Treating Scars at Papillon Medical

Our skin is always in direct contact with our environment. It acts as our immune system’s first defence against infection. Among many of the skin’s remarkable defence functions is its ability to heal quickly and restore barrier function. Skin, after sustaining an injury, first hyper-produces cells and blood clotting to the site of injury. Hormones such as epidermal growth factors stimulate the cells to reproduce and heal. Proteins and peptides trigger fibroblasts (cell stimulators) and cells to rejuvenate.

Depending on the depth of an injury as well as multiple other factors of the skin and environment, scars are often formed during the healing process. Sometimes the body overprotects by sending extra pigmentation to the site of an injury or a raised lesion of hardened tissue.

We can help. Scarring is often largely correctable with the appropriate treatments and product protocols. Depending on the type of scar, location and skin type of the client, we can treat and greatly improve the appearance of scarring, using ablative laser peels, microneedling, chemical peels and proper medical-grade home care products.

Medical aesthetic procedures such as these break down scar tissue and initiate a healing process to restore skin’s strength and integrity. At Papillon Medical and dermatology, we are trained and skilled at assessing and treating for best results. Give us a call to book a complimentary consultation.

Thanks to our Laser Technician Nicole (@yyc.skingym) for her amazing insight on scarring and the available treatments to correct it.

Better Skin With Dr. Thomson

To celebrate the launch of the Acne Clinic at Papillon, here are some of Dr. T’s top skincare tips to fight acne.

Daily Skincare Regimen

A daily skincare regimen is essential for patients battling acne.  Acne is a condition where there is excessive oil on the skin and lack of proper exfoliation.  The dead skin cells and excessive oil block the pores causing black and white heads and more significant acne breakouts.  

I recommend patients use a gentle exfoliating wash with salicylic acid like our ZO Exfoliating Cleanser, an oil free moisturizer, retinol at bedtime and daily SPF.  Using a clay-based sulphur masque once a week will help reduce excess oil and prevent breakouts. 

Oil-Free Products Only

Examine the products you use daily on your skin. Opt for mineral make-up — like Jane Iredale — oil-free lotions, and a matte sunscreen.  Look for the word “non-comedogenic” on products. This means it does not clog the pores.

Examine Your Diet

Dairy consumption, especially skim milk, has been correlated to acne breakouts in teenagers.  A high glycemic or sugary diet can also trigger inflammation and make your skin more prone to acne flares.  Stay away from fried fatty foods as they also contribute to inflammation and break outs.

Learn more about our comprehensive Acne Clinic here.

Prepare Now

Little by little our days are getting a bit longer and before we know it, the temperature will start creeping into positive numbers. Warmer days really are just around the corner and I know we are all looking forward to spring. It’s easy to think about leaving the coats behind and feeling the sunshine on our faces. Spring brings weddings, graduation, parties and more time outdoors.

If you’re preparing for a big event this spring or summer, now is the time to begin the work. With so many skin treatments available, helping you achieve the results you are looking for has never been easier. There are treatments to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. We can erase frown lines and lift tired eyes. There are even treatments to help with the overall glow and health of your skin. However, many of these treatments need ample time to take full affect and most treatments require that you temporarily limit exposure to the sun. It should come as no surprise that winter is the easiest time to limit your exposure to the sun. With time on your side, you will get the most of your beauty treatments. There are a few key steps that should be followed to make sure you will be happy with the results you are spending time and money trying to achieve.

Find out what treatment is really best. Allowing yourself a bit more time up front will insure you choose the best treatment for the results you want. Make sure you take advantage of the free consults offered, and schedule an appointment to ask questions, learn about the many treatments available and get solid advice about what is best for you. There have been many times when a patient has come into my office wanting a specific treatment, but after a consult ends up going a different direction. Having a professional look over your skin is an important step, and when you allow more time this makes the process easier.

Keep time on your side. If you’re booked down to the wire, you may rush into a treatment that isn’t quite right or the treatment you want won’t have time to produce the maximum results. Each individual’s skin is unique and therefore will respond differently to treatments. We can give general guidelines, but how your skin reacts to a chemical peel or a laser treatment is different for everyone. Treatments may need to be adjusted once the process actually starts. Some patients require less time than expected, and some require more to achieve the desired results.

