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May 30, 2017

// Skin Care

5 Foods That Will Help You Eat Your Way To Healthier Skin

There are many different ways to keep your skin looking youthful, fresh and nourished. But there is probably one way that is easier than all of the rest. It’s a no brainer when you really think about it. And that’s because keeping yourself hydrated is an integral part of maintaining good overall health. In other words, drink water! As Arshi Ahmed points out on StyleCraze.com, water is essential for maintaining optimum skin moisture.

“It replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity,” she explains, “This helps delay the appearance of signs of ageing like wrinkles and fine lines…Water is a perfect replacement for your expensive anti-ageing treatments. It keeps the skin well hydrated and glistening, thereby, enhancing the complexion. For soft and supple skin, drinking an adequate amount of water is more important than applying topical creams.”

If you’re of the mind that drinking the recommended 9-12 cups of water every day is a bit much, there are certainly other ways to stay hydrated. You can eat your way to healthier skin by eating foods that are high in water-content! Here are five:

1. Watermelon.

Given its name, the entry of this fruit on this list should come as no surprise. In fact, watermelon is heralded as a food that has the ability to hydrate even better than water itself! According to Abby Lerner on Shape.com, “a 2009 study at the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that the combination of salts, minerals and natural sugars in some fruits and vegetables can actually hydrate people more effectively than water or even sports drinks. Watermelon was on top of the list, thanks to its 92 percent water content and essential rehydration salts calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.”

2. Iceberg lettuce.

Health experts tend to advocate dark green salads made up of baby spinach to maximize the nutritional content, says Amanda MacMillan on Health.com. However, with its 95.6 percent water content, crispy iceberg lettuce has the highest hydration power of any type of lettuce, “followed by butterhead, green leaf, and romaine varieties.”

3. Cucumbers.

You’re not likely to come across a nutritionist who doesn’t advocate salad eating. However, it’s important to include the right ingredients in your salad. Cucumbers are among them. Says Lerner, “the flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling—which is why cucumbers are often used to help swollen eyes and sunburn.”

4. Celery.

MacMillan dispels the myth that celery has “negative” calories. She does, however, confirm that its 95.4 percent water content helps us to stay hydrated while also neutralizing our stomach acid. Celery “is often recommended as a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux,” notes MacMillan.

5. Zucchini.

Not to be mistaken for cucumbers (although you can certainly find ways to eat them together), these nutritious veggies also help to keep you hydrated. “With 95 percent water by weight, Zucchini is one of the most hydrating vegetables you can eat,” informs Lerner, “A healthy serving has less than 25 calories and is an excellent source of folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C.”

Keeping yourself hydrated plays a major role in your skin’s health. However, if you feel that your skin could use a little extra assistance in getting rejuvenated, please don’t hesitate to contact the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre. We offer a variety of peels, for both young and old, that tightens skin and increases radiance. For more information, call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

May 24, 2017

// Spider Veins

How Will The Summer Impact My Varicose Veins?

For individuals who experience the displeasure of having the appearance of varicose veins in their legs, the summer can be a harrowing season. With the warmer weather comes the need to wear shorts, skirts and other skin-revealing clothing in an effort to beat the heat. Sufferers, however, often prefer to keep their legs covered up even on the hottest of days. But keeping varicose veins out of sight is only part of the summertime problem.

How does heat impact varicose veins?

Although there are generally no symptoms associated with varicose veins, they can be affected by changes in the weather. As Dustin Taylor of The Center for Venous Disease explains, issues such as temperature, humidity and air pressure impact the human body in a number of ways. People with varicose veins are no exception.

“When the weather is warm, people with this condition may notice that their legs feel heavy or full,” he writes, “In addition, there may be swelling, especially at the ankles, as well as some cramping. If people already have these symptoms, they may notice that the symptoms become worse when the weather is warm.”

How does the heat cause swelling?

Taylor explains that warm weather tends to dilate veins that are close to the skin. This causes “chronic venous insufficiency” which can worsen the appearance of veins and exacerbate their symptoms. He also notes that heat causes people to sweat, resulting in a loss of salt from the body. This can disrupt the body’s fluid balance making it difficult for veins to pull fluid from tissues.

“Because veins are the most important way that fluid in cells is recycled to the heart, this leads to fluid build-up in the legs and ankles,” Taylor informs us, “This fluid accumulation around varicose veins can make symptoms worse.”

How bad can the symptoms of varicose veins get in the summer?

