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March 28, 2017

// Spider Veins

Is It Possible For Men To Develop Varicose Veins In Their Legs Too?

Allow us to answer the question posed by the title of this week’s blog this way: absolutely! Far too often, both varicose and spider veins are associated with elderly women. And while it is true that these commonly-referred-to-as “unsightly” veins are more common in women than men, it is certainly possible for men to develop them in their legs as well. It’s important to remember that the appearance of such veins is caused by pressure in the legs – regardless of gender or age.

Why are varicose veins more common in women?

It’s important to consider some of the factors that lead to pressure in the legs. As vascular surgeon, Dr. Honesto Poblete explains on Mercerspace.com, some of the most common causes of varicose veins in women are pregnancy, menopause and hormone therapy. The pressure caused by such circumstances produces swelling in the veins, which indicates the presence of venous disease.

What are some of the causes of varicose veins in men?

Just like women, men can develop varicose and spider veins due to activities that put extra pressure on the legs. As Dr. Poblete lists, those activities include standing for long periods of time, frequent traveling, spending long hours either driving or flying and leg trauma caused by a sports-related injury.

How common are varicose veins in men?

Sara Cann of Men’s Health reveals that British research found that as many as 56 percent of men suffer from varicose veins. “The problem involves the veins in the lower extremities,” she explains, “When you are in an erect position, your blood pools in these veins, expanding the vein walls which over time stop returning to their previous, more taut condition.”

What can be done to ward off the appearance of varicose veins?

Let’s put it this way: the more action you give your legs, the better! Keeping active will help to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the legs and eliminate the pooling of blood. Regular exercise, therefore, is highly recommended as it promotes circulation and adequate blood flow from the legs to the heart. Even if you can’t find time to exercise regularly, it’s advisable that you keep moving somehow.

“Blood naturally collects in your legs when you’re not moving, so sitting for long periods of time can lead to venous disease,” informs Dr. Poblete, “Try to take walks throughout the day, or even take just a few minutes to move your legs around if you’re at a desk all day.”

Compression hose or stockings are also helpful in warding off varicose veins. “Compression leggings’ tension pushes the blood up from the ankle (the greatest pressure point), and redistributes it more evenly up the leg,” explains Cann, “If you don’t need prescription-grade strength, aim for hose with 10 to 30 millimeters of mercury (measurement of pressure).”

As well, you’ll certainly want to watch what you eat. Avoid foods that are high in sodium as they lead to fluid retention. Such foods include smoked, cured, salted or canned meat; fish or poultry including bacon, ham, cold cuts, sausage, frankfurters, sardines, caviar and anchovies; salted nuts; canned ravioli, spam, chilli and beans with added salt as well as frozen dinners.

What is the best treatment for varicose veins?

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer sclerotherapy which is considered the “gold standard” in the removal of varicose veins. Safe and effective, this treatment offers excellent results and minimal discomfort. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

March 21, 2017

// Hair Removal

What Are The Major Side Effects Of Tweezing?

It’s odd how much pain we’ll put ourselves through in order to get our desired appearances, isn’t it? We’re all aware of the often-sharp sting that comes along with plucking a strand of hair from our eyebrows. And yet, many of us are compelled to go through with the procedure anyways – repeating it over and over again until our eyebrows are seemingly perfect.

Of course, there are many of us who don’t stop at the eyebrows. The compulsion to pluck unwanted hair from our bodies can lead us to yank strands from our faces, arms, legs and chests. And, as many women have discovered, this can lead to permanent scarring.

Charlotte Starling of Norwich, England is one such woman. As reported by Kelly Strange and Emma Innes in the U.K.-based Daily Mail, Starling became so obsessed with plucking her unwanted hair that she was diagnosed with dermatillomania – the compulsion to pluck at skin. Going so far as to use knives, needles, pliers, and even her sharpened fingernails in order to pluck hairs, Starling has left her entire body scarred for life.

