Transcripts from Interview with Dr. Joe Tanti and Sandra Carr of ActivMD Spa in Edmonton Alberta

[00:00:00] Dr. Joe Tanti: Everybody welcome to building a healthy Edmonton. I’m here with Sandra Carr and she is the director for active M D derm spa. Welcome Sandra. Thanks for joining us. Thank you for having me. Absolutely. So why don’t you take us back and kind of tell us how you got started working in the dermatology field.

[00:00:26] Sandra Carr: I spend many, many years in administration in the hospital. So any NBC in Alberta and the last position I held was as assistant to the medical director at one of our local hospitals. And I was given the opportunity to come on board Roger and topology and administration as a supervisor.

[00:00:51] And then I was promoted when we opened up the spot to spot direct. Well, that’s how I, I started with Brad dermatology. That’s [00:01:00] fantastic. So you’ve been in the medical field for some time now on the administrative side and the administrative side, or about 27 years. That’s great. That’s, that’s quite the career.

[00:01:12] Dr. Joe Tanti: I’ll tell tale sign. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of things in that, in that period of time. What’s kind of drawn you more towards the dermatology side of things rather than from. It’s just a personal 

[00:01:29] Sandra Carr: interest. I think at the time it seemed like a really interesting position, more than anything. And then, you know, the more I was in involved with dermatology and the administrative part of the practice, the more interesting I found it, I it’s really surprising.

[00:01:48] And I mean, for me, it was especially surprising because I spent a lot of years in emergency. Were you dealing with the immediate urgent issues of people? And you’re not really thinking beyond that. There really is other [00:02:00] situations and conditions that can really impact a person’s life. And with dermatology, I really got to see a different perspective.

[00:02:11] You know, the first thing that comes to my mind is something like acne and it can be devastating, absolutely devastating to a person, especially at a young age. And it can, it can really affect a lot of their decisions in their life, you know, from, from not wanting pictures, not grad being, you know, self-conscious not wanting to date to people being concerned about job interviews, the perception.

[00:02:40] That people have at them. It’s really unbelievable psoriasis exzema. Any of those conditions that are chronic people kind of think that, you know, it’s not a serious thing, but it is, it has a huge impact on them, both physically and mentally. So I really got a really [00:03:00] interesting perspective very quickly.

[00:03:03] And I really love it. I love it. It’s just like you’re helping somebody even permanent administrative perspective all the time. Yeah, absolutely. Well, without you, there would be no facility to everything would be chaos. So people would be not getting the care that they need. Right. And I find with people who’ve worked in the, ER, you know, your primary job is to.

[00:03:29] Dr. Joe Tanti: Determined are people like actively dying right now? Are they? No. Okay. Well you go see someone else. Okay. You’re having a stroke right now. We need to help you. It’s that urgent. Yeah. It’s immediate not the these more long-term and these other conditions where it affects your quality of life. That’s where yours is more quality of life and trying to optimize that and helping people you know, live their best life, essentially.

[00:03:56] Absolutely. So aside [00:04:00] from now, I’m sure you, you know, all the jokes probably more than I do about dermatology. You know, there’s, there’s that popular dermatologist who’s like that P the pimple popper. And a lot of times when people think dermatology, they just think pimples, right? It’s like, oh, it’s skin or, or, or people that just want more.

[00:04:21] You know, radiant skin, but it’s a lot more than that. Why don’t you kind of talk, talk about some of those things. So at the spa the ownership of active MD really wanted to have a model based on being the best. So we’d like to see people at the very beginning, you know, kind of have their skincare journey.

[00:04:44] Sandra Carr: When I start getting really aware of the different things that you can do to optimize your skin healthy. I mean, chronic conditions we’ll see them probably sooner, but we do get, you know, people that have had like acne scarring we’ll, we’ll get them to do [00:05:00] ablative lasers, like a fractional, which will take away the scarring, which again, feeds into that whole idea of helping them.

