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June 28, 2016

// Skin Care

5 Summer Foods That Promote Healthy Skin

With the summer now here, it will be very tempting for us to attend barbeques, picnics, festivals and many other events over the course of the next few months. And what do all of these summertime traditions have in common? Food! Naturally, we’ll all want to dig in to the many tasty treats that are offered during summer events, but most of them will be high in salt and high in sugar. In other words, summer food is usually bad food.

The truth is, however, not all food that is served at summer events are bad. In fact, you can do a lot to help yourself to remain healthy by simply making the right choices. Many foods that are popularly associated with the summertime are actually quite healthy for your skin. So while you’re lathering on the sunscreen, don’t forget that what you eat will also help determine how much your skin is protected.

Here are five summer foods that promote healthy skin:

1. Watermelon. Most barbeques and picnics usually come with their fair share of fruits and veggies. Be sure not to skimp on your intake of these healthful foods. Watermelon is especially good for you during the summer because of its antioxidant properties and ability to keep you hydrated. “This symbol of summer is around 90 percent water, which hydrates the body,” informs Lauren Mikler on HuffingtonPost.com.

2. Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are all delicious fruits that are often found as parts of fruit platters at summer events. They are widely known for being antioxidant-rich which makes them fantastic protectors of the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. “Sweet, juicy berries are filled with flavonoids, powerful disease fighters found in many fruits and vegetables,” writes Lexi Petronis and Maria Carter on WomansDay.com.

3. Salmon. Barbeques are known for their charring of meat. You’ll want to avoid anything that has been blackened due to barbequing as the charred parts contain harmful carcinogens. “The blackened areas on charred and grilled flesh foods (meat, poultry, fish) are a source of carcinogenic chemicals,” informs Dr. Nalini Chilkov on HuffingtonPost.com, “These chemical directly damage DNA, our genetic material, and initiate mutations that can lead to the development of cancer.”

Instead of grilled meats, opt for fish such as salmon that is placed on the barbeque with aluminum foil or a cedar plank as the barrier between it and the grill. Not only will this protect the fish from being charred, but the fish itself will be a healthy skin option for you. “The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish are a key component of how skin cells regulate oil production,” reveals Mikler.

4. Salads. Thankfully, while meat is a mainstay at summer barbeques, so are salads. Don’t leave those healthy greens off of your plate. In fact, Petronis and Carter believe that you should “leave steamed veggies behind and fill up on fresh, raw spinach and kale come summer to save your skin….Spruce up your salad with other high-carotenoid sources, like carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, salmon (etc.) to make an even healthier meal.”

5. Coconut Water. There’s no doubt that you’ll have access to alcohol during your summer parties. It should probably go without saying that alcohol works to dehydrate your body and is therefore not a promoter of healthy skin. To quench your thirst, opt for coconut water instead. Mikler notes that the electrolytes contained within it help to support healthy skin. It also contains potassium which helps boost blood circulation to deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the skin.

Happy eating!

June 21, 2016

// Skin Care

Beach Bodies Look Better Without Tattoos

It’s official! The summertime is here! And for many Canadians, it’s the season they look forward to the most. Ditching all of the heavy clothing for shorts, skirts, t-shirts and bikinis is all part of celebrating the warm weather that comes along with this time of year. But unfortunately, not everyone is all that excited about exposing their skin. In blogs of past, we’ve commented about the appearance of unwanted hair, moles or spider veins being a problem during the summer.

Are tattoos becoming a problem for those who wish to expose their skin during the summer? According to Chicago-based Bare Tattoo Removal, at least one in five people with tattoos regrets having them done. And we imagine that when the summer arrives and it’s time to wear a lot less outdoors, those individuals become pretty self-conscious. Thankfully, they can look towards laser tattoo removal as an option.

Is laser tattoo removal safe during the summer? It’s of vital importance that one’s skin is healthy during the course of his/her laser tattoo removal treatments. Therefore, tanning should be prohibited. In fact, it should be mentioned that tanning is a poor choice for optimum skin health in general. But, because laser tattoo removal involves the absorption of energy by the skin, it requires healing time away from direct sunlight.

With that said, it is still very worthwhile to undergo laser tattoo removal treatments during the summertime. After all, the only part of the skin that needs to be kept away from direct sunlight is the treated area where the tattoo exists. By avoiding its direct exposure to the sun, you give the area an opportunity to properly heal. Furthermore, you significantly reduce the risk of any side effects such as blistering, scarring or infection.

What else can be done to protect the treated area from sun damage? Never forget that sunscreen is your best friend all throughout the year. Needless to say, this is especially true during the summertime. Bare Tattoo Removal suggests that a sunscreen with SPF 25 or higher be used whenever the tattoo is exposed. Naturally, it’s important to apply sunscreen to all areas of the body that are exposed to the sun.

As well, those who are undergoing laser tattoo removal treatments should shield their treated areas from the sun two weeks before and two weeks after each treatment. Tanning beds should also be completely avoided at all times. Not only are they unnecessary during the sunny summer months, but they’re completely bad for your skin health under any and all circumstances. With that said, summer can still be enjoyed by those who are removing their tattoos.

“As long as you keep the treatment area covered while in the sun, you’re free to enjoy the summer rays,” says Bare Tattoo Removal. We’d have to agree that opting for laser tattoo removal during the summertime is still a very worthwhile decision. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer laser tattoo removal via the Q-switched Nd: YAG laser which uses PhotoAcoustic Technology.

It’s widely known as the most advanced technology in the world of laser tattoo removal. The laser safely penetrates the skin and targets each tattoo ink colour with specific wavelengths. This causes the tattoos to gradually fade during a course of five to 15 treatment sessions. 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 14, 2016

// Skin Care

What Are The Two Types Of Hyperhidrosis?

