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May 31, 2016

// Skin Care

6 Steps To Preventing Sun Damage To Your Skin This Summer

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer! And, for most Canadians, it’s a joyous time of year, as a result. Finally having put the colder winter months behind us, most of us are excited about the prospect of spending a lot more time outdoors. Of course, that means that we’ll be exposing our skin to the sun a lot more often. And with that comes some health hazards that we all must be mindful to protect ourselves from.

You know exactly what we mean. The sun’s harmful UV rays are major culprits in the skin cancer world. Too much exposure without proper protection has been known to lead to a lot more than just severe sunburn. Certainly, skin cancer is not worth the avoidance of taking the very important steps to prevent sun damage throughout the summer. In this week’s blog, we’ll point out some of the most important steps you can take.

Here are six:

1. Apply sunscreen daily. Please don’t assume that non-sunny days are ones when you can skip putting on sunscreen. It’s important to remember that the sun’s UV rays are still present. It’s also important to remember to re-apply your sunscreen every few hours or as needed. As well, be sure to use a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Simply using a sunscreen with a high SPF number may not be sufficient enough in offering complete protection.

2. Use moisturizers with SPF. Although it’s important to moisturize your skin all throughout the year, you’ll want to use a moisturizer with SPF during the summer months. Doing so helps to prevent sun spots, freckles and the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Keep in mind that, after a long summer day complete with sweating and applying a lot of sunscreen, you’ll want to bathe before bed and use a rich lotion to keep your skin hydrated at night.

3. Protect the delicate areas of your face. Often, when we apply sunscreen, we forget those nooks and crannies of our faces that end up getting sunburnt, as a result. Remember the tops of your ears and the back of your neck. Keep your eyelids and lips in mind too. For your eyes, you’ll want to make use of an eye cream as opposed to standard sunscreen which your eyes may be sensitive to. As well, use a lip balm for your lips that has SPF.

4. Wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. There are bound to be days when you are in the sun for long periods of time. Attending picnics, barbeques and sporting events can have you sitting or standing in the sun for hours on end. And, as fun as these events may be, they can be damaging to your skin without regular sunscreen reapplication. Protect your head, face and eyes by wearing hats and sunglasses. They are practical must-haves for the summertime.

5. Stay hydrated. It should go without saying that you need to drink a lot of water during the hot months of summer. Not only will it keep you from getting dehydrated, but it will help your skin to remain as healthy as possible. In addition to travelling with a water bottle, bring along fresh fruit to up your intake of Vitamin C. Skin products with Vitamin C, by the way, are also great for reversing skin damage.

6. Avoid baking in the sun. We understand that this may be the hardest tip to follow. After all, throughout the cold months of the year, most Canadians look forward to sunbathing as one of their favourite summertime activities. It must be stated that tanning is dangerous, simple and plain. Not only should you ensure that you are wearing sunscreen, but you should limit your amount of sun exposure. Try to avoid lying in the sun for hours no matter how protected you think you are.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer both Profractional and Intense Pulsed Light Photorejuvenation to help repair sun damaged skin. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

May 25, 2016

// Unwanted Moles

Mole Removal Is Best Handled By Professionals

While many moles are harmless, it’s always worth having a dermatologist rule out any possibility of melanoma. The presence of this lethal form of skin cancer can sometimes be indicated by moles that change in size, shape and colour. It goes without saying that cancerous moles should be surgically removed by an experienced physician. However, there are also the types of moles that aren’t harmful to our health, but are still considered unwanted.

As a result, many people who live with moles seek ways of having them removed without professional help. They search the internet looking for natural methods which involve everything from apple cider vinegar to castor oil and baking soda. But how safe is it to attempt mole removal at home? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we certainly wouldn’t recommend it. And neither would dermatologist, Dr. Manu Mehra

Claire Coleman of the UK-based Daily Mail writes that there are many individuals who have scarred themselves by attempting do-it-yourself mole removal remedies at home. Dr. Mehra has treated many of these individuals. Coleman describes their DIY methods as those that involve scratching, injections and natural ingredients – a combination that inevitably causes major damage to the skin.

How do do-it-yourself mole removal methods damage the skin? “Users have to scratch the surface of the mole, using a needle or emery board, before applying what is claimed to be herbal ingredients that create ‘natural cauterisation’,” Coleman explains, “In layman’s terms, they burn the skin, forming a scab, which eventually falls off. But the rough-and-ready approach does not appear to deter the thousands who buy products from these sites every year.”

So what does Dr. Mehra have to say about such mole removal methods? “The problem is that this sort of treatment is, by its very nature, an uncontrolled therapy,” he is quoted as saying, “One young girl that I saw wanted to remove a small mole on the end of her nose. The product that she used not only removed the mole, but also the skin underneath it, leaving her with a dent in the tip of her nose. In a situation like that, you don’t really want to try and correct it, because you could make it worse.”