[00:05:08] Become, you know, something that was chronic for a very long time. So we do a lot of things at the spa from, from being referred from the medical side to do we, the lasers we offer a eco-friendly product line that doesn’t have the chemical base in it. So a lot of chemical based products will have Endocrine disruptors, like estrogen disruptors that will irritate skin.

[00:05:39] And there’s a lot of stuff in there. That’s not particularly good to say the very least for your skin. So we do offer that. So we do offer a holistic opportunity if people don’t want to be on a, let’s say a medication, and again, I’ll go back to acne kids. That’s the first one that comes to mind. If they are more, if they’re happy with the [00:06:00] Dealing with it on topically, we can offer these products you know, in conjunction with treatments, such as facials that are specifically geared towards that.

[00:06:10] So that is our big, our big thing here at activities. We really don’t. We don’t, we offer injectables and they’re part of, a lot of people’s lives, both male and female, but we don’t ever want anybody to not look like themselves. It’s never our goal. We want you to be the best you, which means. Yeah, right?

[00:06:30] Dr. Joe Tanti: Absolutely. So what’s just for people listening. What’s the you talked about certain medicated type of creams and topicals. They have chemicals and endocrine creams, for example, what, what exactly is that? So how does that affect the skin? 

[00:06:46] Sandra Carr: You know, and I’m not a physician, so I’m not saying anything about medication, but lots of Like topical creams that you would use and in different [00:07:00] skincare would have her chemical preservatives are there.

[00:07:05] That’s a good example. It sounds like preservatives. We don’t use preservatives. We use enzymes to preserve our products. So it’s a different, it’s a different concept. I find that is. Bigger in let’s say Europe, they seem to be much more into enzymes for treatment than a lot of other treatments. So it’s all naturally based.

[00:07:29] We have a vegan retinol that’s made off. That is something that we really believe in and it’s effective. But you know, you’re always going to get somebody that wants to stay and it’s fair enough. You try and treat with your skincare. The way it is other, other people are very aware of wanting to go more of a natural skincare and that we offer that opportunity.

[00:07:55] We really embrace laser technology because [00:08:00] it, it makes your skin produce ecology. And it’s, you’re not really doing anything, you know, that you. That’s bad. You’re really, truly encouraging your body to produce more collagen with laser like good needling, stuff like that. So we really do try to keep on a natural as much as possible.

[00:08:25] I think there’s a place for injectables and when we, so we offer them, but we really do a lot of natural options. Okay, so excuse me. So let’s do things that I want to touch on there that you mentioned the first is just that you have you know, it sounds like obviously you’re not, we’re not a physician.

[00:08:45] I don’t prescribe medication. You’re you’re not a physician, but generally there’s you offer a wide range of possible treatment options for people that. Various skin conditions ranging from the more [00:09:00] medicated side of things to injectables. But there’s also a lot of holistic options out there that, and it’s really trying to find what works best for each patient’s needs.

[00:09:11] Right. Well, we don’t see anybody that wants to be treated medically that is they’re seen by the dermatology next. So they would be seen there and assessed if, you know, if somebody says, no, I don’t want to be on medication or. Such war acne. We can offer that holistic option. It depends on what they’re looking for.

[00:09:33] So we basically are a spa. And we really go towards a natural option for you. So we have different skincare lines and the equal NP are, oh, and it’s the, the natural products that products that we have. And we have a wide range of products. We do laser so we could get a referral or Acne [00:10:00] scarring or acne scars.

[00:10:04] That would be something you could do after your treatment. If you choose to do it, if you’re on medication, you could do it after a certain period of time, we could do it for you. There’s laser for rosacea there’s anti-aging we have lots of options, lots and lots of options to choose from, but we’re we always are, you know, stay true to you.

[00:10:26] Yeah, absolutely. Everyone has their own approaches and thought processes and beliefs and things that they want to hold true to. So it’s important individualizing everything for each, each person. Yeah. Talking about laser. So laser kind of, I feel gets this a bad rap almost because it can be used for so many different things.

