Don’t Forget to Pack the Sunscreen for your Winter Get-Away

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Every year around this time, Canadian Snowbirds are packing their bags to escape the cold Canadian winter. With over half a million Canadians looking to get out of the cold and into the sun, it is important to remember to protect your skin with proper sunscreen. Over 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, more than 5,000 of which are melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer.

The Ultra Violet (UV) radiation levels vary depending on the time and location. The World Health Organization posts a UV Index on their website with a list of the UV measurements according to the area. The Weather Network also has a UV Report that you allows you to type in the destination of where you are headed, and it will advise the latest reading for that area.


Most of us understand the importance of using sunscreen to protect our skin from the damaging UV rays but with so many options of sunscreen products and different levels of protection, how is one supposed to choose? In order to select the right sunscreen for you, it is important to understand a few sunscreen basics.

Picking the proper sunscreen starts with deciding the type of exposure you are expecting. If you will only be outdoors for a few minutes at a time, a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, which filters out about 93 percent of UV radiation, is usually sufficient. If you plan on enjoying the sun longer than just a few minutes, you will want to look at a sunscreen option with a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.


Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers high quality, affordable skincare, and sunscreen products for normal and problem skin types. Issues such as acne or rosacea require particular attention, and we take the time to discuss your options with you and gain an understanding of your skin type before recommending a product.

Though skin cancer is preventable and most often treatable, it remains the most common form of cancer. According to the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation, these are the types of skin cancer that are common:

Actinic keratosis (AK), also known as solar keratosis, is a skin condition caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (i.e. sunlight). Some experts believe that AK is the earliest form of SCC.

Basal cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form and accounts for 90% of all skin cancers. It starts in the basal cells at the bottom of the epidermis (outer skin layer) and is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight. It is the most easily treated.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type. It starts in the epidermis, eventually penetrating the underlying tissue if not treated. It is easily treated when found early, but in a small percentage of cases, this cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of the body.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and is responsible for the most deaths. However, it can be cured if it is diagnosed and removed early. Melanoma can develop from a pre-existing mole that appeared normal but changes, or as an irregular appearing new spot.

(the above information was taken from the website

Sunscreen is an integral part of a sun protective regime. You should also include time out of the sun in a shady area, wearing protective clothing such as a full brim hat and sunglasses, and avoid the UV tanning beds. If you would like assistance picking out the best sunscreen for your skin type, the professional staff at Laser and Skin Care Medspa are available to answer all your questions and make a recommendation for you.



What are Those Small, Rough, Dark Spots on my Skin?

If you’ve been finding small, rough areas that are slightly ‘waxy’ looking and have slightly raised surfaces on your body, you’re certainly not alone. Men and women often visit our clinic complaining of these spots that crop up in places like their chest, scalp, shoulders, back, or abdomen. These spots that are round or oval in shape and are usually brown in color are called seborrheic keratosis. More than anything, however, most people don’t like how they look and want to know how to get rid of them.

Seborrheic Keratosis is a type of skin growth and while they can be unsightly, the growths are not harmful. However, because it can be difficult to differentiate from melanoma, a serious skin cancer, you should have it looked at by a doctor.

What Causes Seborrheic Keratosis?

The growths will start out as small, rough bumps but over time will become thicker and develop a warty type surface. Some people describe these spots as being ‘stuck’ to their skin. While doctors are not certain as to why seborrheic keratosis develop, some possible causes are exposure to sunlight, genetics and age. While most people aren’t thrilled to discover these growths, the good news is that most can be managed or even removed with professional skin care treatments and products.

How to Treat these Spots

In most cases, it’s possible to exfoliate these round or oval spots and remove the rough dead skin cells and smooth the skin. After exfoliation, applying a quality alpha hydroxy product is beneficial. While some people will be able to entirely remove the spots using this method, others will be able to reduce their appearance. Seborrheic keratosis can also be removed with a laser. An intense beam of light will destroy the growth.

Seborrheic keratosis is a common, harmless growth that appears on the skin of at least thirty percentage of those over 40 years of age. The lesions are not painful but can be annoying or embarrassing and can be removed. If you have questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact the professional staff at Laser and Skin Care Medspa. Set up a FREE consultation for your skin care concerns by calling the Medspa at (403) 347-8050.

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Don’t Distress Over Skin Pigmentation

Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin, and special cells in your skin make this. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it can affect the production of melanin. While some skin pigmentation will affect only patches of your skin, others can affect your entire body.

There are a number of reasons that can cause discolored skin patches. They are a common problem with a number of different causes. Discolored patches develop due to a difference in melanin levels. Hyperpigmentation occurs when your body produces too much melanin, and hypopigmentation is when not enough is produced. The stimulation of melanin causes your tan but can also bring about unwanted dark patches as well. A few other examples of skin pigmentation happen in young women from taking the pill or pregnancy which can alter the hormone levels in females, which in turn can affect the melanin levels.

It is a good idea to be alert any time you notice a change in the texture or color of your skin, but know that most of the time, skin discoloration is harmless. Once you have checked in with your doctor, there are treatments available for the many people that experience these changes to their skin tone.

You will want to book an appointment to discuss the issues causing your skin discoloration with a professional to choose the best method for you. Resurfacing treatments such as microdermabrasion and laser treatment are options that can be used to successfully remove the upper layers of skin to allow for regrowth of the skin with the right amount of melanin.  

Microdermabrasion is a treatment that exfoliates and removes the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells that is non-invasive. You may notice that fine lines and age spots become less visible. These treatments are considered nonaggressive and can be quite relaxing. Patients have said that microdermabrasion leaves their skin feeling softer, smoother and looking fresher.

Another treatment you may want to consider is laser treatment or Intense Pulse Light. This can even out the skin tone and often will tighten the skin, giving it a smooth appearance. The certified professionals at Laser and Skin Care Medspa use the Palomar Icon (Cynosure) Pulsed Light and Laser System. This system emits concentrated intense beams of light into the skin. The light is absorbed by the melanin or pigmentation in the skin. The damaged lesion (target area) naturally disintegrates and then visibly disappears vastly improving skin tone.

We offer a free consultation to discuss all your options with you before recommending a course of action. We understand that noticeable patches of discolored skin can cause you concern or embarrassment and we want you looking and feeling your absolute best.