What are the other side effects of self-mole-removal? Dr. Mehra describes them as lumpy red scars, some of which require scar revision surgery. There is, however, an even bigger problem associated with do-it-yourself mole removal methods. And that’s that many patients overlook the possibility that their moles could be cancerous. As pointed out earlier, the first and most important step, when it comes to mole removal, is to determine if the moles represent malignant melanoma.

Self-removal methods don’t address the cancer concern. “If someone goes to see a dermatologist, not only will that professional be able to identify whether the mole looks suspicious, but they can also remove it and send it for analysis,” Dr. Mehra reveals to Coleman, “But if someone comes to see me when they’ve already removed the mole, they’ve essentially disposed of the evidence. There’s absolutely no way of telling whether the mole was dangerous or benign.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, our experienced physicians ensure that our mole removal treatments are done both safely and effectively. Using the VariLite laser, we have provided patients with excellent results that involve no scarring, bruising or very much 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.

May 17, 2016

// Hair Removal

5 Reasons To Opt For Laser Hair Removal Before Summer

This month, it’s all about laser hair removal at the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre. Lately, we’ve been answering a lot of questions from new clients who are interested in our LightSheer™ Hair Laser treatments. And it stands to reason that we would be getting so many questions as of late. After all, summer is quickly approaching, and everyone knows that it’s the season when more skin gets exposed to the world.

However, not all of us are all that comfortable exposing more skin. And that’s because the often-painful practices of tweezing, waxing and shaving don’t exactly provide the smooth and silky results we all hope for. Generally accompanied by razor bumps, rashes, nicks and scratches, the aforementioned hair removal processes are not ones that people tend to enjoy performing over and over again.

We’re happy to say that our laser hair removal treatments help to do away with them for good! So why not give our treatments a try? Here are five reasons to opt for laser hair removal before summer:

1. You’ll do away with the pain. As we mentioned, tweezing, waxing and shaving can be quite painful. The first two hair removal practices are especially ouch-inducing considering the fact that they tug away at the skin. Shaving can also leave the skin very sensitive and susceptible to ingrown hairs. These can be especially sore to the touch, not to mention unsightly. The LightSheer™ Hair Laser uses a patented chill tip which protects the skin, making the treatment virtually painless.

2. You’ll get long-lasting results. One of the best benefits of laser hair removal treatments is that you won’t have to worry about constantly tweezing, waxing and shaving. Laser hair removal works to destroy hair follicles so that they are unable to produce hair again. With several treatments, your unwanted hair will be permanently reduced so that you don’t have to continually remove your hair using the traditional methods.

3. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run. At first, the cost of laser hair removal treatments can be concerning to clients. However, when you juxtapose those costs with the long-term expenditures that are associated with razors, shaving creams, wax strips, tweezers and appointments at the salon for those bikini waxes, you’ll realize just how great an investment laser hair removal is!

4. It saves you a lot of time as well. If you were to add up all of the time that you’ve spent tweezing, waxing and shaving, how many hours of your life do you think that would be? It’s hard to even imagine, isn’t it? Removing these painful and time-consuming hair removal practices from your life will save you so much time. Laser hair removal lets you avoid scheduling those waxing appointments and giving yourself an additional hour or so to get ready every time you go out!

5. It improves your skin’s overall health. Remember that tweezing, waxing and shaving don’t just remove unwanted hair from your body. These practices remove skin as well! In many cases, constant shavers notice a darkening of the skin area where they regularly shave. Ingrown hairs are also quite common for regular shavers. With laser hair removal treatments, you avoid subjecting your skin to constant damage.

Let’s make this summer your last one when you worry about removing your body’s unwanted hair. For more information about our LightSheer™ Hair Laser treatments, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

May 11, 2016

// Skin Care

6 Tips For Using Sunscreen The Smart Way

With the weather finally beginning to warm up and the sunny skies now becoming more of a constant, it’s a safe bet that Canadians are popping open bottles of sunscreen more often than usual these days. It’s important to note, however, that not all sunscreens are created equal. And just because you may have rubbed on a little sunscreen this morning, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be fully protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays all day long.

Here are six tips for using sunscreen the smart way:

1. Don’t assume that a morning application will last all day. Many people get into the habit of having sunscreen replace their traditional daily moisturizers throughout the summer. And while the idea of protecting your skin from sun damage is a great one, it’s important to be mindful that sunscreen requires reapplication throughout the day. Don’t assume that lathering up in the morning is all that you will need.

