Stay in the loop with the Aurora Laser & Vein Centre.
Our blog is updated regularly so check back often!


January 31, 2017

// Skin Care

3 Simple Ways To Prevent Dry Skin In The Winter

With February just about to get underway, Canadians are reminded that our winter season is far from over. Many of us have already experienced the ramifications of exposing our skin to the frigid outdoor temperatures. And among the most common ramifications is chapped, dry skin. Fear not, however, as there are a number of measures that can be taken to ensure that your skin doesn’t continue to dry out over the course our ever-lengthy wintertime.

Here are three simple ways to prevent dry skin in the winter:

1. Go heavy on moisturizing. Naturally, the best way to prevent dryness is add moisture, right? When it comes to keeping your skin in its healthiest condition, the same rule applies. It’s important to remember that when you bathe, you rid your skin of moisture, so be sure to moisturize quickly after showering. And don’t forget those particular areas of the body that tend to get neglected – they include your feet, elbows and knees.

Megan Mayer of The Huffington Post suggests that you make Vaseline your friend. Using it on the areas of your body that tend to get dry the most will help to ward off chapping and cracking. “Dry feet? Check. Dry elbows and knees? Double check. Lather up, ladies and gentleman, that little plastic container is your go-to all winter long,” she writes, “From lip balm to foot cream to makeup remover, this gooey substance can ‘fix’ just about anything.”

2. Put fish on your dish. Sometimes, it’s best to nourish your skin from the inside out. Eating fish that are rich in omega-3 fats can help you to prevent dehydration of your skin cells. This not only prevents the signs of aging but also helps you to repair a number of skin conditions such as eczema, thick patches of skin and cracked heels. On his website, Dr. Joseph Mercola highly recommends the consumption of fish as a way to nourish your skin in the winter.

“Omega-3 fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help to soothe irritated skin, giving you a clearer, smoother complexion,” he explains, “Fish has always been one of the best sources for animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, but as levels of pollution have increased, this treasure of a food has become less and less viable as a primary source of these healthful fats.” As a result, Dr. Mercola recommends fish that are closer to the bottom of the food chain and therefore, are much less contaminated. They include sardines, anchovies, herring and wild-caught Alaskan salmon.

3. Avoid hot showers. This may be a hard one to pull off as Canadians are no strangers to hot showers during the wintertime. It’s a great way to rid yourself of that bone-chilling winter air once you get inside, isn’t it? The problem with hot showers is that they tend to dry your skin much quicker than cold ones.

Of course, cold showers aren’t necessarily recommended during the winter. Going warm is your best bet. “We know it’s tempting, but showering in scalding temperatures tends to dry out your skin even more,” says Mayer, “Hot water removes natural oils from the skin, and the more oils removed, the drier the skin becomes.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we consider it important to follow these skin care tips all year round as it becomes even more difficult to keep our skin from drying as we age. There are some fantastic ways, however, to rejuvenate your skin and revive and restore your natural beauty.

We offer a variety of facial peels for people of all ages. They have been proven to tighten your skin and increase your radiance. Our facial peels can specifically remedy sun-damaged skin or age spots, control acne, smooth out rough and discoloured skin or improve fine lines and wrinkles. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

January 24, 2017

// Spider Veins

Uncovering Some Popular Misconceptions About Varicose Veins

Even though the end of January is drawing near, Canadians are well aware that winter is far from over. And, for many Canadians, that’s a good thing. They may not necessarily be fans of the cold, but the opportunity to keep their legs covered helps to alleviate the stress that comes with exposing their varicose veins to the world. For the majority of people who have varicose veins, the view that the veins are “unsightly” is quite popular.

And while the lack of beauty associated with varicose veins is a matter of opinion, there are some facts about them that not everyone knows. As a result, there are some misconceptions about varicose veins that are important to uncover. The fact that they are only a cosmetic issue is one of them. On EverydayHealth.com, Anne Harding explains that, in some cases, the veins cause aches, cramping and swelling of the legs.

“Other symptoms include severe dryness and itchiness of the skin near varicose veins,” she notes, “People with varicose veins are also at an increased risk for a dangerous type of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis.” Harding also cites Dr. Pablo Sung Yup Kim of Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City who notes that less common symptoms such as bleeding, skin discolouration, skin thickening and even ulcer formation is found in less than 10 percent of patients.

Dr. Kathleen Gibson is a vascular surgeon and vein specialist at Lake Washington Vascular in Bellevue, Washington. She affirms that varicose veins don’t just pose cosmetic problems. In a special to The Huffington Post, Beth Levine reveals Dr. Gibson’s assertion that the veins can cause throbbing, aching and itching in the legs. She also notes that advanced cases can cause dermatitis, thickened skin and swelling, especially if the person does a lot of standing or sitting. Dr. Gibson does, however, dispel the myth that sitting with your legs crossed can cause varicose veins to form.