Shield yourself from the sun. We all know that too much sun is often the cause of many skin issues. Overexposure can quickly age your skin, and this is why most laser treatments target skin pigment. Lasers can even out skin tones and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, so it’s best to avoid the sun both before and after a treatment. Staying out of the harsh sun for 72 hours before a treatment will help insure the laser best targets the areas you are trying to correct. If you are exposed to the sun too soon after a laser treatment, you are at an increased risk for burns or scarring.

If you’re trying out a new skin care product, it’s also best to keep time on your side. New regimens should begin as early as possible to give your skin plenty of time to adjust to the new product. Time will cut down the risk of breakouts before the big event and if you can allow up to three months, your skin should be in the clear.

Preparing now and allowing ample time will help you get the most out of whatever beauty treatment you decide to do. It’s a process most people spend a lot of time considering and once they decide, they expect immediate results. Doing the prep work will give you a greater understanding for the transformation your skin will take, and, most importantly, you will be ready for the weddings, graduations and other celebrations that come with spring.


What You Should Know About Injectables and Fillers

The popularity of injectables and fillers continues to climb as more and more women realize the benefits these products can provide. The difference now is the age women are starting to make these regimens part of their beauty routines. It is not uncommon for women in their 20’s to start using injectables and fillers as ways to slow down the clock. No matter what age a patient starts to look at these options, there are some key points to consider before deciding if these options are right for you.

Will this change my look?

A good doctor will instead ask you, “What are you looking to change?” When a doctor understands what your specific areas of concern, they can let you know the best way to treat those problem areas. Fillers give plumpness to lips, create volume and can make eyes look less hollow. Injectables smooth out lines and wrinkles. Often times, a combination of both work the best. However, every face is different, and it is important you communicate with your doctor to make sure you are both on the same page before you begin a treatment. 

Should a Doctor do my injections?

Here at Papillon Medical, a doctor does each and every injection. Our team of physicians are incredibly skilled and can often recommend a better course of treatment than our patients originally thought. Injections are partly art and partly science. Understanding the complex muscle systems in the face is key to insuring the products achieve the desired results.

How long will they last?

Every face is different so there is no way to determine exactly how long the products will last. Injectables are not permanent – most last three to four months before they will need to be repeated. There is a misconception that wrinkles will be worse than when you started, but that is untrue. Your skin will revert back to where it was. Injectables bond to muscle cells and then prevents those cells from moving. However, because new nerves are constantly sprouting new connections to muscles, wrinkles return. Depending on the filler and where it is used, it is not uncommon for it to last anywhere from six to 18 months. Injectables can actually increase the life of a filler, especially on the lips. When the two products are used together, maximum results can be achieved.

Where are fillers used?

Fillers are typically used to add volume and plump the skin. The results depend on the depth of the injection and the consistency of the product. As a general rule, a deep injection with a firm filler will create volume and add shape to the face. Fillers with a medium-firm consistency that are injected mid-depth can create smoothness by filling creases. Fillers that are placed just below the skins surface can smooth out wrinkles and create softness.

What if I don’t like it?

In most cases filler can be adjusted if you feel the balance is off or you’re not happy with the results. Injectables that prevent movement are more permanent, lasting three to four months. Communication is key. Making sure your doctor understands exactly what you are trying to accomplish will help them better decide what products to use and where to place them for the desired results. Most physicians will offer to retreat or at the very least see you again to discuss why you are not happy.

If you would like more information about injectables at Papillon, click here.

For information about fillers, click here.


Cleansing Your Skin

Despite the amount of energy and money we put into skincare treatments and products, when it comes to the very first step, we often don’t give it the same amount of love. It is easy to slack a little bit after an hour of Netflix and the last thing you feel like doing is peeling yourself of the couch to wash your face. Consider this your public service announcement that a proper cleansing is anything but basic and is really important for healthy, clear skin. Here are a few tips to get you freshly clean and into a proper cleansing routine.