“I would do anything to find a way to pluck hairs,” Starling is quoted as saying, “It’s like a drug and I’m an addict. It’s made me devious and dishonest because I will do anything to find a way to pluck hairs and get that sense of relief…I’ve always obsessed about plucking my eyebrows. I wanted to get the shape just right and would spend ages plucking out the tiny hairs until they were perfect. Like all young women I wanted to look my best.”

Sadly, Starling’s attempts to look her best have caused her to look her worst. Strange and Innes report that her dermatillomania condition has gotten so bad that she has been registered as disabled. This has forced her partner, Martin Thompson to give up his job in order to stay at home and care for her.

Of course, Starling’s condition can be considered extreme. While most of us may not suffer from an uncontrollable desire to pluck away at our skin, we continue to utilize tweezers as a hair removal source. As a result, we continue to endure the side effects of tweezing that include skin irritation, ingrown hairs and folliculitis. This is a condition that results from the breaking of blood vessels around the hair follicles.

“The condition appears as small, pimple-like white dots on the skin, causing itching and pain,” explains Vanessa Day on HairRemovalForum.com, “Folliculitis can easily be mistaken as an embarrassing breakout. Mild folliculitis will usually clear up on its own in a few days, but it can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing. More severe infections can cause permanent hair loss and scarring, and should be treated by a dermatologist.”

Hyperpigmentation is another unpleasant side effect of tweezing. Defined as the darkening of skin in patches around the face, this condition is caused when “melanin forms deposits in the skin from prolonged inflammation due to plucking,” Day informs.

As you can imagine, we’re not ones for recommending tweezing as a safe and effective hair removal option, here at the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre. Instead, we offer a solution that has a long track record of providing safe, effective and long-lasting results. Our laser hair removal treatments make use of the LightSheer™ Hair Laser, which is a revolutionary treatment in the management of unwanted hair.

With the help of our medically supervised hair removal procedures, you will be able to eliminate the side effects associated with tweezing for good! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

March 14, 2017

// Unwanted Moles

Is It Safe To Remove Moles By Yourself At Home?

We think that it’s best to cut right to the chase here. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, he highly recommend that if you have unwanted moles, you visit a dermatologist to discover exactly what the nature of those moles are. Are they benign or cancerous? That’s the most important question that needs to be answered. And you simply can’t tell without a medical professional analyzing your moles.

Simply put, we would recommend that you never attempt to remove your moles yourself. There are many do-it-yourself methods listed on the internet – including cutting them off with razor blades or “burning” the moles with apple cider vinegar – but none have been proven to be either adequately effective or safe. In fact, some people report that they have left themselves with horrible scars after attempting to treat their moles by themselves.

What makes do-it-yourself mole removal so dangerous? It’s important to remember that moles are not simply extensions of your skin. They are not calluses, ingrown hairs, razor bumps or skin tags. Instead, moles are clusters of pigment cells. Known as melanocytes, these clusters absorb harmful UV rays. This makes direct exposure to sunlight a major cause of mole growth. It’s also what causes melanoma – a deadly form of skin cancer.

With that said, it must be reiterated that self-removal of moles doesn’t necessarily end the threat of cancer, if it is present. This is a primary reason to see a doctor. Secondly, one’s do-it-yourself methods can eventually cause more damage to the skin. As explained by Florida-based Mayoral Dermatology, removing moles can not only result in profuse bleeding, but long-term negative results.

“When you choose to remove a mole at home using some kind of cutting instrument, you will risk scarring and infection,” they explain on their website, “In addition, you won’t remove all of the accumulated pigmented cells since you aren’t a professional dermatologist, which means the mole will probably redevelop and present an even darker shade than its previous colour.”

Are mole removal creams safe? Sensibly, it’s best to avoid the cutting and burning tactics that many do-it-yourself remedies employ. But while this is true, people are still cautioned against using mole removal creams. As Mayoral Dermatology explains, such creams are created for skin problems. Their ingredients trick the body’s immune system into thinking that the skin is suffering damage.

