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May 26, 2015

// Spider Veins

Keep Healthy To Ward Off Varicose And Spider Veins

With summer set to kick off in just under a month from now, many of us are pretty excited about the prospect of sitting poolside in our bikinis. Many others, however, are dreading the idea of exposing their legs this summer. The appearance of varicose and spider veins often make people fearful of wearing anything other than long pants all throughout the warmest months of the year. And that’s no fun.

Is there anything we can do to prevent varicose and spider veins from showing up? According to Naturopath, Mim Beim on BodyAndSoul.com, they aren’t necessarily avoidable as they often have strong genetic links. She reveals that if you have family members with varicose or spider veins as well as swollen ankles and hemorrhoids, you are more likely to be susceptible to the appearance of varicose and spider veins yourself.

On WomensDay.com, Alyssa Fiorentino agrees. “It’s definitely genetic, but don’t be too quick to blame one parent or the other,” she writes, noting that Dr. Greg Martin, author of Say Goodbye to Varicose and Spider Veins Now!, explains that “you can inherit the tendencies from either, or both sides of the family, and it can even skip a generation.” Now, that we know that varicose and spider veins are genetic, what can we do to help diminish their appearance?

Eat nutritiously. It’s going to be pretty hard to find a list of health tips that doesn’t involve some sort of nutritional advice. Maintaining one’s overall health has a lot to do with diet. Avoiding processed, sugary and salty foods is a great way to kickstart a healthy eating regimen. When it comes to warding off varicose and spider veins, the advice to eat right is no different. There are a number of foods that can help, says Beim.

She writes that “they include berries (especially blueberries), cherries, red grapes, citrus fruits including the pith, rye and buckwheat. Improving the circulation is also important. Foods that help include garlic, onion, ginger and chilli.” Beim goes on to note that maintaining a healthy weight is also a big part of keeping varicose and spider veins at bay. The less pressure on the legs, the better!

Exercise regularly. Another tip that is bound to make its way onto just about every health column you’ll find is to exercise regularly. Remember that varicose and spider vein development often has to do with a lack of blood circulation. Clearly, working out is ideal for getting the blood flowing throughout your veins. “Exercise is the best way to prevent and maintain vein issues, so add this to your list of reasons to sneak in a workout,” writes Fiorentino.

She goes on to quote Dr. Garth Rosenberg, a vascular surgeon for Capitol Vein and Laser Center in Frederick, MD as saying “the more you’re active and healthy, the better.” Dr. Rosenberg’s vein-reducing exercises of choice are swimming and climbing stairs. Dr. Martin adds walking and toe raising to the list of recommended activities when trying to eliminate the appearance of varicose and spider veins in the legs.

When all else fails, there is a very safe and effective procedure that makes varicose and spider veins disappear! Sclerotherapy is known the “gold standard” when it comes to diminishing the appearance of these veins. It is not a laser treatment. Instead, a sclerosing solution is injected to close off “feeder veins” under the skin that cause varicose and spider veins to form. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.

May 20, 2015

// Unwanted Fat

6 Steps To Securing Your Slimmer Summer Body

If you’re the type of person who has been saying something along the lines of “when the weather gets better, I’ll start working out again”, you’re not alone. The fact of the matter is that most of us are full of excuses when it’s cold outside. The idea that it’s a lot more enjoyable to exercise in the warmth and sunshine of summertime is widespread. So don’t feel too guilty. But, let’s be honest, waiting for summer is an excuse. And the time for excuses is over!

There’s no wrong time of year to get yourself to a place of optimum health and better shape. But there couldn’t be a better time than now to kick off those outdoor workouts in order to secure yourself the beach body that you’ve been dreaming about all winter long. Naturally, it will require a combination of good nutrition and adequate exercise in order for you to meet your fitness goals. So let’s see if we can’t get you there with some helpful tips.