First, why is cleansing so important you ask? Cleansing preps your skin for product penetration and removes makeup build up and toxic chemicals that prevent skin from regenerating. We know you need to cleanse your face at night, but you should also cleanse in the morning to remove any sweat and to prep your skin for your daytime serums and moisturizers. Remember as you sleep, your skin goes into repair mode and pushes out excess oil and toxins.

There are many types of cleansers to choose from, including wipes, gels, oils, creams and balms. Each type having it’s own unique benefits, purpose and method. Do you deal with dry, oily, combination or more acne prone skin? Yes, there’s a cleanser for that. To reap the maximum benefits, try to stick with a cleanser for your skin type. For example, acne patients might not be able to cream cleanse and sensitive skin patients might not be able to handle an acid based cleanser. If don’t know your skin type, our doctors or our skin specialist Erin would be more than happy to help you figure that out.

To start your cleansing routine, make sure to turn that tap to lukewarm water. Lukewarm water is warm enough to loosen dirt and sebum without stripping your skin. Although hot water feels nice, it is really dehydrating and strips healthy, natural oils from your skin quickly.

Investing in a luxurious cleanser and slapping it on your face for 20 seconds, is not going to get you the benefits from all the wonderful ingredients. Take at least 1 minute and literally massage the cleanser in circular motions on your face. Think of it like a mini pamper session and massage your neck, cheeks, chin, nose, forehead and eyes. Massage gets that cleanser really working and all your blood and oxygen flowing too. Don’t forget to cleanse all the way up to your hairline and all the way down your neck. Then with a clean towel, pat the face gently to dry or even leave it with a little bit of moisture before you put your products on.

Our skincare specialist, Erin says to always tone after cleansing. “Toning will ensure that your skin is at the proper PH level. This level will ensure your products are able to work properly and that your skin will not overcompensate by producing oil.” Apply skincare products within one minute of toning because every second your skin is left bare, dry air is pulling moisture right out of it. Don’t wait until your skin feels tight, as that is exactly too long of a wait.

For that extra deep cleanse, Papillon Medical offers a HydraFacial. This unique treatment cleanses and gently exfoliates the skin with a technique similar to microdermabrasion and resurfaces with a mild chemical peel solution. We then proceed to extract impurities from the pores with gentle suction whilst hydrating the freshly exposed skin with intense moisturizers that quench the skin. We then proceed to saturate the skin with peptides and antioxidants to maximize your glow and exceptional softer, smoother skin.The treatment is soothing, refreshing and immediately effective.

Our recommended Cleansers (All available at Papillon Medical Downtown)

1) ZO Medical Foamacleanse $58

Foamacleanse is a gentle foaming cleanser designed to remove impurities, deep clean pores and leave the skin feeling refreshed, clean and hydrated. Formulated for all skin types, it contains a potent blend of antioxidants to help protect skin from the harmful effects of daily exposure to the elements.

2) Alyria Clarifying Cleanser $24

The Gentle Cleanser is formulated with ingredients that have been carefully chosen to avoid chemicals commonly found in many skin care products. It is formulated without any chemical irritants. Its formulation is mild enough for all skin types and can be used before and after cosmetic procedures. Regular use will leave skin clean and soft.

3) La Roche-Posay Effaclar $26

Gently cleanses dirt and oil while respecting the skin’s pH balance at 5.5


Young, S (2017), “The Best Way To Cleanse Your Face, According To A Dermatologist”. Retrieved from www.theindependent.co.uk


Stampede Recovery

Stampede is full of fun, rides, line dancing, midway food and rodeos. But all great things must come to an end and this week our goal is to help you rest and rejuvenate. From your skin to your nutrition, we have a solution for you to help you feel like yourself again, minus the cowboy boots.

So with all that line dancing over with, it’s time get back to your regular sleep schedule. Your skin naturally rejuvenates as you sleep, so it is vital that you get those Z’s and also cleanse, tone and moisturize every night before bed. The stress hormone Cortisol naturally decreases as we sleep and yes that’s a good thing. When your cortisol levels are low, your skin can regenerate and protect itself again (Shortsleeve, 2016). Too much stampeding can disrupt that cycle and interfere with how well our bodies heal and eventually promote acne breakouts. Also, at high levels, cortisol contributes to the breakdown of collagen. We need collagen to keep our skin hydrated, elastic and strong. Time to hit the sheets and catch up on some sleep.

