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August 30, 2016

// Skin Care

3 Simple Everyday Tasks That Shave Years Off Your Appearance

For most of us, there are few compliments that sound better than “You look so much younger than your age!” The idea of never growing old is a fantasy, of course. But the concept of never looking old isn’t as far-fetched as one might assume. Believe it or not, there are some simple everyday tasks that we can all implement into our routines that will help to shave years off of our appearances. Are you ready for them?

Here are three:

1. Sleep on your back instead of on your stomach. Some consider the idea of sleeping on their backs to be an impossible-to-tolerate discomfort. Those, however, who have gotten used to it know that it is not only a lot better for your back (sleeping on your stomach with your head elevated by a pillow unnaturally curves your spine for hours on end), it is also better for your face! Sejal Kapadia Pocha of the UK-based Stylist magazine explains further.

“Burying our faces into our pillows can cause dark circles and puffiness in our eyes,” she writes, explaining that the blood vessels in our faces become constricted when we are face down. As a result, our circulatory systems release congested fluid from tiny flaps in the walls of the vessels. The pooling of the blood vessels under the skin creates dark circles around our eyes. “The answer is to train yourself to sleep on your back and keep your head raised well above your body in bed by using two pillows,” advises Pocha.

2. Watch less news and more comedies. Ironically, we’re being dead serious here! You know the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine”? It’s the truth. Stress is a wrinkle promoter. The more you’re able to alleviate stress on a daily basis, the better your overall health will be – and the younger you will look. News broadcasts are often filled with horrific stories. Wouldn’t it be better to find something on TV that will make you laugh and forget your problems?

On RealSimple.com, Stacy Colino explains that stress can take a serious toll on your skin. “In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that during exam time, students who felt stressed had more severe acne breakouts than did those under less pressure,” she informs, “That’s because stress increases the body’s production of hormones such as cortisol, which can make skin oilier and decrease its ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria.”

3. Eat your fruits and veggies. Yes, we know. We sound like your mom when you were a child at the dinner table, right? Well, guess what? You should always listen to your mom! It should go without saying that fruits and vegetables have numerous health benefits. And keeping your skin looking youthful is one of them. As Pocha explains, a pigment in tomatoes called lycopene has been found to protect our skin from UV damage.

She also cites a 2011 University of Nottingham study that found that people who consumed more portions of fruits and veggies every day had a more “golden skin colour”. This was due to the consumption of carotenoids which is what gives produce its pigmentation.

Of course, when all else fails, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre is here to help. We offer of number of excellent treatments that successfully reverse the signs of aging. Our Botox, Thermage and Juvederm treatments work to safely and effectively smooth away unwanted wrinkles and facial lines. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-358-5818. You may also email us at info@auroralaser.net.

August 23, 2016

// Skin Care

4 Important Back-To-School Skin Care Tips

With just over a week left in the month of August (can you believe how quickly the summer is flying by?), a large number of Canadians are preparing for their annual returns to the classroom. Yes, back-to-school season is upon us. And while many students across the country are out shopping for clothes, books and other school supplies, there is another little task that is necessary, but often overlooked – taking care of your skin.

How does skin care differ for those going back to school? Well, consider the fact that most students have spent the summer basking in the sun. Even for those who have appropriately applied sunscreen all summer long, they’ve still received a tan, which is the equivalent of sun damage. AsarchCenter.com recommends that students exfoliate their skin post-summer to help restore its natural glow.

“In the past few months you have probably spent a lot of time outdoors soaking up the summer sun,” says the site, “Even with the use of sunscreen and protective clothing, it is possible you got a tan and now are left with a dull, uneven texture as it wears off. Exfoliate to remove built up dead skin cells, encourage new cell development and help return your skin to its natural colour.”

What else should students do to rejuvenate their skin’s health? Here are four important back-to-school skin care tips:

1. Wash your face before and after school. You are likely to encounter numerous students throughout each day. Many of them, you will likely shake hands with or hug when you greet, so your face is bound to get oily and dirty, especially if you touch your face a lot. Consider how many things you touch in a day as well. Add that fact to that your hormones can wreak havoc on your pores and you have all the reasons in the world to pay attention to keeping your face clean.

“Hormonal changes, especially in the teenage years, can send the oil glands into overdrive and cause black heads, white heads and acne,” says AsarchCenter.com, “Get to school with a clear and fresh face by cleansing your skin in the morning and evening with a cleanser designed for your skin type. This will help keep pores clear and open. Skip scrubbing your skin with harsh products as they can irritate your skin further and make blemishes look worse.”

2. Keep your smartphone clean. Have you ever taken a close look at your phone after using it all day? It’s oily and smudgy – guaranteed. Having it pressed up to the side of your face for portions of the day only serve to build upon the oil and dirt that’s already on it. “Wipe down your phone or use an antibacterial phone wipe at least twice a week,” recommends Indie Lee on HuffingtonPost.com.

