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April 27, 2016

// Spider Veins

How Sclerotherapy Can Save Your Summer

Well, it’s that time of year again! As we prepare to make the transition into May, most Canadians are happily putting away their heavy jackets and are looking forward to wearing a lot lighter clothing over the next several months. During the spring and summertime, shorts, skirts, t-shirts and tank tops are the norm. But there are many of us who’d prefer to keep covered up, no matter how hot the temperatures get.

Why would anyone want to cover up during the summer? Spider veins, that’s why! For many Canadians, varicose and spider veins that appear in their legs make the ideas of wearing shorts or skirts unbearable ones. They’d much rather bear the brunt of being too hot instead of suffering what they would consider embarrassing moments of revealing their unsightly legs. This isn’t exactly fair. And it certainly shouldn’t have to be the case.

What is the solution to varicose and spider veins? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer sclerotherapy, which is commonly referred to as the “gold standard” when it comes to the treatment of varicose and spider veins. It’s preferred over laser treatment because the sclerosing solution that is injected closes the feeder veins under the skin that cause the spider veins to form to begin with.

How does sclerotherapy work to diminish varicose and spider veins? With a number of injections of the solution into the veins, they begin to collapse and fade away from view. Shortly thereafter, a patient’s treated leg is compressed with either stockings or bandages that are usually worn for about two weeks after the treatment. Patients are also highly encouraged to walk regularly, so as to promote blood circulation in the legs.

Do varicose and spider veins present any health risks? Sclerotherapy is generally considered a cosmetic procedure, considering that varicose and spider veins are not known for causing significant pain, discomfort or health issues. For the most part, they are simply seen as undesirable and are therefore, commonly covered up, if not diminished by the treatment. Sclerotherapy, however, is also known for treating any aching, burning, swelling and cramping caused by the veins.

How long does the procedure take and how quick are the results? Sclerotherapy is a pretty simple procedure that often requires no more than 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Commonly, a patient’s daily activities can be resumed right away. As well, results are quickly visible. Sclerotherapy treatments are also known for resulting in the elimination of up to 80 percent of the veins that are injected with the solution.

Can sclerotherapy help to diminish veins of all sizes? Typically, smaller spider veins are successfully destroyed by injections made with fine needles. However, for deeper and larger varicose veins, a treatment known as echo sclerotherapy can be employed. This is a safe and efficient procedure that uses Doppler ultrasound guidance. It has been known to effectively treat varicose veins and eliminate the need for surgery.

If you’re worried about having to cover up your varicose and spider veins for yet another summer, sclerotherapy may be for you! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

April 20, 2016

// Unwanted Moles

When Are Moles More Than Just Beauty Marks?

Many people are born with birthmarks and often refer to them as “beauty marks”. In many cases, they are actually considered quite attractive. Just ask fans of Cindy Crawford. You can also ask Melodi Erdogan who, on Bustle.com, explains that, as she grew up, she began to accept the “blemishes” on her face as regular parts of her facial features. She now embraces her beauty marks as part of her “unique self”.

What are beauty marks? “They’re naturally-occurring spots on the surface of skin that enhance (if you ask me) your individual beauty and unique features,” Erdogan defines them, “They can appear on your hands, on your chest and even on your chin. Beauty marks add more characteristics and details to one’s physical appearance, beyond just a temporary material embellishment like red lipstick or winged eyeliner.”

What is the difference between beauty marks and moles? Well, the truth is that beauty marks and moles are terms that can be used interchangeably. Essentially, they are the same thing. It all depends on whether or not you believe they enhance a person’s features or not. Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. However, it’s of vital importance to point out that the true difference between beauty marks and moles is found in how and why they develop.

As Erdogan points out, beauty marks are naturally-occurring spots. Not all moles are naturally-occurring. Instead, they are brought on by skin damage, as Jessica details on FacesOfSkinCancer.org. A self-professed tanning bed junkie, Jessica learned the hard way that what may appear to be freckles and moles can actually be melanoma – which is a deadly form of skin cancer.

How is melanoma defined? “Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in the melanocytes, or cells that make the pigment melanin,” explains CancerSupportCommunity.org, “It can develop from a mole and become skin cancer. Other parts of the body, such as the eye or the GI tract also contain melanocytes, and melanoma rarely starts in these areas…The chance of developing it increases with age, but this disease affects people of all ages.”

In Jessica’s case, her obsession with tanning beds resulted in the development of melanoma. “I could continue going tanning and wouldn’t damage my skin for many years, or so I thought,” she assumed, “I figured that even if I got skin cancer, it would be similar to my dad’s basal cell – I would get it removed and then I would be fine. I had no clue that skin cancer could spread and that it can be deadly.”

Sadly, as if prophetically, Jessica would be told by her doctor on Halloween Day that test results had come back positive for melanoma. She endured a number of surgeries to remove lymph nodes and moles to help her to become cancer free. Jessica now steadfastly follows instructions to stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen at all times and avoid tanning beds. Melanoma, quite obviously, is a life-threatening matter.

Of course, there is a big difference between beauty marks and cancerous moles. It’s imperative that you seek the assistance of a medical professional to be able to tell the difference. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer our patients the option of removing their moles, whether for cosmetic or health-related reasons. We utilize the VariLite laser which provides both a safe and effective 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.

April 12, 2016

// Skin Care

5 No-No’s To Avoid If You Want Your Skin To Look Youthful

With the summer months ahead of us, many people are beginning to think about the ways in which they will enjoy the warmer weather. Often, it includes extra time spent out in the sun and therefore, the use of sunscreen becomes more prevalent. It’s actually recommended that sunscreen be worn all year long as protection from the sun’s UV rays is a vital part of keeping our skin looking young and healthy.

