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June 30, 2015

// Spider Veins

3 Nutritious Ways To Battle Varicose Veins

With the summer now here, we are all presented with many more opportunities to show some extra skin. However, not all of us are all that thrilled about getting such opportunities. Varicose and spider veins that appear in our legs make us a lot less willing to put on shorts, skirts and bathing suits. In many of our past blogs, we have recommended a variety of ways that we can minimize the appearance of such veins. And good nutrition is one of them.

Is it true that what we eat can help to either worsen or alleviate our varicose vein conditions? Consider the fact that the appearance of such veins has a lot to do with blood pressure. The less pressure in your legs, the less likely that varicose and spider veins will appear. Therefore, it stands to reason that blood pressure-reducing foods can help reduce the visibility of varicose and spider veins. But which ones are the best?

Here are three nutritious ways to battle varicose veins:

1. Blueberries. According to HealWithFood.org, “blueberries are one of the greatest health foods of all time, and they’re a boon to anyone prone to varicose veins.” The site notes that “due to their high concentration of anthocyanins (flavonoid pigments), blueberries contribute to the health of the collagen matrix by neutralizing enzymes that destroy connective tissue and by scavenging free radicals.”

Varistop.com agrees that blueberries are excellent varicose and spider vein fighters. Firstly, it’s best to avoid refined sugar in your diet by opting for fruit when you have a craving for sweets. Secondly, the website reports that “the boost of antioxidants will reinforce your veins. The extra fibre will help you lose weight by keeping you full longer. And the slow release of energy from the fruits will keep you active for longer hours.”

2. Non-white fibre alternatives. Varistop.com also points out that an increase of fibre in your diet will help you to relieve pressure on the veins in your lower rectum. The more straining that takes place during bowel movements, the more susceptible you are to damaging your veins, potentially causing both hemorrhoids and varicose veins to appear. The site recommends, however, that you should get your fibre from non-white sources.

Avoid white flour, white rice and white sugar, Varistop.com insists. Replacing them with brown alternatives such as whole wheat flour will help you to improve your health. Lowering both your blood pressure and risk of diabetes are among the main benefits. Consider brown rice and wild rice instead of white and, as mentioned earlier, opt for fruits instead of sugary snacks. As well, “the slow release of energy from the fruits will keep you active for longer hours,” the site points out.

3. Avocados. The health benefits of avocados are many. As HealWithFood.org reveals, they are “brimming with natural compounds that fight varicose veins. They contain both vitamin C and vitamin E, two key vitamins for vascular health. Avocados are also at the top of the list of plant foods with the highest concentration of glutathione, a tripeptide molecule that protects the heart, veins, and arteries from oxidant damage.”

If you are battling a varicose and spider vein problem that nutrition doesn’t seem to be helping with, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre can help you. We offer sclerotherapy which is known as the “gold standard” treatment in the fight against such veins. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

June 23, 2015

// Unwanted Fat

Best Practices For Burning Calories This Summer

Summer has arrived! So, the chances are that you’ll be spending more of your time outdoors. Why not utilize all of that extra outdoor time by getting some well-needed exercise? If you’re like most people, you’ve allowed the colder months of the year to become the excuses you use to not find time to work out. Well, the time for making excuses is over and the time for working out outside is here. The summer is the perfect time of year to burn calories!

Don’t assume, however, that a jog in the park should become part of your daily schedule. Instead, it’s important to focus on quick bursts of energy to maximize the number of calories you burn. There is a common misconception that running steadily on a treadmill for a long duration of time is a slimming exercise. It actually isn’t. Liz Plosser of Women’s Health Magazine writes that running with more intensity in shorter bursts will greater benefit you.

“Most people operate under the assumption that the more they run, the more weight they’ll lose,” she explains, “Problem is, the more miles you log, the more efficient your body becomes at running and the fewer calories it burns…In other words, you’ll initially drop some pounds, but your progress will flatline as soon as your body adjusts to your exercise regimen.” Plosser recommends, therefore, that you “switch into high gear”.

When you cause your muscles to work harder to process oxygen, they expend more energy. This creates a greater calorie-burning process in the body. As well, your metabolism will stay active even after your workout has been completed. “In a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women who ran hard for two minutes followed by three minutes at a low intensity torched more calories in the 24 hours following their sweat sessions than those who did slow, steady mileage,” reports Plosser.

Burning calories, however, will also take a stricter approach to your diet. With the summer now here, it’s going to be pretty hard to completely avoid all of the calorie-laden treats that come with barbeques, picnics and other events that are commonplace at this time of year. But to keep your body in tip-top shape, it would be wise to avoid them. In case you’re wondering exactly what foods are on the “Do Not Eat” list, SkinnyMs.com happily reveals them.

Anything with refined sugar and white flour should be cut out. Sodas (even “diet” ones) should also be avoided. As well, it’s important to eat smaller portions of food more often throughout the day. Instead of the standard three large meals, opt for smaller meals five to six times a day. This also will help to boost your metabolism. “Eating on salad plates instead of dinner size plates is a good start,” says the website.

