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July 18, 2017

// Unwanted Moles

4 Simple Steps To Preventing Mole Growth

Last month, right before summer was set to begin, we blogged about the fact that summer is the “season of the mole”. And that’s because the season provides us with the second main reason that moles develop on our skin – sun exposure. The first reason is age. So, since it’s impossible for us not to age, it stands to reason that we all take measures to minimize the potential for sun exposure to promote mole growth.

Allow us, firstly, to mention that most moles are not cancerous. However, it is certainly important to have your moles examined by a dermatologist, especially if you notice any changes in their shape, texture, colour and size. (See the aforementioned blog for more details.) Preventing mole growth requires the following of a few simple steps all summer (and really, all year) long.

Here are four:

1. Apply sunscreen on a daily basis.

It’s important to start out with the obvious. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 on all parts of your body that will be exposed to the sun. In truth, this tip may not be as obvious to some as it is to others as there are still a lot of people who think that sunscreen isn’t necessary. It should be noted, however, that sunscreen is needed for protection against the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays all year round.

2. Cover up your skin.

Even when sunscreen is being used, it’s wise to not subject your skin to prolonged sun exposure. If you plan on being out in the sun – especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day – you should wear such skin-protecting garments as long-sleeved clothing and wide-brimmed hats. The latter will especially help to prevent the development of moles on your ears, neck, chest and face.

3. Avoid tanning beds.

While this form of tanning isn’t necessarily all that popular during the summer – thanks to the natural sunlight taking care of most of our tanning requirements – it’s important for us to strongly advise against ever visiting a tanning salon. Look at it this way: you’re cooking your skin! There is no benefit to subjecting your body to such damage. Concentrated UV light emanating from tanning bed bulbs is not your friend!

“Using tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent,” reports the Melanoma Research Foundation, “Occasional use of tanning beds triples your chances. Research also suggests a strong dose-response relationship – meaning the more sessions, hours and years spent tanning, the higher the risk of developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer.”

4. Avoid tanning altogether.

It should probably go without saying that if you should skip the tanning beds, you should avoid lying out in the sun all day as well. We’re aware that it’s a favourite summer pastime for most Canadians, but it does need to be recognized as an unsafe practice. There is no such thing as a “safe tan”, says the Melanoma Research Foundation, “Tanned skin is a result of damage to skin cells.”

For those who have already developed moles that they wish to remove, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre proudly offers a safe and effective treatment for mole removal using the VariLite laser. It provides excellent results with no bruising and virtually no down time. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email info@auroralaser.net.

June 20, 2017

// Unwanted Moles

What Makes Summer The Season Of The Mole?

Summer starts tomorrow! And, if you’re like most Canadians, you’re thrilled that the warmest and sunniest season of them all is set to start. Summer, as we all know, is the season of playing outdoors, swimming, hiking and sunbathing. And while we’d never recommend the act of simply lying in direct sunlight (still a popular summer pastime), we recognize that all outdoor activities will entail sun exposure.

Do you have to be reminded that it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays?

The way we see it is that there can never be enough reminders. But here’s another one – be sure to include the daily application of sunscreen as part of your summertime festivities. With that said, it’s important to note that the more we expose our skin to the sun, the higher our chances are of developing moles.

Perhaps, “developing” isn’t quite the correct word. You see, we’re all born with moles. Each of us has between 10 and 40 moles on our bodies. They can appear just about anywhere and generally surface by the time we hit our twenties. However, sun exposure is a key culprit in helping moles become more visible. This is because they get darker. If you’re not particularly a fan of the appearance of moles, you’ll want to do your part in keeping your skin covered during the summer.

Are moles dangerous?

It’s important to note that the majority of moles are harmless. Nevertheless, many people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. There are, however, moles that indicate the presence of melanoma – a deadly skin cancer. If you have any concerns about the moles that may become more apparent throughout the summer months, you should contact a dermatologist to have them checked out.

What should you look for when examining your moles?

Doctors advice using the ABCDE method when examining your moles: Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Enlargement (or Evolution).

  • A for asymmetry – Check to see if one half of the mole looks differently than the other.
  • B for border – Check to see if the mole has uneven or poorly defined borders.
  • C for colour – Does the mole have two or more different colours? While generally black or brown, moles may also exhibit shades of red, blue or white.
  • D for diameter – How big is the mole? Is it larger than the size of a pencil eraser or approximately 6 millimetres across?
  • E for enlargement/evolution – Is the mole changing size, shape and colour over time?

“Examine your skin regularly, looking for any new skin moles as well as changes in the moles you already have,” recommends Krisha McCoy on EverydayHealth.com, “If you have a family history of atypical moles or skin cancer, or a large number of moles or freckles, your primary doctor may suggest that you see a dermatologist for regular skin evaluations.”

What is the safest way to remove moles?

At the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre, we proudly 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 heralded 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 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.

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.

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.