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

Airplane wing

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.



New Year’s Resolutions

The new year’s bell has rung, and gym memberships are up across the country. You are not alone if holiday eating has you thinking it’s time to tone down on the food consumption and increase your level of activity. The top New Year’s Resolutions involves diet, exercise, and weight loss but with only 8% of those that set a goal for the new year actually achieving it, it seems to be more popular to set the target than actually to meet it.

Statistics reveal that of the 41% of those that make resolutions, only 9% felt they were successful in obtaining the goal the set.     

Diet, exercise, and weight loss are all great goals to work towards and even if you are not in the 9% that will reach their target, just setting a goal will have you more successful than those that don’t even think about it. The best way to optimize your health can be crucial to your well-being and your waistline. Here are some ideas that can help you cross that finish line.

Write out your goals.

This is one of the essential parts of goal setting. Writing out your goal not only helps you to remember what the goal is, but it will keep you focused.


Smaller goals leading up to the larger goal

A year can seem like a long time when you are trying to lose weight or become more healthy. Rather than becoming overwhelmed or disheartened, break the big picture into easy to handle pieces and think in terms of a month or week.

Create a plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. A program can help you see the steps you will need to take to achieve your goal. Celebrate each step’s success, and you’ll be pumped for the next one.

Stay motivated

Staying motivated is difficult when we don’t see any progress or feel stuck. Create a way that will encourage your motivation. A self-pat on the back. A new outfit in a smaller size. Something special you can set as a treat as you reach your goal.

Get back up if you fall down

When we fall, it can feel like a failure, but it doesn’t have to. Sure, we could set a pity party table for one, but then we will never move forward. It is hard work losing weight or eating better or working out, but it is worth the effort.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek out different ways to achieve your weight loss or a healthier lifestyle. There are alternatives to the traditional methods of weight loss to help you as well. A physician-supervised program, the Hormone Therapy Program, utilizes normal physiology to achieve significant weight loss. This program is customizable to each individual and is overseen by Dr. Bakken. It works in conjunction with counseling, diet advising, and check-ins, so you are not alone in your journey.

The Laser and Skin Care Medspa offers free consultations and would be happy to discuss this physician-supervised program in greater detail with you. Call to book your appointment today and be on your way to meeting your weight goals in 2018.




Dry Winter Skin and Eczema and Psoriasis

Dry Winter SkinAs the air becomes drier in the winter, it is not uncommon for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Add the stress of the holidays, warmer than usual baths or showers, and your age and all of this can all contribute to the conditions as well.

While both psoriasis and eczema can cause itchy, irritated, and blotchy patches on your skin, there are some essential differences between the two. Eczema is a term used to describe the general itchy skin conditions that can be caused by dry skin, certain illnesses, an allergen, or even stress.  Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin.

Eczema is commonly caused by the types of hand soap or laundry detergents you might use. Certain foods can cause your skin to react. Environmental allergens such as dust and pets are also known triggers, as well as cold, dry air and materials that are itchy. Psoriasis triggers can be stress related, caused by medications such as beta-blockers and lithium, and some believe that dairy, alcohol, sugar and red meat may also trigger psoriasis flares.

Treatment differs for psoriasis and eczema, so seeking out a professional opinion will aid in the correct diagnosis and treatment of these skin conditions because, for the untrained eye, both of afflictions can look the same.

Treatment of Eczema

It is recommended that you use detergents and soaps that are free of scents and dyes and keep your skin moisturized. When the furnace is on, it is advisable to run a humidifier. Sometimes the use of an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help to calm the itchiness but don’t be afraid to seek professional advice if a topical creme or lotion isn’t helping or you experience severe itching or patches that blister or ooze. Phototherapy, which is the use of ultraviolet light can also subdue the inflammation.


Treatment of Psoriasis

You can try soaking the affected area for 15 minutes in a lukewarm bath with baby oil, oatmeal or Epsom salts added to it. This may relieve the irritation and loosen the dead skin. You might also consider an over-the-counter cream that contains salicylic acid or one with coal tar to reduce discomfort. Once again, if the condition persists or worsens, you should seek professional help such as the Laser and Skin Care Medspa can offer.


Keeping a journal of when your flare-ups occur and the symptoms associated, can help you to manage the problem. It can also assist a professional to see patterns or triggers that can lead to better treatment options. If you have questions or would like more information on either of these skin conditions or treatment options, please do not hesitate to contact the staff at The Laser and Skin Care Medspa.