The way you approach your diet is similar to the way you should approach your workouts. In a way, less is more. Instead of jogging for a half hour, run in quick sprints that are broken up by walking intervals for about fifteen minutes. Instead of eating a big meal three times a day, try doubling up on the meals, but cutting down on the portion sizes. Combining these practices will certainly help you to burn calories.

It’s wise to switch up your exercises too. That way, you won’t get bored and your body won’t get used to the same old routine, which will result in less calories being burned. “Warm up and cool down with five to 10 minutes of slow jogging or fast walking,” recommends Plosser, “For the most slimming results, switch up your workout – don’t just stick with the interval routine that feels easiest.”

Good luck!

June 16, 2015

// Hair Removal

Securing A Summer Solution For Ingrown Hairs

With the summer season about to officially start this coming Sunday, the idea of wearing shorts, skirts and swimsuits is becoming a very popular one. For obvious reasons, people tend to show more skin in the summertime. And, as a result, we tend to pay closer attention to skin care. Shaving, therefore, is a practice that many of us choose to practice more often during the summer. After all, having smooth skin helps us to feel more comfortable with showing it.

Shaving, however, doesn’t always produce the smooth appearance that we hope for. For many of us, a day or two after a shave means the appearance of rashes, bumps and ingrown hairs! It isn’t exactly the look that anyone is going for, is it? Ingrown hairs are especially annoying because they tend to protrude from the skin’s surface. As well, they are generally quite sensitive to the touch. On EmaxHealth.com, Tim Boyer explains why.

“Ingrown hairs are just what they sound like—hairs that rather than stand straight or are slightly flexed wind up curling down and reentering the skin through an open pore,” he explains, “The problem with this is that it leads to infection and inflammation that can result in a pus-filled sore that is not only unattractive to your skin, but painful as well and a health risk if the infection worsens and spreads.”

Sounds quite nasty, doesn’t it? Not only are ingrown hairs the cause for major physical discomfort, but they also present reasons to want to cover up. And during the hot summertime, this only creates further discomfort. Ingrown hairs are not only the result of beard shaving, by the way. We ladies have been known to experience an ingrown hair or two (or many more!) in all of the areas where we shave.

Madeline Vann comments upon this fact on EverydayHealth.com. “Ingrown hairs are commonly linked to ‘razor bumps’ or ‘shaving bumps’ – irritation that occurs after shaving,” she explains, “People with curly hair who shave often…are particularly at risk for frequent ingrown hairs…But anyone can have an ingrown hair almost anywhere on the body. Chins, legs, armpits, and bikini lines are all places where ingrown hairs frequently occur in women and men.”

So what should we do to treat our ingrown hairs? Vann notes that while antibiotic creams can assist in some cases, others may require the assistance of doctors who may need to use needles to release the ingrown hairs from under the skin. Ouch! She goes on to note that an alternative solution to coping with ingrown hairs is to significantly reduce them by choosing methods of hair removal, other than shaving.

Specifically, Vann reports that “laser hair removal helps reduce the number of hairs that can become ingrown. Laser hair removal does not permanently remove hair, but it can provide relief for months and, for some people, years.” At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use The LightSheer™ Hair Laser for our laser hair removal treatments. It has long been known as a revolutionary treatment in the management of unwanted hair.

The laser uses a patented chill tip, which protects the skin and makes the treatment virtually painless. All of our treatments are performed by certified experienced laser technicians as both client safety and the quality of the treatment are of paramount importance to our clinic. Do away with your ingrown hair problem today! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

June 9, 2015

// Unwanted Moles

3 Reasons To Wear Sunscreen On A Cloudy Day

If your neck of the woods is anything like ours, here in Red Deer, Alberta, June has gotten off to a cloudy and rainy start. For some people, this is a downer, as they were looking forward to basking in the warmth that generally comes along with sunshine this time of year. Then again, others are happy to have the sun kept at bay, assuming that cloudy days are reasons to skip on the sunscreen. If you’re one of those people, it’s time to rethink your assumptions!

As we’ve often mentioned before, the application of sunscreen should be a year-round practice. And don’t assume that just because you can’t see the sun on certain days that it’s harmful UV rays aren’t still beaming down upon you. Keep in mind that protecting your skin from sun damage is always necessary. A cloudy day is no reason to believe that your skin is completely safe. If you want to ward off the signs of aging, you’ll keep the sunscreen application going!

Here are three reasons to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day:

1. Clouds don’t completely block UV rays. Believe it or not, clouds aren’t the skin protectors that many of us assume them to be. As YourSummerSkin.com points out, clouds do block the sunlight, but not UV rays. “The Skin Cancer Foundation says that clouds block as little as 20% of UV rays — so on a cloudy day you’re still getting up to 80% of the sun’s harsh effects,” reports the website.