It’s important to remember that varicose veins appear because of a blockage that causes blood to pool. The swelling that occurs can create feelings of soreness and tightness. Of course, the more swelling that occurs, the worse these symptoms can get. Helen Cosgrove of U.K.-based health brand, A. Vogel explains how warm weather worsens the symptoms.

“Aching legs can occur because the veins are working harder and harder to efficiently pump blood against gravity and back to the heart – a tough job for already-damaged veins,” she describes, “This, along with the build-up of toxins that result from pooling blood, causes legs to ache. When the body warms up and extra blood is sent to these surface veins, inevitably they have to work even harder, which can exacerbate the aching feeling in your legs.”

What is the best way to manage varicose veins in the summer?

Firstly, it’s wise to avoid excessive heat to the legs. Finding ways to keep cool – as you normally would during the summer – will help to keep the symptoms of varicose veins at bay. Keep active – don’t sit around for long periods of time so that you can promote blood circulation. And be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly offer sclerotherapy as our safe and effective method of eliminating varicose veins. Known as the “gold standard” treatment in varicose and spider vein removal, sclerotherapy uses a sclerosing solution that closes the feeder veins that cause varicose and spider veins to form.

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 16, 2017

// Unwanted Moles

3 Important Steps To Preventing Mole Growth

According to Greyson Ferguson on Leaf.tv, we are all born with all of the moles we will ever have. However, many of them don’t become visible until we get older. Age is listed as the first factor in what causes mole growth. The second, you’ve probably guessed, is sun exposure. There’s nothing we can do about aging. But there’s plenty we can do to protect our skin from the sun.

Preventing mole growth, in fact, is no different than preventing sunburn. It requires the following of a few important steps. Here are three:

1. Make sunscreen application a daily routine.

Most of us assume that sunscreen is necessary only for the purposes of sunbathing and hanging out on the beach. We’re reasonably aware that prolonged sun exposure can create skin damage if appropriate protection isn’t used. However, it’s important to note that we expose our skin to the sun each and every day we walk out of our homes. Sunscreen, therefore, is necessary part of our every day.

“Apply lotion with at least SPF 15 on your face and body on a daily basis,” recommends Ferguson, “You will undoubtedly be in the sun for a few minutes every day, and this lotion will help protect your skin.” He advises using a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or more when at the beach or a pool. Reapplying the lotion every hour or so when staying outside is also recommended.

2. Cover your dome.

Hats are highly recommended skin protectors. Because mole development on our faces is quite prevalent in our later years, it’s important to keep them shaded from the sun as much as possible. On YouBeauty.com, Lyneka Little reminds us that even when we apply sunscreen to our faces, we tend to neglect certain parts – including the tops of our heads. Only hats can assure complete protection from sun damage to the head.

“People generally apply sun block to the eyes and face but rarely to the scalp,” she writes, “I recommend a broad rim panama style hat for sun protection. It’s very important. It’s a tremendous advantage to protect your scalp and large parts of the face. It will keep the sun off the nose, which is highly vulnerable. Behind the ears is an area where we routinely find skin cancer and the neck is a common area. Wear a hat in combination with sun block.”

3. Avoid tanning beds.

To be completely honest, we would place the act of lying in tanning beds in the same category as smoking cigarettes. Arguably, both practices are equally as dangerous in the ways that they can develop cancer. Exposing yourself to the UV rays emitted by tanning beds is a great way to damage your skin. And the growth of moles on your body is just one of the ways in which the skin damage is made apparent.

“Skip the tanning beds,” insists Ferguson, “This is one of the quickest ways for moles to appear and grow on your body, due to the concentrated UV light emanating from the bulbs.”

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a safe and effective treatment for mole removal. The VariLite laser is excellent for removing moles as well as skin tags, spider veins, small red blood vessels and other pigmented skin spots. It is known for providing 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.

May 9, 2017

// Hair Removal

What Are The Major Side Effects Of Face Waxing?

Even for those of us who haven’t attempted to wax unwanted hair from our faces, we can easily imagine just how much it hurts. Waxing our legs, arms and underarms hurts enough. The sensitive skin on our faces, however, offers the practice of waxing the ability to cause both intense pain and numerous side effects. Needless to say, the side effects of face waxing are the hardest to hide.

Consider the obvious fact that we present our faces to the world each and every day. There are no long sleeves or pants to hide the damage we’ve done if a face waxing session goes wrong. So, when it comes to removing hair from our upper lips, chins and cheeks, it’s pretty important to take some precautions – such as using a high-quality wax – in order to prevent some of the most common side effects: ingrown hairs, pimples, bleeding, bruising, discolouration, redness and swelling.

