitamins B and C help to restore collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles and increasing your body’s hydration. Foods rich in Vitamin B, she adds, include whole grains and protein. Vitamin C, as you might have guessed, can be found in oranges, strawberries, grapefruits and broccoli. On Yahoo.com, Stephanie Haddad writes that skin care products containing Vitamin C are very helpful as well.

Now, just as important as it is to consume nutrient-rich foods that are moisturizing for your skin is avoiding the foods that can dehydrate it. We don’t often tend to think of what we put in our bodies as being able to affect the way our skin looks and feels. But there are a number of food sources out there that actually work to make our skin a lot more dry and a lot less clear. Let’s review a couple.

Junk Food. Another big surprise, right? Fleischman warms that foods with refined sugars work to dry your skin out. Try to avoid foods that are high in trans fatty acids and sodium, she advises. You know the usual culprits – chips, cakes, cookies, candies (what is it with foods start with “C”?). This won’t be easy, as such foods create a whole other “C” within most of us. Cravings! Avoidance may not be possible. But limit yourself as best you can.

Alcohol. As if you weren’t already aware, alcohol is a drying agent. Haddad reminds us that combined with other bad habits such as smoking, “drinking alcohol excessively, and indulging in too much caffeine will suck out all that moisture from your skin. Over time, you’ll see the wrinkly, saggy effects for yourself. Cut these factors out of your life completely, or limit these habits to a minimum, for your skin’s sake. ”

May 6, 2014

// Unwanted Fat

7 Foods That Get You Into Sweet Summer Shape

May is finally here! It seems like 2014 is just flying by, isn’t it? So you know what that means. Summer is just around the corner! Just think, by the end of next month, we’ll have welcomed the glorious warm and sunny summer after what has felt like the longest winter of all time. So there’s no time to waste. It’s time to get you into tip-top summer shape! The following are seven recommended foods to eat that will help you to achieve that goal.

1. Tart Cherries. According to Nutrition Editor, Brierley Wright on EatingWell.com, tart cherries “deliver a host of health benefits” including compounds that help you to slim down into leaner shape. She writes that a University of Michigan Health System study found that “the anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.”

2. Chilled Soups. On WedMD.com, Kathleen M. Zelman passes along some healthy eating tips from nutrition consultant, Susan Moores. Among them is advice to stick to cold soups. Such dishes as gazpacho or cucumber-dill are low in calories and contain a lot of “chunky vegetables”. As well, when consumed before a meal, these soups help to fill you faster so that you end up eating less.

3. Tomatoes. Now here’s the thing about tomatoes. Believe it or not, they actually work in conjunction with your sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays! Wright reveals that the lycopene found in tomatoes has been found to protect skin from UV light. Not to mention, tomatoes are healthy additions to just about any meal. Be sure to include them in your salads!

4. Watermelon. Both Moores and Wright agree that watermelons should be part of your “getting into sweet summer shape” routine. Moores reminds us of the fruit’s hydration powers as it is made up mainly of water – hence its name. Wright adds that eating foods that are full of water helps to minimize your hunger pangs as they keep you satisfied on fewer calories.

5. Raspberries. “Raspberries are a great source of fibre,” writes Wright, “some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol.” She goes on to discuss a Journal of Nutrition study that found that the more fibre we eat, the more we are able to prevent weight gain and while shedding the pounds. One cup of raspberries contains eight grams of fibre, she informs us.

6. Grilled Veggies. Can you ever really go wrong with vegetables? Zelman thinks not. She points out that there are several different ways to prepare your veggies as well. So for those of you thinking about firing up the barbeque this summer, don’t be afraid to include onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, asparagus and garlic on your grill. They help to make an array of amazingly nutritious dishes.

7. Blueberries. As it turns out, you really can’t go wrong with fruit either. Blueberries, in particular, are rich in antioxidants, Wright reminds us. According to research out of New Zealand, she continues, antioxidants also help to eliminate “muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during exercise.” Focusing on your nutrition now will ensure that you look and feel your best this summer. Good luck!