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August 24, 2015

// Hair Removal

4 Of Tweezing’s Terrible Side Effects

We all think that it won’t take too long. After all, we’re not really getting rid of that many hairs. Even though every time we begin, it appears as if there’s just one more strand to get. And those strands become part of an endless row of unwanted hairs! We also assume it won’t hurt that much. But with each pluck, the pain just seems to intensify. Why do we go through this process at all? You know exactly what we’re talking about – tweezing!

Does it really pay to tweeze? When you consider the painstaking practice that it is, it’s hard to imagine why any of us have ever stood in the mirror with those tiny little utensils ripping hair out of their follicles. Sure, tweezing is supposed to bring about benefits that shaving does not. “The hair takes longer to grow back,” we often tell ourselves. “It provides a smoother result,” we attempt to convince each other.

But, at the end of the day, tweezing has been known to produce more negative effects than positive. Hair removal is important to many of us. And when we feel that there is only a small number of hairs to remove, we often resort to tweezing as a remedy. However, those negative effects can leave our skin looking worse than when the hairs were present. Tweezing, it seems, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Here are four of tweezing’s terrible side effects:

1. Ingrown hairs. Who wants to replace their unwanted hair with those reddish, sore-to-the-touch bumps? No one, right? However, that is often the case following a tweezing session. This is especially true for those who take to eyebrow plucking. “Ingrown hairs are a common side effect of plucking your eyebrows,” says Kristeen Cherney on ModernMom.com, “They occur when the brow hairs break off underneath your skin during tweezing.”

2. Folliculitis. Sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it? Not to worry. Folliculitis is not a serious disease or anything. But as HairRemovalForum.com informs us, this condition comes as a result of hair follicles becoming inflamed and infected. “The condition appears as small, pimple-like white dots on the skin, causing itching and pain,” explains the site, “Folliculitis can easily be mistaken as an embarrassing breakout.”

3. Infections. When you tweeze your unwanted hair, you end up leaving your pores open to potentially harmful elements, Cherney explains. This is especially true when the tweezers that you are using are unclean. If so, bacteria can be transferred to the skin, which can cause infection. “Kids Health recommends cleaning your tweezers with rubbing alcohol before plucking, as well as when you’re done with the process,” she reports.

4. Hyperpigmentation. Another scary-sounding big word, hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin where hair was tweezed. It is often noticeable as patches that occur on the face or other areas where tweezing occurred. The discolouration “is caused when melanin forms deposits in the skin from prolonged inflammation due to plucking,” explains HairRemovalForum.com, “This is common in certain skin types and may not affect everyone who tweezes.”

You’ll be happy to know that the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre provides the alternative to all of tweezing’s terrible side effects. The LightSheer™ Hair Laser offers a revolutionary treatment in the management of unwanted hair. Using a “chill tip”, the laser protects the skin from feeling pain. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

August 18, 2015

// Unwanted Moles

Addressing Your Concerns About Moles

Summer isn’t quite winding down just yet. We wouldn’t dare make such a proclamation. We know just how much Canadians love soaking up the sun for as long as they can. And while we’re big proponents for enjoying the summertime, it’s the whole “soaking up the sun” thing that needs some attention. It cannot be understated that we all need to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

It’s something that we should all be doing all year round – not just during the summer. One of the most obvious reasons to lather up with sunscreen is to protect ourselves from sunburn. However, it must be highlighted that sun damage can lead to skin cancer. And one of the first signs that skin cancer may be an issue is the presence of moles. Now, to be clear, the appearance of moles doesn’t necessarily mean that there is cancer present.

As John Hurry explains on NaturalRemedyIdeas.com, “most people have moles. This is the result of having too much melanocytes on the skin. If in case you are not familiar with what melanocytes are, this is in charge of melanin which gives the skin color. There are times when people do not mind their moles or they are quite happy with the moles that they have but there are also some who would like to get rid of moles on their face because of the way that they look.”

It should be pointed out that some people are more prone to getting moles than others. On MedicineNet.com, Dr. Gary W. Cole reveals that “moles are more common in people prone to freckles. Freckles are flat spots that are tan, slightly reddish, or light-brown and typically appear during the sunny months. They are most often found in people with light complexions. Many people with blond or red hair and green or blue eyes are more prone to these types of skin growths.”

However, it bears repeating that neglecting to protect our skin from the sun won’t do anyone any favours. “Prolonged exposure to the sunlight may trigger the formation of moles as well,” reminds BeyondDisease.com, “Moles triggered by sunlight are more likely to turn into melanoma, or skin cancer. Towards the end of this article, we will discuss the link between moles and skin cancer in further detail.”

The website also notes that natural changes in our bodies can also bring about moles that are less worrisome. Entering adolescence, for example, can present hormonal changes that may produce moles. In addition, “pregnancy makes a lot of changes in a woman’s body,” says BeyondDisease.com, “Although pregnancy does not usually lead to the creation of more moles, but existing moles tend to become darker in colour.”

So how can we tell if moles are cancerous or not? It generally depends on the type of moles you have. As Hurry points out, there is a type of shape, colour and size of moles that often determines if they are cancerous or not. Naturally, it’s important to consult a doctor if you fear that there may be an issue with the moles you’ve noticed on your skin. In some cases, mole removal is the best option.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the VariLite laser to safely and effectively remove moles. It also helps with skin tags, small red blood vessels (telangiectasia) on the face and other pigmented skin spots. The VariLite laser is well known for producing excellent results 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 or email info@auroralaser.net.