3. Bring your own lunch to school. Students often get taken by their cafeterias and food courts. The problem with these food providers is that they often serve fried, processed, high-in-salt, high-in-sugar foods. It’s best that you bring your own lunch each day – ones that are preferably filled with nutritious eats.

“Summer often provides us with the opportunity to eat different foods- some healthy, some not,” reads AsarchCenter.com, “If you spent the summer ‘relaxing’ on your normal diet with fair foods, barbecues and vacation foods, now is a good time to return to your normal skin healthy diet. Skip oily, sugary, fatty foods and refined carbs and opt for fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and lean proteins.”

4. Minimize your all-nighters. You’re bound to have projects and papers that are going to keep you up working all night. All students have experienced this. But it’s important to remember that you do you need to sleep – for both your skin and overall health. “ ‘Beauty rest’ isn’t just a saying,” insists Lee, “Make sure you are getting 6-7 hours a night to keep your oil levels healthy and your skin smooth & clear!”

August 16, 2016

// Hair Removal

What Are The Dangers Of Waxing?

In today’s world, it is not at all uncommon for people – both men and women – to remove unwanted hair from their bodies. In places where body hair used to be the norm – underarms and the genital area, especially – people are taking to shaving and waxing to keep up with the smooth and hairless look that is commonplace today. However, it’s important to note that not all hair removal practices produce the best results. And they’re not always entirely safe to perform.

How can waxing be unsafe? Well, it’s important to remember that the process of waxing generally requires the use of wax at hot temperatures. Of course, if the wax is too hot, it has the potential of burning the skin. As well, waxing is the process of applying layers of melted wax onto the skin and then pulling them off quickly in the opposite direction of the hair growth. The most evident side effect, of course, is pain!

Not only does waxing tend to be painful, but there are a number of other side effects that may occur as a result. As the Canadian Dermatology Association explains, they include ingrown hairs or folliculitis, scarring, hyperpigmentation and dermatitis. The CDA also warns that “waxing should be avoided on irritated, sunburned or broken skin.” Avoiding such side effects isn’t as easy in a world where Brazilian waxes have become so popular.

What is a Brazilian wax? A Brazilian wax is the complete removal of hair from the genital area. Especially popular during the summertime (read: bikini season), this hair removal technique was made popular in Brazil in the 1980’s. According to Best Health magazine, it became a growing trend in North America in the 1990’s after seven sisters from Brazil set up a salon in New York and introduced the technique.

What are the risks of Brazilian waxes? Contrary to popular belief, there are no risks of increasing genital health problems by removing all of the hair from the area. However, as Montreal-based dermatologist, Dr. Suzanne Gagnon affirms, waxing is known to cause irritation, inflammation and infection. This is especially true if you have a lowered immune system or persistent skin conditions.

What are the reasons that some people should avoid Brazilian waxes? “Brazilian waxing is not recommended for people with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, which can be aggravated by waxing,” explains Best Health, “And for women with diabetes, severe or even life-threatening problems can arise because their immune systems are already compromised.” Dr. Gagnon adds that improper waxing procedures can cause problems as well.

If the aesthetician doesn’t pull the skin tight enough during a Brazilian waxing procedure, it can leave the delicate genital-area skin more prone to swelling and infection. Irritation and itching is also likely to occur. As well, Dr. Gagnon points out that the natural humidity that exists in the genital area makes it more susceptible to bacterial and fungal growth. This could also lead to an infection.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we highly recommend laser hair removal as the safer and more permanent alternative to waxing. To safely and effectively remove unwanted hair, we use the LightSheer™ Hair Laser, which uses a patented chill tip to protect the skin and make 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.

August 9, 2016

// Spider Veins

4 Easy Ways To Diminish The Appearance Of Varicose And Spider Veins

For many Canadians, the appearance of varicose and spider veins in their legs are cause for major frustration. Especially during the current months of summer, it can be pretty intimidating to wear leg-exposing garments like commonly-worn shorts and skirts. Are there ways to eliminate or, at least, diminish varicose and spider veins? In today’s blog, we’ll take a look at some possible solutions.

Here are four easy ways to diminish the appearance of varicose and spider veins:

1. Make swimming one of your favourite hobbies. Yes, swimming generally requires the type of wear that reveals your legs. But the fun summer activity is great for easing the pressure from your legs. It’s the alleviation of this pressure that works wonders for eliminating unsightly veins in your legs. Getting good exercise is certainly recommended to help pump the blood up towards your heart instead of having it pool in your lower body.