So what does cause varicose veins? “What do cause varicose veins are heredity, and pregnancy, especially repeated pregnancies,” reports Dr. Gibson, “In patients that already have varicose veins, obesity or weight gain can make them worse. Although they are more prevalent in people who are older and female, they can also occur in males and younger people.”

This is another misconception that Dr. Gibson uncovers. Varicose veins are not women-only issues. “While varicose veins are more common in women, men get them, too,” she reiterates, “About one-quarter of adult women have some visible varicose veins, compared to 10 to 15 percent of men.”

What is the best way to treat varicose veins? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer sclerotherapy which is considered the “gold standard” in the treatment of varicose veins. It is generally preferred over laser treatments because unlike lasers, the injected sclerosing solution also closes the “feeder veins” under the skin that cause the veins to form. This makes a recurrence of varicose veins a lot less likely.

For more information about sclerotherapy and how we can help you to diminish your varicose veins, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

January 17, 2017

// Unwanted Moles

Taking Measures To Ensure Your Moles Aren’t Melanoma

The vast majority of us have moles somewhere on our bodies. In fact, the average adult is known to have between 10 and 40 moles. So, it can be argued that moles are normal parts of our lives. There is, however, the concern that moles can be cancerous. And because of their ties to melanoma – a deadly skin cancer – many people choose to have their moles investigated. This, of course, is a good idea depending on the nature of your moles.

What are the things to look out for when examining moles? As Sarah Stacey reports in the U.K.-based Daily Mail, there are some determining factors that may present some dangers. When examining your moles, look for uneven colouring and more than one shade, ragged or uneven edges, any bleeding, itching, inflamed or crusty moles and moles that are growing larger than the width of a pencil.

What should be done if these factors are noticed? It’s highly advisable that you consult a physician. Ruling out melanoma is incredibly important. Again, because moles are so prevalent, their appearance does not necessarily mean that skin cancer is present. So ruling it out should be a rule of thumb. As Amy Fleming explains on TheGuardian.com, cancerous moles do have a certain look.

“Most moles have only one or two colours, whereas cancerous moles – melanomas – can be an uneven mixture of light brown, dark brown, black, red or pink,” she describes, “Ragged edges, very large moles and bleeding, itching, swollen, crusty or inflamed moles all warrant a visit to the GP. If you check your moles every few months, you should notice anything worth reporting, but even if you think a mole warrants medical assessment, don’t panic: atypical moles affect 10% of the population but only one in 10,000 of these people will have a melanoma.”

What causes melanoma? Prolonged sun exposure is a definite way to increase the risk of melanoma. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds is also a culprit. Naturally, to decrease the risk, sun exposure should be limited, sunscreen with a high SPF should be worn along with wide-brimmed hats and a complete avoidance of tanning beds should be practiced.

“Exposure to ultraviolet light increases the risk,” explains Fleming, “Whether from sunshine or solariums, UVA and UVB rays penetrate deep into the skin and can damage its DNA, leading to cancer. You are more likely to get melanoma if you have lots of moles or freckles, pale skin that burns easily, red or blond hair, or a family member who has had the disease.”

It’s important to remember, however, that melanoma isn’t as common as benign moles. Once you’ve confirmed that your moles are not cancerous, it’s simply best to take precautions to keep them hidden from the sun. With that said, there are still many people who simply dislike the look of their moles whether they are cancerous or not. In such cases, a safe and effective removal method is recommended.

What is the safest way to remove moles? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly use the VariLite laser to remove skin tags, moles and other pigmented skin spots. It’s also a very safe and effective treatment for small red blood vessels (telangiectasia) on the face and very fine spider veins in the legs. The VariLite laser provides 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.

January 10, 2017

// Hair Removal

How To Avoid Razor Burn And Razor Bumps

If you’ve ever put a razor to your skin – and who hasn’t? – you have likely endured the pain and irritation associated with razor burn. The natural need to keep our skin smooth and silky has us shaving areas of our body where unwanted hair grows on a regular basis. Our underarms, legs and bikini areas are among the most-popularly shaved areas on our bodies. And, as a result, it’s these areas that are most commonly affected by razor burn.

Just how often are women shaving? According to Dr. Josh Axe on his website, “a survey revealed that women spend 72 days shaving their legs over the course of a lifetime, meaning approximately 1,728 hours…Shaving also ranked as women’s most disliked beauty ritual, with 35 percent of the women polled saying they loathed shaving their legs more than anything else, such as doing their hair and tweezing their brows.”

From this information, we can surmise that razor burn is one of the top downsides to our beauty rituals. And, as if razor burn (which can include symptoms such as redness, stinging and itchiness) wasn’t enough, many of us have to contend with razor bumps as well. Ingrown hairs, which become more prevalent the curlier our hair is, is another problem that is often associated with shaving.