Hyperhidrosis – it’s a big word that is pretty much a fancy way of saying “excessive sweating”. With the official start of summer just a week away, Canadian sufferers of this condition are understandably becoming more concerned about how they’re going to be able to control their sweating. For most of them, the upcoming hotter days won’t be easy. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, hyperhidrosis impacts nearly one million Canadians.

That’s approximately 3 percent of our nation’s population, and of those individuals, about 300,000 have a severe form of the disorder. Unfortunately, while this condition is not one that is physically painful, it is emotionally draining as the embarrassment associated with heavy amounts of sweat causes many Canadians to avoid seeing their doctors about it. Only 38 percent of sufferers talk to health care professionals about their conditions, says the CDA.

Because of their battles with hyperhidrosis, sufferers find that their work, confidence, social comfort and emotional well beings are all impacted. Not to mention, it can be difficult to make wardrobe choices, especially on particularly hot days. Hyperhidrosis is treatable, however. So, it’s important to understand the specific natures of the condition as not everyone experiences the same type of excessive sweating.

As the International Hyperhidrosis Society explains, there are two types: primary focal hyperhidrosis and secondary generalized hyperhidrosis.

What is primary focal hyperhidrosis? This is the form of excessive sweating that is caused by hyperdrosis itself and not as a result of another medical condition or side effects of a medication. The sweating occurs at very specific parts of the body, which are known as the “focal areas”. This form of hyperhidrosis is generally “symmetric”, meaning that both the left and right sides of the body are equally affected.

“The most common focal areas are the sweaty hands, sweaty feet, sweaty underarms, and sweaty face or head,” explains the International Hyperhidrosis Society, underlining the fact that most hyperhidrosis sufferers experience excessive sweating in more than one area of the body, “Primary focal hyperhidrosis often begins in childhood or adolescence, especially hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet.”

What is secondary generalized hyperhidrosis? This is the form of excessive sweating that is caused by another medical condition or is a side effect of a medication. “Secondary” refers to the fact that the condition is caused by a secondary factor to something else. People who suffer from this version of the condition find that their sweating occurs in larger areas of the body. They also often experience sweating during their sleep.

“With secondary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating usually starts in adulthood, whereas primary hyperhidrosis starts in childhood or adolescence,” says the International Hyperhidrosis Society, “Finding a potential treatment for secondary excessive sweating often involves first determining what (if any) underlying medical condition or medication may be the root of the problem. In the case of secondary hyperhidrosis, you don’t want to eliminate an important symptom of an underlying condition.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we have successfully treated hyperhidrosis with Botox. It works by temporarily blocking the secretion of the chemical that is responsible for triggering the body’s sweat glands. As a result, areas where Botox are injected cease to sweat. 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 7, 2016

// Spider Veins

How To Get Rid Of Varicose And Spider Veins This Summer

Being able to truly enjoy the wonderful weather that comes along with summertime includes a freedom from worry about the appearance of our legs. For those of us who have varicose and spider veins, summer can actually be quite a worrisome season. And that’s because hiding our legs becomes a daily chore. There has got to be a way that we can enjoy the warm weather without having to cover up our legs with long pants, isn’t there?

How can we prevent varicose and spider veins from showing up in the first place? To answer this question, it’s important to recall exactly how spider veins show up. They are caused by a pooling of the blood in the veins in our legs. This can cause the veins to stretch, leak and protrude to the point where they are clearly visible bulging lines or squiggles. This can all be caused by genetics. Some of us simply have weaker veins than others.

So, the truth is that you can’t necessarily prevent varicose and spider veins from popping up if they’re bound to do so. As Jolene Edgar explains on RealSimple.com, visible varicose veins are more prevalent in women than in men and can be exacerbated by pregnancy and female hormones. However, to get back to answering the question about prevention, there are some things you can do (and not do) to minimize the chances of these unsightly veins from appearing.

“Contributors include standing for extended periods and being overweight, both of which can tax valves, and slacking off on exercise, since weak leg muscles can’t move blood to the heart as effectively,” informs Edgar, “And if you’re genetically predisposed to visible veins, crossing your legs over the course of many years may hasten their development, as this position puts pressure on the valves”.

What can be done to diminish the appearance of varicose and spider veins? Working out will definitely help you. Keep in mind that promoting the circulation of the blood in your legs will help to minimize the chances of blood pooling. It’s all about reducing pressure. “Try low-impact activities, like swimming and biking, which don’t put undue strain on the legs,” suggests Edgar, “Beyond exercise, opt for flats over heels, because they allow the calf muscles to contract fully.”

You’ll also want to keep your legs elevated when you are seated. Edgar adds that, at the end of the day, you should sit with your legs propped up higher than your heart for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This will help to drain any blood that may have pooled in the veins of your legs. Another solution would be to wear supporting hose or tights that will work to compress the legs and prevent blood from pooling.

What is the best way to treat varicose and spider veins that won’t disappear? “For more long-lasting removal, your dermatologist can perform sclerotherapy on spider veins and smaller varicose veins,” explains Edgar, “The procedure involves injecting the offending vessels with a detergent-based solution, which irritates their linings, causing the veins to close and eventually disappear.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer sclerotherapy as a proven solution that is both safe and effective. Discomfort is minimal and results are excellent. Sclerotherapy, in fact, is known as the “gold standard” when it comes to eliminating large spider veins (telangiectasiae) and smaller varicose leg veins, so it is preferred over laser treatments. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-358-5818 or email us at info@auroralaser.net.