What is the most common side effect of face waxing?

Although side effects vary from person to person, breaking out after face waxing is pretty normal. This is especially true if a low-quality wax has been used. According to Patrice De La Ossa on Livestrong.com, “a skin test patch should always be done to see if your skin is more sensitive or prone to breaking out before waxing the facial area. Ingredients in the wax can trigger a reaction.”

Burning and scarring is another common side effect of face waxing. This is especially true if the wax is too hot. One’s face can be scarred when the skin is burned due to the hot wax and then is lifted off with the wax strip. Ouch! Of course, with the removal of skin comes the possibility of infection. It’s important to keep burned areas of skin as clean as possible in order to prevent infection, De La Ossa advises.

What factors can worsen the side effects of face waxing?

Keeping in mind that your facial skin is incredibly sensitive to begin with, it’s important to understand the ways in which any medications you’re taking may impact its sensitivity. De La Ossa points out that certain medications can interfere with face waxing and cause unwanted side effects. She cites antibiotics as an example.

“Antibiotics can cause your skin to be ultra-sensitive and lead to severe redness following waxing,” she informs, “Acutane users should not be waxed. Acutane leaves the skin extremely thin, photosensitive and more reactive. You must disclose any medications you are currently taking to avoid side effects associated with face waxing.”

How can the side effects of face waxing be avoided altogether?

Quite obviously, there is only one way to avoid the side effects of face waxing. And that is to never wax your face! So what does one do about the unwanted hair on her face? At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we offer a hair removal solution that has a long history of providing safe, effective and long-lasting results.

Our laser hair removal treatments utilize the LightSheer™ Hair Laser – 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 face waxing 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.

May 2, 2017

// Skin Care

What Is The Best Way To Treat Severe Acne?

Acne is a bigger problem than you may think. Millions of people all across North America suffer from it – and not all of them are teenagers. It’s not uncommon to associate the appearance of acne with the faces of adolescents. But, as many Canadians know, acne can be present well into adulthood. For particularly stubborn acne, regular washing and scrubbing may not be enough to provide a solution. In fact, sometimes it can just irritate the skin further.

What treatments are commonly used to combat severe acne?

The Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada notes that there is a number of aggressive treatments that are commonly used by adults who wish to battle severe cases of acne. They include oral antibiotics, hormonal treatments and an oral medication called isotretinion. It is described as a potent, synthetic form of Vitamin A that reduces oil gland activity, bacteria and inflammation. It also works to normalize skin shedding.

However, acne sufferers are warned of isotretinion’s severe side effects. It is known to cause severe birth defects, so women are warned to avoid it if they are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. “Do not use isotretinoin if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or if you are planning to become pregnant,” warns Drugs.com, “Serious and sometimes fatal birth defects can occur if isotretinoin is taken during pregnancy. Any fetus exposed during pregnancy could be harmed…Increased risks of miscarriage and premature births have been reported.”

Corticosteroid injections are also listed as a severe acne solution by the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. The injection of the synthetic hormones works to alter the body’s immune response and reduce inflammation. Injections can only be used for a short period of time, however, because high concentrations can cause permanent depressions in the skin.

According to MedicineNet.com, some of the other side effects of corticosteroid injections are high blood pressure, weight gain (due to sodium retention), loss of potassium, headaches, muscle weakness, facial puffiness, facial hair growth, bruised skin, glaucoma, cataracts, stomach ulcers, menstrual irregularity and even a condition known as Buffalo hump – “a condition described as a rounding of the upper back”.

What does the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre recommend for the treatment of severe acne?

We have found that our Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy treatments produce long-lasting results. This special skin therapy combines topically applied Levulan (ALA) and blue light to eradicate both severe cases of acne and pre-cancerous skin lesions.

Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy is also effective in the treatment of sun damage, fine lines and blotchy pigmentation. The combination of Levulan and the light treatment create a unique ability to minimize pores and reduce oil glands. This effectively treats stubborn acne and helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars. The ALA/PDT combo also works to reduce the appearance of rosacea.

Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy treatments are known for being both safe and comfortable for patients. For many, improvement is noticeable after a single treatment. And, for others, a number of treatments over the course of a few weeks are needed to promote effective results.

For more information about how Blue-U PhotoDynamic Therapy can provide a solution to your case of severe acne, please don’t hesitate to call the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.