[00:10:48] Dr. Joe Tanti: And can you, can you briefly just describe what laser is and how it’s used in a dermatology care and how that would differ from say a laser that we might use here in the clinic? More of a [00:11:00] therapeutic laser for say arthritis or bursitis.

[00:11:04] Sandra Carr: Okay. So laser in dermatology or in a spa environment? I would say most likely it’s done by certified laser technicians.

[00:11:14] So anything that needs to be looked at as always, always looked at by a physician before it’s ever done by us. So it’s not therapeutic as opposed to aesthetic. So one thing we would do here would be a second. Some souls, what you, what you’re talking about with therapeutic would be something that would be prescribed by a practitioner.

[00:11:39] We do everything. Everything here is considered cosmetic. I mean, if you’re really lucky, you might get coverage from your extended benefit or your spending account, but we never can, can promise that. So it might be, might be wonderful. To have data, but it’s not essential. It would be something that we would [00:12:00] suggest after a consult with a nurse, her with these are therapists, you know, they’re, they’re concerned as is anti aging.

[00:12:09] We could give them options based on their skins for that is Patrick’s for which, you know, there’s different lasers that you can use for different. Types. So you would have an person that is a trained professional that could give you that information based on what you’ve asked for. So we have a lot of people that would come in for like a cosmetic consultation.

[00:12:33] What do you think would be best useful? And it’s always based on what they’re looking for and based on what they’re willing to, you know, there’s always a cost. Everybody has out a budget and most people do and they stole, you know, some lasers take a week to recover from socially. And some of it there’s no downtime.

[00:12:52] So it depends on what your comfort level is. And some people just want skincare that that’s another very common one. It’s just enough where they want [00:13:00] to know what they can do to make their skin the best it can be. You know, we always say the best thing you can do. And you know, there’s some free thought is some you sunscreen from the very beginning, you know, that’s going to be your best anti aging and your, you know, it, it helps with your overall skin health.

[00:13:20] It’s wear sunscreen every single day, even, even in the winter times here in Canada. Even in the wintertime because of Alberta, we get a ton of sun. Right? I think I’ve actually I’ve been burned a few times in the winter. Just like, why is this happening? But the sun’s still out right during the daytime year round, even when it’s not sunny.

[00:13:43] And when it’s 30 below where you’re interested, if you do nothing else where, so. Okay, so that’s tip number one is definitely wear a sunscreen. So what does, so what is the sun do to kind of cause this, or accelerate this aging [00:14:00] aspect in our skin? How does that damage it? Well, speaking, you know, as an administrator and personal experience sudden can cause a lot of damage to your skin.

[00:14:12] Obviously everybody knows the risks involved in Sunbeam. But it can also cause a lot of age spots, fine lines wrinkles. Yeah. And by the time that you’re catching it, you’re when you let’s say you do a laser you’re repairing. If you start really early, you’re not repairing. So that’s what we liked it to happen.

[00:14:36] People come in young, you know, there’s your best advice we can tell you, you can do this and this and this and this, and it’ll make it. The biggest difference is going to be taking care of your skin as early as you can and drink every single day. And you won’t see, you won’t have to fix. 

[00:14:53] Dr. Joe Tanti: Yeah, I think it’s the, a ounce of sugar is, or ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

[00:14:58] Sandra Carr: Right. It’s much [00:15:00] easier to do. Yeah. It’s much easier to maintain things and try to prevent them from happening rather than after it’s the damage is done, trying to repair that it’s oftentimes a costly and it takes a long time as well. It does it’s time intensive and, and it can be very costly. And if you have a procedure done, stay on it.

[00:15:19] You know, you, you don’t want to spend a lot of money doing a procedure such as a laser resurfacing is not it’s, it’s costly. So you want to make sure you’re, you’re protecting your investment too. You can’t just go out six months later. You’ll end up when you weren’t, before you did it the first time and probably possibly most likely do more damage than you have.