According to Marc Livingston on VariStop.com, swimming is a great way to naturally get rid of varicose veins. “Swimming is one of the best ways to eliminate pain and discomfort caused by varicose veins,” he writes, “Some sports are not recommended due to their impact on the legs. Short impacts can block the blood flow and amplify the pressure on your veins.”

2. Commit to nutritious eating. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever find a list of health tips that doesn’t include eating a healthy diet. And that includes this list. A diet that is rich in fibre (vegetables, fruit, legumes and grains), antioxidants (green veggies, citrus fruits and berries) and magnesium (leafy greens, avocado, bananas and sweet potatoes) greatly assists with reversing inflammation and blood flow.

On his website, Dr. Josh Axe explains the significance of an anti-inflammatory diet in the fight against varicose and spider veins. “A poor diet — high in things like trans fats, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods — can contribute to arterial damage, low circulation, blood pressure problems, hormonal imbalances and weight gain,” he informs, “Many of these foods are also high-sodium foods, which is dehydrating, and contain toxins that can worsen swelling in varicose veins.”

3. Avoid high-heeled shoes. We know, ladies. When going out for a night on the town, it’s hard to get ourselves all dolled up without considering the perfect high-heeled shoes to go with our outfits. But in the fight to eliminate varicose and spider veins, it’s important to remember the importance of easing the pressure on your legs. Livingston reminds us that wearing the right pair of shoes can go a long way in winning that fight.

“Shoes can make all the difference,” he insists, “Look for shoes that have low heals. Wearing low-heeled shoes actually helps tone your calf muscles, promoting better circulation in your legs. Some new shoes, being marketed to women who want to improve the appearance of their legs and buttocks while walking, are also helpful for anyone who want to get rid of varicose veins naturally.”

4. Sclerotherapy. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we’re proud to offer this safe and effective procedure that is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to the removal of varicose and spider veins. Unlike with laser treatments, an injection of medication is used to make unwanted veins disappear. For more information about sclerotherapy, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

August 3, 2016

// Unwanted Moles

Determining Your Risk Of Getting Cancer

The Canadian Cancer Society has a very interesting and engaging way to inform Canadians about the ways to avoid getting cancer. Simply visit THIS LINK and take their “It’s My Life” tutorial. The short, yet interactive tutorial really helps to enlighten those who take it about the various things we do in our lives that may lead to cancer. You may be surprised to discover some of its revelations.

And this is because the tutorial is set up in a way to truly hit home. It first asks you to reveal your age. That way, the tutorial works to determine your specific statistical chances of getting cancer. We gave the tutorial a try and discovered some interesting and potentially alarming news. A 35 year-old Canadian woman has a 41 percent chance of getting cancer in her lifetime. But, of course, there are numerous ways to minimize the risk.

Do you smoke? This is the first, and perhaps, most obvious question asked by the Canadian Cancer Society. It should come as a surprise to no one that smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health. The tutorial reveals that 17 percent of Canadian women smoke. However, people who have quit cut their risk of getting cancer in half after ten years of being smoke-free.

It’s also important to remember that second-hand smoke is just as deadly. Keeping away from areas where second-hand smoke is prevalent is important in one’s quest to avoid cancer. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 15 percent of Canadian women are exposed to second-hand smoke in a typical month. No amount is safe. Keep in mind that even after leaving a smoke-filled area, it can remain in your clothes and hair.

Do you have a healthy body weight? Maintaining a healthy diet high in fibre and inclusive of a lot of fruits and vegetables is a great way to minimize your risk of getting cancer. 45 percent of Canadian women are overweight or obese, reveals the tutorial. Evidently, our approach to nutrition needs to change. 53 percent of Canadian women get less than seven servings of vegetables or fruit each day. The tutorial also highlights the need to avoid or limit red meat.

As you may have guessed, it’s just as important to be physically active each day. For those of us with desk jobs that have us spending a lot of time sitting, it’s important to remember to get up and move around on a regular basis. The Canadian Cancer Society reveals that Canadian women spend 69 percent of their waking hours sitting. And 47 percent of us are inactive! To make clear, physical activity helps to ward off cancer.

Do you protect yourself from the sun? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we are especially concerned with skin cancer. Many of our clients seek treatments to repair skin damage that was caused by either the sun or tanning beds. The tutorial reminds us that we are all still exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays even when there are scattered clouds overhead. 20 percent of Canadians get at least one sunburn during the summer, it also reveals.

As well, the presence of moles on the skin can be an indicator of melanoma – a deadly skin cancer. Naturally, we recommend an immediate visit to a dermatologist if you are concerned about the appearance of any new moles on your skin. We felt that it was important to review this tutorial as it adequately underlined the importance of protecting our skin from the sun in order to avoid the risk of melanoma.

Do you have any unwanted moles? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we use the VariLite laser to safely and effectively remove moles without producing any scarring or bruising. For more information on this and other treatments, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.