Don’t get tricked by the cold either. While clouds block the sunlight, and often heat, as a result, those pesky UV rays can still get to our exposed skin. “It is also important to note that UV rays are independent of temperature — so you can get just as much sun damage on a cold, sunny day than you can a hot summer one,” reports YourSummerSkin.com. This is why it’s so important to remember to apply sunscreen during the winter as well.

2. Clouds can actually help to distribute UV rays. One of the reasons that sunscreen application during the winter is so important is because the white snow on the ground serves as excellent reflectors of UV rays. Snow helps for UV rays to bounce right into our faces! And, as YourSummerSkin.com reveals, UV rays can bounce off of clouds as well. In fact, the site says that “some say you’re actually at more risk on cloudy days.”

3. Prolonged sunscreen neglect is known to cause skin damage. Keep in mind that no one is saying that if you don’t wear sunscreen on a cloudy day, you’re bound to damage your skin right away. UV rays are known to damage skin over the course of time when prolonged exposure without protection constantly occurs. As Dr. Judith Reichman points out on Today.com, the sun’s rays lead to more than 80 percent of the causes of wrinkles, age spots and other skin growths.

“And it doesn’t take much sun to do it,” she asserts, “A 1997 article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that only minutes of exposure here and there accumulate over the years and lead to premature skin aging. This is far less than the exposure required to produce a visible sunburn or even a tan.” With that, Dr. Reichman reveals another important point about sun damage. You don’t necessarily have to see it or feel it for it to have happened.

One of the most common results of prolonged exposure to UV rays is melanoma – a deadly skin cancer. In many cases, this cancer is detected by the presence of moles. If you’ve noticed the development of moles on your skin, it’s important to contact a medical professional to rule out melanoma. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the VariLite Laser to safely and effectively remove moles.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818.

June 2, 2015

// Skin Care

How Laser Tattoo Removal Can Be The Answer To Your Prayers

Getting a tattoo is a personal choice. And let’s be honest, tattoos are widely popular. And while there is an endless list of reasons that people decide to get particular tattoos, there is a growing list of reasons why they wish they could get rid of them. Just like the clothing we wear, tattoos are fashion decisions. How we choose to physically present ourselves is often an indicator of who we are. Or is it?

A lot of ink-imbedded individuals feel that the stereotypes about them are unwarranted. In many cases, their tattoos are representations of past lifestyles. Growing older, getting a new job, having children and simply moving on to a new sense of fashion are all reasons why people decide that the tattoos they once loved are no longer welcome on their bodies. But unlike with clothing, you can’t take off and put on new tattoos each day.

So how do those who wish to remove their tattoos deal with this problem? You’ll be happy to know that Laser Tattoo Removal has come a long way. At one point, the process pretty much guaranteed a lot of scarring and pain. Not anymore. Advances in technology now allow for the removal of tattoos via a safe, effective and pain-minimizing process. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the Q-switched Nd: YAG laser to remove tattoos.

Heralded as the most advanced type of laser tattoo removal tool, the Q-switched Nd: YAG laser uses PhotoAcoustic Technology. It safely penetrates the skin to target each tattoo ink colour with specific wavelengths, causing tattoos to gradually fade during a course of 5 to 15 treatment sessions. For those of us experiencing a sense of regret about tattoos that we may have hastily gotten a long time ago, this type of laser tattoo removal is the answer to your prayers!

Here are some examples of the prayers that can be answered:

I want a new career. There are career opportunities out there where noticeable tattoos are completely unacceptable. As mentioned earlier, they can raise questions based on stereotypes surrounding those who have tattoos on their bodies. In certain settings, tattoos can be off-putting. If you’re looking to change careers, the removal of your tattoos may be the perfect step in the right direction.

I want to reverse a mistake. We all know that many tattoos are gotten on impulse. In many situations, a decision to get a tattoo is influenced by a romantic relationship. But what happens when that relationship ends? Sadly, the tattoo remains – and a reminder of that mistake is a daily one. With age comes wisdom. As people get older, they tend to wish to shed themselves of the errors they made as youngsters. Laser tattoo removal is one surefire way to do that!

I want to change my lifestyle. In many cases, tattoos are representative of particular ways of life: the type of music you listen to, a group or affiliation you are a part of or a certain viewpoint about the world that you wish to share. However, opinions change. Lifestyles change. And, as a result, you may not feel the same as you did when you decided to get the tattoos that expressed your former opinion. A lifestyle change can be completed once your tattoos are removed.

I want to avoid embarrassment. Let’s be honest. Not every tattoo is a work of art. Some pieces are simply awfully constructed messes that were better off never being produced. Many people walk around with tattoos that they are embarrassed to show off simply because they were done so poorly. Perhaps, there’s no better reason for laser tattoo removal than getting rid of some shoddy workmanship from your body.

For more information on our Laser Tattoo Removal treatments, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818.