Here are six steps to securing your slimmer summer body:

1. Pace yourself in your first week. No matter what type of workout routine you plan on engaging in, it’s important to not overdo it right away. Especially if you’ve taken a bit of a break from working out over the colder months of the year, you’d be doing your body a favour by warming up to a regular exercise regime. Amanda Vogel of Best Health Magazine reminds us that “you might feel some mild to moderate muscle soreness a day or two after your first few workouts, which is a sign that your muscles are adapting to the new challenges of the workout.”

2. Stay hydrated. All workout routines, whether they take place in the summer or winter, require the drinking of water. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it’s important for overall health. Women’s Health Matters states that “the heat not only builds a person’s thirst during a workout, but it also causes the body to enter an unbalanced state. During the summer, people are at an increased risk of becoming dehydrated.” So be sure to never leave home without your water bottle!

3. Concentrate on cardio. Vogel writes that there are three important components of fitness: cardio exercise, strength training and flexibility. For cardio, she suggests starting with a 45 minute walk. For the second half of the walk, increase your speed to the point where it is “moderately challenging” enabling you to speak only in short sentences. Don’t assume that non-stop running is always necessary as you don’t want to burn muscle. Burning fat entails that you both elevate and lower your heart rate during your workouts.

4. Avoid the hottest times of the day. It’s not uncommon to be tempted by the warmth and sunshine that usually comes in the middle of the day. If you intend on working out during your lunch break, you may wish to opt for a shaded area. “The best way to avoid the heat on any warm summer day is to choose your workout time wisely,” states Women’s Health Matters, “Exercising during the coolest times of the day ensures a healthy workout with less stress on the body.”

5. Track your results. How else will you know how well you’re doing if you’re not making notes of your progress? “Before you begin, you might find it motivating to take a few baseline measurements so you can track your results as you slim down,” suggests Vogel, “Consider taking note of your current weight, measuring your waistline (or other areas you’d like to trim down) and keeping a journal of each workout. You’ll likely find that certain exercises will feel easier over time as you get fitter.”

6. Be sure to cool down. Working out during the summertime can be a lot of fun. But remember that with the heat comes added pressure on the body to keep it cool. Take the time to recuperate at a slow and steady pace after each workout, says Women’s Health Matters. “Whether you choose to exercise indoors or outdoors, a proper warm-up and cool down will always be a must for your workout routine,” they advise.

May 12, 2015

// Hair Removal

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe During The Summer?

Beautiful, glorious summer! It’s well on the way. And, as a result, many of us are shopping for new bikinis and swimsuits to enjoy the warm weather by soaking up the sun. Allow us to quickly interject on ourselves for a moment by reminding you that “soaking up the sun” should be done in moderation. And never without sunscreen! Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays should be a big part of your “enjoying the summer” routine.

With that said, however, there are also a number of us who don’t plan on donning bikinis any time soon. And it has nothing to do with not enjoying the sunshine and warmth that comes along with the summer season. It’s more of an “unwanted hair” issue. You see, for many of us, tweezing, waxing and shaving are cumbersome activities that don’t always agree with our skin. Yes, we want our skin to be smooth and silky. But traditional hair removal practices don’t always pull that off.

Razor bumps, rashes, nicks and scratches are commonplace when we attempt to tweeze, wax and shave our unwanted hair away. And let’s not get started on the amount of time, energy and money it takes to keep up with these hair removal practices. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a permanent hair removal solution via the amazing Light Sheer™ Hair Laser. It provides a revolutionary treatment that has long produced excellent long-lasting results!

But is it safe to undergo laser hair removal during the summertime? What about the idea that lighter, untanned skin is more ideal for the entire process? Should one wait for the summer to end before deciding upon laser hair removal? All of these are excellent questions. In this week’s blog, we’ll seek to provide the answers. Firstly, yes it is still safe to undergo laser hair removal during the summertime!