August 11, 2015

// Skin Care

6 Ways To Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage

We certainly hope that you’ve been enjoying your summer so far! For many Canadians, this is a favourite time of year. And although not every single day is hot and sunny, there’s still so much excitement around the various events that take place all throughout the summertime. As a result, most Canadians are spending a lot more time outdoors. And therefore, it’s important that they’re spending a lot more time protecting their skin.

It should be mentioned – yet again – that the summertime is not the only time of year to consider protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. We’ve often mentioned how necessary it is during the winter when those rays have the ability to bounce off of the snow and directly into our faces! But since there is still a lot of summer left (we hope, anyway!), it’s worth reminding you of how to protect all of that extra exposed skin of yours from sun damage.

Here are six ways to protect your skin from sun damage:

1. Apply that sunscreen. Perhaps, we should start with the obvious – and maybe because it’s not that obvious to everyone. There are still a lot of people out there who walk outside each day without having first applied sunscreen. As Shape.com reminds us, “if you’re planning on being out in the sun for longer than 15 minutes, make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 30. If you use a moisturizer, save a step and use a moisturizer with SPF.”

2. Seek the shade. We know how tempting it is to “soak up” the sun’s rays to work on a golden brown tan. It’s important to remember, however, that that tan you’re working on is the very definition of sun damage! “The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.,” HowStuffWorks.com informs us, “Stay indoors during this time, or if you must be outdoors, cover up and wear sunscreen.”

3. Rock some shades! Translation: wear sunglasses. Don’t forget that the sun’s UV rays can cause you to look older. Sunglasses help to shield the skin around your eyes. And it’s this area that is most commonly associated with the signs of aging. “Sunglasses help shield the skin around your eyes from skin-aging UV rays,” says Shape.com, “Opt for a pair clearly labelled to block 99 percent of UV rays. Wider lenses best protect the delicate skin around your eyes.”

4. Don’t neglect your ears. Even when we’re accustomed to applying sunscreen, we often forget certain parts of our bodies. The tops of our ears are among the often-neglected. HowStuffWorks.com reports that “The Skin Cancer Foundation says 80 percent of skin cancers occur on the head, neck and hands. The Foundation therefore recommends that you wear a hat made of a tightly woven fabric.”

5. Don’t forget your lips either! Your lips have thinner skin than the rest of our bodies. But like our ears, we often forget that they too need protection. “The truth is that most of us neglect our thin-skinned lips when it comes to the sun’s rays—leaving our lips particularly vulnerable to painful sunburns and the lip lines and wrinkles associated with aging,” states Shape.com, “Remember to always apply (and reapply at least every hour) a lip-protection balm.”

6. Take advantage of ProFractional. When all else fails and your skin requires treatment, ProFractional is a quick and comfortable laser procedure with little to no downtime. It is used for improving the overall appearance of your skin by repairing sun damage as well as wrinkles, fine lines and acne scars. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

August 5, 2015

// Spider Veins

5 Things Not To Do When Battling Varicose Veins

We certainly hope you’re enjoying your summer so far. While not every day has been bright, warm and sunny, we’ve still had our fair share of sunshine. As a result, many have naturally gone the way of shorts and skirts to bare their legs. And then there are those who absolutely refuse to show their legs for fear that people will be distracted by their varicose veins. Does this sound like you?

If you have varicose veins in your legs, don’t fear. There are some things you can do to make them disappear! However, there are also a few things that you should not do in order to dissuade varicose veins from being visible. Many things that we do on a regular basis actually contribute to the development of these unsightly veins. So it’s important to be mindful of some of the “don’ts” in the battle against varicose veins.

Here are five things not to do:

1. Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, “being in one position for an extended period of time can place pressure on veins, so it’s important to keep your legs moving. Changing positions every 30 minutes will help blood flow and keep veins healthy. Flexing calves muscles frequently is also a good exercise to do at your desk on long car trips or on a plane to keep up circulation.”

2. Don’t cross your legs while sitting. This actually creates extra and unnecessary pressure on the veins in your legs. It’s quite commonplace and widely accepted to cross your legs while sitting. But it’s certainly not doing you any favours. On The LiveYourSport Blog, it is recommended that you elevate your legs, if at all possible, any time you are resting. Consider using a foot stool to rest your legs on instead of crossing them when seated.

3. Don’t subject your legs to excessive heat. Keep in mind that when you want to reduce swelling to an area of the body, it’s generally recommended that you apply ice to cool it down, right? The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery reminds us that heat can do the opposite: “Everyone enjoys a hot bath or relaxing in a hot tub on occasion but it’s important to keep it to a minimum. The heat associated with baths and hot tubs will actually increase vein swelling and lead to blood pooling.”

4. Don’t give up on your workouts. Getting in proper exercise can be tough. But it’s a necessity for your health. This includes the diminishing of varicose veins. The LiveYourSport Blog insists that “the best tip is regular exercise of the legs, as strong calf muscles serve as a ‘peripheral venous heart’ which pumps the venous blood against gravity back to the heart and lungs for purification.”

5. Don’t be afraid to try sclerotherapy. The name may sound a bit scary, but the procedure the name represents is certainly nothing to be afraid of. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer this safe and effective procedure which involves the injection of medication into unwanted veins to make them disappear. Sclerotherapy is widely regarded as the “gold standard” when it comes to the treatment of varicose veins.

The sclerosing solution that is used in sclerotherapy works to close the “feeder veins” under the skin that cause varicose veins to form. The patient’s leg is then compressed with either stockings or bandages that are worn for about two weeks following the treatment. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.