“Stimulating the immune system floods the mole with white blood cells intended to facilitate healing of the supposed damage,” they explain, “However, since no real skin problem exists, the inflammation produced by the immune system is unnecessary, resulting in ‘overhealing’ of the mole and skin surrounding it. Unsightly impressions resembling the scarring and pitting associated with acne often develop from the use of mole removal creams.”

What is the safest and most effective way to remove moles? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, our experience has shown us that there is no better solution to mole removal than the VariLite laser. It has been proven to provide excellent results in the field of removing moles, skin tags, small red blood vessels and other pigmented skin spots 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.

March 7, 2017

// Skin Care

5 More Reasons To Have Your Tattoos Removed

One year ago – almost to the day – we posted a blog entitled “5 Reasons To Have Your Tattoos Removed”. And, we figured that now was a good time to revisit that topic. But, by no means is it an annual tradition to discuss tattoo removal. At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we’re well aware that laser tattoo removal is requested all year round. And that’s because there are a bunch of reasons that people want to have their tattoos removed.

In our blog from last year, we listed the end of a relationship, growing out of a trend, changing your fashion sense, a new career path and knowing they’re just plain ugly as reasons that people wanted to do away with their ink. But, as you can imagine, the reasons certainly don’t stop there. Perhaps, you have some unique reasons of your own for wanting to remove your tattoos. Are they included in the following list?

Here are five more reasons to have your tattoos removed:

1. They may be taken out of context. Every so often, romantic couples, siblings, spouses and other closely-united groups of two decide to get their tattoos together. Essentially, they each get half of a tattoo that is completed when they are joined together in some way. The tattoos may be placed on the hands or the torsos allowing for a connection between the two parties to unite the two pieces. On their own, these tattoos appear incomplete and simply nonsensical. This makes removal a wise option.

2. You’re over your rebellious stage. Believe it or not, many people make their decisions to get tattoos based on ways to rebel against their parents, former friends, ex-romantic partners or perhaps even legal authority. As time passes, the angst one felt that inspired the rebellious tattoo fades – only the tattoo remains vibrant. Once you’ve gotten over the (often childish) rebellious stage of your life, it’s a good idea to remove its once-permanent reminder.

3. You’re living with a misspelling. There are tons of tattoos out there that contain lettering – some more than others. Many tattoos are names of loved ones, others are famous quotes or even Bible passages and others are full paragraphs of some kind of significance. And while it may have been thought of as cool to treat your body like a canvas for some literature, it wasn’t so cool to have those all-important words misspelled. Not every tattoo artist is an English major. We’d be surprised if there was even one. Removing misspelled tattoos is a wise choice.

4. They are in a foreign language you don’t understand. We agree – many Asian languages have some pretty cool characters that represent their letters and words. But it’s a good idea to confirm exactly what those characters mean before you decide to have them permanently etched into your skin. You’d be surprised to know how many people have tattoos that say things other than what they assume…or maybe you wouldn’t. If your tattoo has a different (or maybe even embarrassing) translation that you didn’t know about before, it’s best to get rid of it.

5. Your cover up went wrong. Laser tattoo removal isn’t the only choice for those who wish to get rid of tattoos they no longer enjoy having. Tattoo cover ups are also growing in popularity. However, they are the very definition of “making a problem worse” if you ask us. You may also ask many of those who have gotten cover ups. Often, they really do make the problem worse. Tattoo cover ups that just worsen the problem should be removed to officially do away with the tattoo you wanted gone in the first place.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer laser tattoo removal courtesy of Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers which use PhotoAcoustic Technology. These lasers safely penetrate the skin to target each tattoo ink colour with specific wavelengths. This causes the tattoos to gradually fade over the course of five to 15 treatment sessions. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.