[00:15:44] Right. Of course it wouldn’t be good. So of course we know skin is a huge part of our health. It’s protects us from the environment. It protects us from getting infections, et cetera. And obviously from a psychological and social [00:16:00] perspective, it’s the first thing that people see when they, when you meet people.

[00:16:03] And that’s obviously why there’s a huge industry in why skincare is so important. What are some other tips that people can. Utilize on their just day-to-day basis on their road to try to optimize their health of their skin and keep it looking you know, as healthy as possible. So the biggest thing is keep, keep your skin, you know, obviously well hydrated.

[00:16:26] I know a lot of people now are having trouble with masks. And Dr. Ralph actually has a really good podcast that we are not a podcast at an interview would get done. Oh my goodness. Probably in the fall. And that’s really worth taking a look at, I believe it’s on the route dermatology site and he talks from a metal medical perspective, but keeping your skin clean obviously is the biggest, biggest one to, to take care of during this pandemic, keep your skin well hydrated.

[00:16:57] You know, don’t put your skin in, in [00:17:00] any situation where you’re exposed to the sun run and, you know, amounts of time. You want to want to protect yourself, especially that way. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize is a big one, you know, that’s it I can, into the retinol is, is a really big one, especially with a lot of beauty bloggers.

[00:17:22] I find, you know, I keep, try to keep really up to date on. Industry and we’re finding laser is becoming more and more popular, especially during the pandemic because people have more time at home. Do you see it in a lot of people are very and rightfully so. If you want to go into an office after you’ve had an ablative laser, you might scare some people.

[00:17:45] I hope so. It’s a great time during a pandemic to do it, but, you know, protect anything you do for your skin, protective, you know, sunscreen, hydrate. And you know, you want to [00:18:00] moisturize him and, and retinol is texted near a really popular one as well.

[00:18:05] Dr. Joe Tanti: Are retinols, is that a cream or is that an oral medication?

[00:18:08] Sandra Carr: Oh, no, it’s just a cream. No, no. What we do is we just have over the counter retinol and we usually, you know, it would be after consultation and a physician would say this would be, but I do. I mean, there’s, there’s you don’t want to use around pregnant. Right. Anything like that? Right. Cause that one issue with topical creams, especially with women that are pregnant as a, obviously you put something on your skin and it gets absorbed into the body and then that can circulate and with a lot of topical creams and that you guys use possibly and like certain Like anti-inflammatory type creams, for example, those, those can go into the body and they can affect the baby.

[00:18:53] Dr. Joe Tanti: So that’s why there’s, you know, labels on everything don’t use if you’re pregnant, because when we don’t really know what [00:19:00] it does to the baby, and we want to try to minimize any potential harm. 

[00:19:05] Sandra Carr: Yeah. And we don’t do that here. We’re not physicians, we’re not prescribing anything, but we would, you know, there’s certain things that the physicians we would ask there, you know, anything like that, we would save.

[00:19:19] Dr. Joe Tanti: Right. And you guys work close in close relationship with some dermatologist, 

[00:19:23] Sandra Carr: right doctor next door. Dr. Jackie Rowe is our medical director. So anything medical is done through them. We do not everything we do over here. It’s cosmetic. We do not do anything medical. That’s just how it cosmetics.

[00:19:41] Dr. Joe Tanti: It’s all, you know. Okay, that’s great. That’s great to know. Is there anything else that you’d like people to know or any way that they can find you guys if they’re interested in helping their skincare and helping it stay as healthy as possible? 

[00:19:59] Sandra Carr: Yeah, come [00:20:00] in. We offer free consultations for you.

[00:20:02] There is no obligation. We’re not type pressure by any means. And we’d be happy to see people. They just have to look us up active MD spa.com. And also take a look, come around intelligence site as well. So you can see our medical director and an owner. And that’s, that’s what I say. Just give us a call and do our best to accommodate consultations.

[00:20:31] Dr. Joe Tanti: Great. Well, thank you for your time, Sandra. I’ll let you get back to your day and thank you everyone for watching or listening. And we’ll talk to you next time.

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