2. Makeup and moisturizers with SPF protection don’t necessarily cut it. Many cosmetic products claim to have SPF protection. However, they aren’t designed to act as traditional sunscreens. “Unless your makeup/moisturizer provides broad spectrum sunscreen and is reapplied throughout the day, it isn’t enough protection for all day sun exposure,” says Makenzie R. on RealSelf.com, pointing out the need for a broad spectrum sunscreen.

3. Don’t be fooled by high SPF numbers. You may assume that the higher the SPF number on a sunscreen bottle, the more protection it gives you. However, as Terri Coles reveals on HuffingtonPost.ca, “The Canadian Dermatology Association says to go with a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30, but Health Canada says that while SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 only provides an extra four percent protection—the difference isn’t as huge as you’d think.”

4. You can do without fragrances. Most sunscreens have pleasant smells. But don’t go looking for bottles that advertise special fragrances, as they don’t provide you with any health benefits. In fact, they could be harmful to your health. “The problem is that many fragrances contain phthalates, a class of chemicals which the World Health Organization says may contain carcinogens,” informs Coles.

5. Using sunscreen doesn’t give you a free pass to suntan all day. Sunbathers often get into the habit of lathering up (good thing) and then lying in the sun all day (bad thing). To truly protect your skin from serious sun damage, it’s important to minimize the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight. You’ll also want to wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and light clothing that protect your skin from direct sun exposure throughout each day.

6. Look for zinc in your sunscreen ingredients. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are “physical sun blockers” according to Coles. “These ingredients are safe and create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s harmful rays,” she writes, “It’s what gives sunscreen that whitish appearance, but it’s still better than that a red burn! Look for micronized titanium dioxide for a non-chalky look, though it’s more expensive.”

Sun damage to your skin is a serious issue. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a number of effective treatments that help to conquer sun damage that include Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy, Profractional and Intense Pulsed Light Photo Rejuvenation (IPL). For more information about any of these treatments, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

May 3, 2016

// Hair Removal

Remove Waxing From Your Worries This Summer

This is a time of year that many Canadians look forward to. With the advent of May and the warmer temperatures that come along with it, most of us are already donning short sleeves, shorts and skirts in order to make our official goodbyes to the cold days of winter that aren’t bound to return for a while. For many of us ladies (and men too, by the way), this season also means that we’ll have to step up our upkeep of our legs and other areas we plan on exposing.

Many of us turn to waxing our legs, arms and bikini areas during the warmer months of the year to give ourselves optimum smoothness. The main drawback of choosing waxing as a hair removal option, however, is the intense pain that tends to go along with it. Nevertheless, many of us book appointments with estheticians and look forward to our smoother selves. Waxing, therefore, remains a popular pastime.

Why choose waxing if it’s so painful? Waxing tends to deliver better hair removing results than shaving or tweezing. Shaving tends to encourage hair to grow back quicker and with more of a rough texture. Tweezing takes far too long and doesn’t exactly remove the pain factor from the equation. Waxing, on the other hand, rips hairs directly out of their follicles, producing results that are longer lasting.

What are the drawbacks to waxing? To be honest, there are many. Aside from the obvious and afore mentioned pain that is involved, it requires a lot of patience and persistence. “Since waxing cannot be done on hair that is less than one quarter inch (6 millimeter) long, it means you have to wait for your hair to grow before you can remove it,” reports Sarah Siddons on HowStuffWorks.com, “Waxing also requires persistence — it’s easy to give up after the first time if you experience discomfort.”

She goes on to mention how long it takes to wax your unwanted hair away from your body. It not only requires more of your time, but can also be quite messy if you’re attempting your wax job yourself. As a result, many choose to book appointments with waxing professionals. As mentioned earlier, estheticians tend to get a lot of business at this time of the year. But as Meghan Rabbitt points out on WomansDay.com, professional waxing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

What problems may exist during a professional waxing? “The woman wielding the wax stick may neglect to mention how to minimize pain or inwardly chuckle when you let too much time go by between appointments,” writes Rabbitt, who goes on to list a number of issues that people tend to have with their waxing appointments. Among them is the fact that not all waxers have the same training and experience.

“At specialized waxing boutiques, odds are all the estheticians are trained and experienced,” Rabbitt reveals, “But at, say, a hair salon, chances are higher of getting someone who isn’t as experienced—or even certified.” She also highlights the fact that waxing professionals can’t do much to lessen the pain or side effects that come with waxing. “Since each hair follicle is connected to a little blood vessel, you may see a blood droplet when hair is ripped out,” she warns.

Is there a more effective and less painful alternative to waxing? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer laser hair removal via the LightSheer™ Hair Laser. Providing excellent long-term and often permanent hair removal, this revolutionary laser treatment uses a patented chill tip, which protects the skin and makes the treatment virtually painless. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.