There are many other methods of slowing down the aging process. Wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are just two everyday tasks that will help to ward off fine lines and wrinkles. However, there are a number of activities that we tend to engage in without the thought of whether or not they will weather our skin. If you’re looking to maintain a youthful look, there are a number of no-no’s to keep away from.

Here are five:

1. Pulling all-nighters. Many of us work graveyard shifts. Many of us are busy with school projects. Many of us are also partying pretty hard. Whatever your reason for staying up all night long, you’re not doing your skin any favours. “Skin repairs itself while you sleep, so not getting at least eight hours can lead to a sallow, dull complexion,” informs Carly Cardellino on Cosmopolitan.com, “That alone will make you look much older than you are, not to mention the dark circles that’ll come with it.”

2. Eating junk. We know that avoiding fried and sugary foods can be difficult. After all, they’re easy to find, relatively inexpensive and generally pretty tasty. However, all that bad stuff is aging you. Eating clean, however, will do wonders for your skin. “Consume foods with Omega-3, an essential fatty acid which promotes healthy formation of cells, making them supple and flexible,” advises MarioBadescu.com, “Eat more salmon, tuna, walnuts, kale, spinach and winter squash for softer skin.”

3. Maintaining your coffee addiction. It’s not uncommon for people to suggest that they “need” their morning coffees in order to get through the day. The high daily caffeine intake isn’t just bad for your overall health, but its dehydrating nature is also bad for your skin. “The caffeine in coffee is dehydrating and if you drink too many cups a day too often, your skin will go from plump and dewy to dry and dull,” explains Cardellino, “Plus, any fine lines you may start to see will begin to look more pronounced.”

4. Smoking. It should come as no surprise that smoking cigarettes is a surefire way to age your skin. “Smoking causes a narrowing of the blood vessels in the skin due to the accumulated nicotine and also reduces the collagen and elastin production in the skin causing it to age and sag prematurely,” says MarioBadescu.com, “Not only does smoking deplete the body of Vitamin C which is needed for plump and healthy skin, the repeated puckering of the lips can cause early wrinkles around the mouth and lips.”

5. Being stressed out. It’s not like any of us want to be stressed. But it should be noted that, to stay looking young, you need to find ways to relax and enjoy yourself. Cardellino explains that too much stress “can bring about blemishes, cause dullness and rashes, and even cause you to furrow your brow over and over, etching lines in your face that will stick with you for life. To avoid stress, take a break from your busy schedule and do something fun with your girlfriends.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a variety of fantastic services that help to diminish the signs of aging. They include Microdermabrasion (which gently removes dead, dry layers of skin to reveal the fresh glowing skin underneath) and facial peels (which are great for repairing sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and even acne). For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

April 5, 2016

// Skin Care

How Does Botox Help To Combat Hyperhidrosis?

While the weather may not necessarily be indicating it just yet, the summer months are just around the corner. Obviously, this will entail the shedding of layers and bearing of more of our skin to sunlight. And while most Canadians revel in the idea of putting winter in their rear view mirrors, there are many others who will miss the cooler temperatures. And it’s not for a reason that you may think. Symptoms associated with hyperhidrosis only worsen when it’s hotter.

What is hyperhidrosis? Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating is a disorder that impacts nearly one million Canadians, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association. This number represents about three percent of the entire population. And while heat can certainly exacerbate the symptoms associated with this condition, hyperhidrosis is something that impacts the lives of its sufferers all year round.

What parts of the body are affected by hyperhidrosis? Excessive sweating can occur in various areas of the body, not just the underarms. Armpit sweat, however, is generally the most noticeable and embarrassing considering the stains it tends to leave on clothing. Hyperhidrosis also commonly impacts the feet, head and hands. Sufferers often incur difficulties with simple tasks that require the use of their hands because of how slippery they become.

How does Botox help to combat hyperhidrosis? Botox is an injectable medication that is known for its ability to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. So it may sound surprising that it is also known as an effective method of preventing excessive sweating. The International Hyperhidrosis Society explains that the properties of Botox (or onabotulinumtoxinA) actually make them ideal solutions for the problems caused by the condition.

“OnabotulinumtoxinA is a natural, purified protein with the ability to temporarily block the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for ‘turning on’ the body’s sweat glands,” they explain, “By blocking, or interrupting, this chemical messenger, botulinum toxin ‘turns off’ sweating at the area where it has been injected. Botox injections are very shallow, meaning that the medicine is injected just below the surface of the skin, where it remains.”

What is it like to receive Botox injections? The entire process is pretty quick and easy and it doesn’t require any anaesthesia. As described by Vancouver’s Dr. Kumar Shivdasani on CuRLaser.com, “they can be performed in a physician’s office, which means patients don’t have to step foot in a hospital. Additionally, there is little to no recovery time, meaning one can generally get back to a typical day after receiving treatment.”

Is Botox a permanent cure for hyperhidrosis? Unfortunately, no. Results generally occur quickly but typically last between four and 12 months. As a result, patients usually return for repeat treatments once the results wear off. “Although Botox requires repeat treatments to maintain its effectiveness, its performance in fighting excessive sweating is impressive nonetheless,” affirms Dr. Shivdasani.

The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre is happy to offer Botox injections as solutions to the problem of excessive sweating. If hyperhidrosis is impacting your life, we can help to provide you with the long-lasting relief you’ve been waiting for. It doesn’t have to be a source of embarrassment or inconvenience anymore. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email us at info@auroralaser.net.