Now if you still resemble a racoon with dark under eye circles in the morning, we have just the trick for you. Apply a slice of cool cucumber on each eye to take down the swelling (if you don’t have a cucumber on hand, a cold spoon works too). Next, apply Anti-Dark Circle Eye Cream from Alyria. This dark circle eye cream is formulated with HALOXYLTM, AchromaxylTM IS and retinol, in a time release MicroDeliveryTM system. It is clinically proven to significantly reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes and provides an immediate concealing effect. Regular use under the eyes will provide brighter, more uniform and younger-looking skin. PRP and Filler work wonders under the eyes as well, our experts and happy to meet with you and discuss which option is best. Our physician injectors are the best in Calgary and Okotoks.

Our favourite post stampede treatment is Nutritional IV therapy. If Stampede has you feeling run down, tired, or stressed, nutritional IV therapy is the fastest way to restore optimal hydration and nutritional balance in the body. We are able to deliver potent nutrients like Vitamin C&B, antioxidants and minerals directly into the vein which will help your performance, vitality, thinking, sleep and overall health. Each IV therapy mixture is customized, personalized and made for your own health needs. Appointments are relaxing and you wont believe how this rejuvenates you until you try it. We are offering the Meyers cocktail IV for just $125 post stampede, so book in quickly before it’s over. This is the perfect treatment if you have had a few too many Stampede tent beers.

After wearing your cowboy hat for 10 straight days, a HydraFacial is the perfect way to unclog those forehead pores and get that #papillonglow back. The HydraFacial is a non-invasive treatment that combines the benefits of next-level hydradermabrasion, a chemical peel, automated painless extractions (no pinching) and a special delivery of Antioxidants, Hyaluronic Acid and Peptides. This facial does it all in one treatment that delivers real results without downtime or irritation.

Lastly, our Functional Medicine doctors want to remind us all to Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. After a long day on the midway or maybe a few celebratory cheers at the tents, it’s easy to get a little dehydrated during Stampede. Not only is water key to having plump, hydrated skin, but every cell, tissue and organ in our body needs it. We like to spice up our water a bit, by infusing the water with fresh herbs and organic fruit. A few combos we enjoys are

  • Strawberry/Basil
  • Blueberry/Lime
  • Raspberry/Mint
  • Lemon/Cucumber

Until next year Stampede and make sure come and see us at both clinics for a little post-Stampede pampering.


Shortsleeve, K (2016), “What Happens To Your Skin When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep”. Retrieved from https://www.allure.com/story/sleep-and-skin-what-happens

Exercise for Good Skin

This is a blog post that speaks to my heart. Hi, I’m Sarah and when I’m not creating cool content, filling clients coffee mugs or filming the latest dermal needling procedure here at Papillon, you will find me leading fitness classes at Barre Belle. I have a dance background, so moving and grooving is just in me and now I can combine my job with my daily fitness routine. It’s a given that exercise is great for your body, mind and soul, but did you know it is even great for your skin? Our clinic stresses the importance of feeling good from the inside out and your skin is usually a good indication of what is going on inside your body.

Exercise can have such a positive impact on your energy, mood, cardiovascular health and as I explain further here; your skin. When you work out, your heart beats faster, which in turn causes circulation to increase throughout your entire body. That rosy cheek post workout glow is actually all those extra blood cells flowing through your skins living layers. The best part is all those extra blood cells bring more oxygen and nutrients to the skin.  These all help repair sun damage and free radical build up (by the way, free radicals are harmful particles from the environment that can accelerate the appearance of aging). For even more protection from free radicals, we carry ZO Skin Health’s “Radical Night Repair Cream“. This night cream provides antioxidant protection to neutralize free radical damage within the skin.

According to Vogue Australia, all those jumping jacks and squats also promote the production of fibroblasts, the skin cells responsible for collagen. Collagen is that magical protein that is often associated with glowing, plump, gorgeous skin. It provides elasticity to the skin, helping it appear more youthful and healthy. If you don’t like to work out, this alone should be a convincing factor to finally go and join that noon hour workout class.