On his website, Dr. Steven H. Dayan refers to the idea that you can’t get laser hair removal during the summer as an “urban legend”. He believes that it’s a myth that was developed from the advice that one should stay out of the sun before getting laser hair removal treatment. And although he does agree that one should refrain from lying out in the sun 72 hours prior to receiving the treatment, it is still completely safe to undergo laser hair removal in the summer.

Dr. Dayan discusses the advances in laser hair removal technology that make this so. “Laser Hair Removal uses precise wavelengths that can focus on the melanin pigment and target it,” he informs, “These wavelengths are able to focus on the pigment while avoiding damage to the surrounding skin. When laser hair removal first started, the lasers used did not have a great ability to focus wavelengths and, the darker your skin, the harder it was to remove the hair.”

With respect to lighter, untanned skin being more ideal for laser hair removal, Dr. Dayan reminds us that those with darker skin are still eligible for treatments. He does, however, recommend that you hold off on tanning for best results. “You can get laser hair removal with a tan,” he asserts, noting that LightSheer technology “has settings that allow technicians to more easily treat darker skin types.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, all laser hair removal treatments are performed by certified experienced laser technicians. The LightSheer™ Hair Laser’s patented “chill tip” is heralded as being an excellent protector of skin during the process, making the treatment virtually painless. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.

May 5, 2015

// Unwanted Moles

Protecting Our Skin Against Melanoma This Summer

Now that May has arrived, many of us are already thinking about lathering up in sunscreen in order to spend hours in the sun each day. The whole “lathering” part is a smart idea. But no matter how much sunscreen you’re wearing, it’s important to remember that the amount of time that you spend in direct sunlight should be limited. The forthcoming summer is a great time to spend outdoors. But don’t assume that seeking the shade isn’t necessary.

We are all at risk of melanoma when we spend too long in the sun. This type of skin cancer is a direct result of sun exposure. And while getting a “golden tan” often makes us feel like we look great, it’s simply a byproduct of sun damage. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, “excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) from the sun and sunbeds plays a leading role in the development of melanoma and is the most preventable cause of this disease.”

It’s also important to not assume that it can’t happen to you. While Canadians may face what are deemed as relatively short summers, they are still at risk of too much sun exposure. “Melanoma is now the 8th most common cancer in Canada,” reports the CDA, “Melanoma is one of a handful of cancers where the incidence in Canadians continues to grow (1.4% per year in men, 1% per year in women).”

So what can be done to protect ourselves from the risk of melanoma? As mentioned earlier, sunscreen is absolutely necessary. In fact, it should be underlined that sunscreen should be used all year round. Just because it isn’t hot outside doesn’t mean that the sun’s UV rays aren’t in full force. The winter, as a matter of fact, gives the sun’s rays more opportunities to bounce around. This is because of all of that white snow on the ground.

However, when the summer is here – and it’s coming! – it’s important to wear a sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF. On FreshVancouver.com, Dr. Lydia Waterson actually recommends a 50 SPF for the face and neck area. This will help to prevent age-related damage. But just how much sunscreen should be applied? “We require about a shot glass full (30 grams) for the whole body in one application, and we should re-apply throughout the day, especially after swimming or sweating,” she advises.

Dr. Waterson goes on to remind us of the ABCDE rules when it comes to checking for moles. The CDA notes that the presence of moles, especially if there are more than 50, could be a sign that melanoma is present. The ABCDE rules help to determine whether or not you may have the skin disease. It stands for Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolution. Here’s exactly what to look for:

Asymmetry: Check to see if one half of the mole looks different than the other half. Border: Notice if the mole is uneven, ragged or irregular in anyway. Colour: Note if there are any colour variations or shades of brown, black, grey, red or white. Diameter: Look to see if the mole is larger than 6mm. Evolution: Observe if the mole has changed in colour, size or shape and also if you are experiencing any tenderness, itching or bleeding.

Dr. Waterson insists that you call a doctor if you’ve experienced any of the above. At Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we are happy to help those who have mole growths. With the help of the VariLite Laser, our technicians can safely and effectively remove moles with no bruising and virtually no down time. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.