Is there a way to avoid getting razor burn and razor bumps after shaving? Dr. Axe strongly recommends that you avoid dry shaving. He advises that you wet your skin by taking a shower or bath in order to soften the hair before shaving. You may even decide to shave while you are bathing. It’s also wise to prep your skin by using a good moisturizing shaving cream, lotion or oil.

Dr. Axe also recommends that you shave in the right direction. “For your underarms, shave from all angles to include up, down and sideways,” he directs, “For the bikini area, shave in the direction of hair growth first (inward) and gently against for an extra-close shave, but again, be careful because this can cause razor bumps and ingrown hairs. For the beards, shave in the direction of the hair growth and for the legs, shaving against the hair growth.”

What if razor burn and razor bumps can’t be avoided? For many of us, it doesn’t matter how many pre-shaving and shaving precautions we take, razor burn and razor bumps are still inevitable. In such cases, it’s important to treat our shaved skin in order to minimize pain and discomfort as much as possible. On BeyondDisease.com, Dr. Goel recommends a number of home remedies for razor bumps.

Among them are baking soda, tea tree oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, black tea and Aloe Vera. “Razor bumps can be treated quickly with Aloe Vera gel,” she informs, “The healing power of Aloe Vera is well known and in fact, many people use this herbal remedy to treat all sorts of cuts and burns. By moisturizing your skin with Aloe Vera, you’ll be helping your skin speed up the healing process. This all-natural gel is also effective at soothing swelling and the burning sensation that accompanies razor bumps.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we highly recommend doing away with the potential for razor burn and razor bumps altogether! By offering laser hair removal treatments, we help patients to give up their razors for good. Our medically supervised hair removal procedures will make your tweezing, waxing and shaving routines disappear. Treatments are virtually painless and can produce long-term or permanent results.

Our laser hair removal treatments make use of the LightSheer™ Hair Laser, which is a revolutionary treatment in the management of unwanted hair. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

January 3, 2017

// Skin Care

Sticking To Your Resolution To Have Better Skin

Happy new year everyone! With 2017 now here, your New Year’s Resolutions are officially underway. Here’s hoping that you’re nowhere near breaking them! As with most people, you have likely created a resolution or two that focuses in on improving your overall health. And, most often, this will have a lot to do with what you eat…and don’t eat. The foods you eat will certainly impact your weight and overall appearance – and that includes your skin!

For example, if you choose to eat less dairy, gluten and sugar in 2017, you’ll be decreasing your intake of inflammatory foods. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is known to have anti-inflammatory effects. And then there are those foods that help to improve your skin by using them in other ways. On FoodAndWine.com, M. Elizabeth Sheldon explains that some can be helpful when you put them on your face!

“While eating yogurt can by iffy if you’re sensitive to dairy, it’s great for using as a mask,” she explains, “It’s a little acidic and it’s nourishing, plus strengthens the flora of the skin. I am a huge fan of using honey on the skin. It’s an amazing cure-all. Any honey is great, but Manuka honey in particular just works miracles for any skin type. It’s full of vitamins so it’s great for acne and anti-aging. I especially love it for after sun-care.”

Of course, when it comes to skin care, what you do in 2017 is equally as important as what you eat. As with any approach to better health and nutrition, a life that incorporates exercise will work wonders in the world of “staying young”. However, it’s important that you not neglect sleep. Getting the appropriate amount of shuteye will not only help you to avoid dark circles, but it will help ward off early signs of aging.

Prevention.com actually recommends four easy “tweaks” to your nighttime routine that will help to improve your skin. The first is to convert to sleeping on your back. When you lie on your stomach or your side, it can create permanent sleep lines in your skin. As well, it’s recommended that you raise your head a bit with your pillows to help you avoid puffy eyes. The site also advises that you invest in a humidifier as dry, hot air is known to deplete the skin of its moisture.

And finally, “use the bedroom for sleep and sex only,” says Prevention.com, “doing so trains your mind to associate your bed with getting zzz’s. Avoid caffeine and exercise for 3 to 5 hours before bedtime, and limit alcohol at night; each can keep you from solid slumber. Make sure your room is dark and cool (the ideal temp for sleep is 65°F). To transition into sleep mode, don’t watch TV or go online for an hour before turning in.”

And when it comes to sleeping, be sure that you’re doing it with a clean face. Too often, we neglect to take our makeup off before turning in. This causes clogged pores that result in blemishes. As Prevention.com reminds us, “washing your face plays two important roles: it removes damaging dirt and makes your night cream work harder.” The site recommends that you use a creamy cleanser if you have dry skin and a gel if you have acne-prone or oily skin.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a number of treatments that can successfully rejuvenate your skin. We’d be happy to help you stick to your resolution to have better skin by introducing them to you! They include a variety of facial peels that can tighten your skin and increase its radiance as well as IPL treatments that remedy a number of skin imperfections including rosacea, facial veins and large pores.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net. Happy New Year!