In case you are still not convinced, exercise even reduces stress and inflammation in the body. It does this by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause skin conditions such as acne and eczema because the excess cortisol encourages sebum production, in turn causing blockages in the pores and destruction of collagen. However, try not to over-exercise as that can put the body under more stress and actually have the opposite effect of increasing cortisol levels.

Sweat is not necessarily bad for your skin either. It helps dispel all the dirt and oil residing in your pores. As we start to warm up, our pores dilate and the sweat flushes out those acne and black head causing irritants. Just remember to wash your face right after your work out so that dirt and oil does not get trapped in your pores all over again. If a sink to wash up is not available, I like using micellar water wipes I just keep in my gym bag, then follow up with my bi-monthly Hydra-Facial at the clinic.

Best of all exercise can lead to a better nights sleep. The more you sleep, the better your skin can repair and rebuild cells over night. See ya later under eye circles. Now always remember your Colorescience SPF when exercising outdoors and to rehydrate with water during and after. Healthy, glowing skin loves lots of water. See you at the barre Papillon beauties.

“Why Exercise Can Be Good For Your Skin” (April 21, 2016)

Men at Papillon

We speak a lot about women’s health on here, but men are just as important at Papillon. Guys you can take advantage of our wrinkle, laser and hair rejuvenation treatments just like the ladies do. Don’t worry guys, you wont feel too high maintenance or feel uncomfortable in the waiting room. You will be in a medical setting, with experienced medical doctors who have trained specifically to help you feel and look your best. Prepare yourself to experience the best medi spa in Calgary and Okotoks

Hormone health for men also plays a critical role in maintaining both physical and mental health, specifically testosterone. From it’s peak in the late teens and early 20’s, the production of testosterone tapers off steadily from the age of 35. This physiologic decrease can cause changes in sexual function, mood, energy level and body composition. This change in male hormone levels is known as andropause. Some of the symptoms associated with decreased testosterone production in the male body are:

– Decreased erectile function
– Decreased mental ability
– Insulin resistance
– Loss of muscle strength
– Loss of muscle mass
– Less energy
– Weight gain
– Trouble urinating
– Prostate problems
– Bone loss

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should speak with our functional medicine doctor who can test and help treat this condition. This does not have to be your new normal. Stress management, regular exercise, healthy nutrition, dietary supplements and hormone supplementation have all been shown to raise androgen levels in men and help counter andropausal symptoms.

While testosterone is thought of as “the” male hormone, it is also important to maintain appropriate levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and cortisol. The imbalance of testosterone in relation to estrogen may contribute to prostate problems. If the adrenal system is out of balance, men may also experience problems with nervous and immune systems and may develop blood sugar irregularities. As you can tell, maintaining a health adrenal function is also essential to aging well.

Initial salivary testing and follow-up monitoring are crucial at Papillon. Salivary testing done here is advantageous over other testing mediums because it allows us to assess your bioavailable hormone levels – what is actually available for use by the body. Because of the complexity of the hormone system, issues that arise rarely stem from just one hormone. If there is a disruption in the balance of hormones produced by one gland, it can cause other glandular systems to participate and throw off the body’s entire system.

The Comprehensive Hormone Panel is an excellent starting place for evaluating hormone functioning in the body. This panel measures both reproductive (sex) and adrenal hormones. The Comprehensive Panel Test will test the following hormones:

– Testosterone
– Estradiol
– Progesterone
– Cortisol (4 times during the day)

Remember optimal hormone balance can help you gain muscle mass/strength, maintain a healthy libido, feel more energetic and help men maintain a healthy prostate gland. We want to help guys look and feel better from the inside out too.

Vaginal Rejuvenation

It’s no secret that having a baby can stretch things out below the waist. We get it and are so excited to offer vaginal lasering in Calgary. Ladies, ever wish you could hit that trampoline park with your kiddos without needing to bring a spare pair of pants? Or wish you could get through an episode of Saturday Night Live without a quick dash to the bathroom. Or even that stop the need to cross your legs before a cough or sneeze? We love our kids, but boy they can do a number on our body. When Kegals aren’t quite enough and the idea of a surgical bed sounds scary, we have this amazing treatment at Papillon to help. We offer an amazing treatment called IntimaLase ™, a non-surgical laser treatment for stress urinary incontinence, vaginal relaxation syndrome and vaginal atrophy.

The laser has a photo thermal heating effect on collagen in both the vaginal walls and the urethra, which causes the restructuring and regrowth of the collagen. This results in thickening and tightening of the vaginal walls and urethra to improve atrophy and prevent urine loss, restore tone to tissue, increase blood flow and even (woo hoo) enhance sexual pleasure.

This simple, non-surgical, 15-minute in-office procedure is highly effective, pain free and safe. A special attachment, similar to a speculum as used during a pap test is inserted into the vagina, during which the entire vaginal region is treated with short laser pulses through a small hand piece. Usually you will feel just a bit of pressure and we recommend you get lasered at lease three times spaced 4-6 weeks apart and have a “touch up” session after a year.

Have confidence that our doctors and nurses will take amazing care of you and the effectiveness of this procedure speaks for itself.

94% of women reported that urinary incontinence improved significantly after 120 days and 68% were completely free of UI.

95% of women indicated they experienced a more than moderate level of vaginal tightening.

We are holding an informative (and FUN) women’s health session at both of our Papillon clinics in the upcoming weeks. We will speak about and feature this amazing procedure and hormone restoration health. Learn if this procedure is right for you and how hormones are directly related to wellness, performance and your very own vitality. You will be greeted with appetizers from the amazing chef Michael Christen, valuable attendee only discounts, gift bags and door prizes. We cant wait to see you!

To sign up please call the appropriate clinic or email [email protected]

Okotoks Womens Health Session
May 29, 2018

Calgary Womens Health Session
June 11, 2018


What you didn’t know about injectables

Neuromodulator injections (commonly known as Botox, Dysport or Xeomin) are one of the most common procedures here at Papillon. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women and men around the globe pay a visit to their dermatologist and go under the needle in the name of smooth, wrinkle-less skin. We all seem to understand the basics of the treatment; a quick tiny injection into the muscle that effectively blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. That injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes that annoying wrinkle to relax and soften, and also prevents new ones from forming. Below are 6 little-known facts about Botox:

1) It was first used medically

Botulinum toxin was first used as a medical treatment for strabismus (a muscle-related eye condition) in the 1970’s and 80’s. Not long after, it was discovered that it also helped treat face and neck spasms, among other medical conditions.

2) The numerous applications for Botox

It can be used to decrease sweating (scalp, armpit, hands, even under the butt), correct a droopy nasal tip, fix brow asymmetry, minimize bunny lines from nose wrinkling, decrease skin oiliness, and it can even be placed in the jaw to improve the contour of the face and decrease teeth grinding.

3) Bad Botox is common

A week hardly goes by where our clinic doesn’t see a patient with a bad Botox job. Why so many you ask? Well, people are getting it done by inexperienced, often unlicensed, practitioners who don’t know the shape of the face and how to correctly administer the toxin. Botox is so common now these days that you can even get it done at some gyms, spas, stores or even at home parties. Make sure you know how old the product is, what it is mixed with and whether the injector knows what he/she is doing. We suggest getting it done by a certified physician here at Papillon.

4) Brotox

Men are joining in on all the Botox fun, and in a big way. “Brotox” treatments are up 337% since 2000. Blame it on social media, a highly competitive job market or a more relaxed social psyche, but men are coming into the clinic in increasing numbers. Were loving this new generation of men that are embracing the fact that caring about how you look doesn’t make you “fussy” or any less manly.

5) The Way We Use It Has Changed

Gone are the days of that frozen celebrity look, we make sure that when we inject Botox, we are completely versatile and use minimal amounts. We are avoiding the paralysis, no movement look, but working more with a smaller amount when we are relaxing the muscle. At Papillon, we encourage a 2-week follow up where we can examine the movement and symmetry of the injections.

6) It’s Universal

Unlike many resurfacing treatments or surgical procedures, Botox injections when done correctly can be done on all skin tones. Men, women, Caucasian, African American, Asian, Indian are all demographics that can enjoy the benefits of Botox.

Schedule a complimentary consultation at Papillon and let our team help you explore the treatment options available.