Posts by Sean Carson

Nail Fungus Treatment: A Combination Approach

Nail Fungus Laser Treatment: A Combination Approach.

The unsightly problem of nail fungus (or onychomycosis) affects as many as 1 in 5 Canadians. Nails can appear yellow or brown in color with uneven texture and often a thickening of the nail. Nail fungus is a cosmetic concern and spread through contact. One can contract nail fungus by in public places like pools or showers or by living in close proximity with someone with fungus, or sharing shoes or socks.

Treating nail fungus has been difficult historically and prescription medications have been shown to be have the risk unwanted side-effects or not effective topically.

Laser treatment has emerged in 2010 as an alternative to oral and topical remedies with a reported success rate of over 70% with laser alone.

To ensure the best chance of a successful treatment outcome, we employ a combination approach using multiple treatment options, education/home-care, in-shoe sterilization and optional prescription or non-prescription remedies.

Treating Nail Fungus From All Angles

Here at Westside Laser & Light, we avoid oral prescription medication at all costs with our nail fungus treatment primarily because they are known to have numerous unwanted side-effects. We have developed a combination approach that substantially increases positive outcomes.

  1. Fractional laser treatment – tiny holes are prepared to allow for topical remedies like oregano oil or prescription medication to penetrate deeply.
  2. Laser Genesis treatment – creates heat in the nail-bed to kill the microorganisms.
  3. SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer – kills 99.9% of fungus in your footwear with ultraviolet light.
  4. (optional) Prescription topical JUBLIA – is a new and safer prescription that is applied on the toes.
  5. (optional) Wild-Oregano spray is an effective natural remedy for treating fungal infections.
  6. Education / Home-Care – Last but not least, it is important to understand where fungus can be contracted, how to avoid it, how to care for your nails during treatment, and more. Treating nail fungus is a partnership between the clinic and the patient.

Each item on the above list performs a vital role in a successful treatment series. Not all cases result in successful outcomes but we find that our approach gives one the best chance for eliminating nail fungus completely.

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Laser Tattoo Removal Should Consider Ink Particle Size

Let’s talk tattoo removal.

Customers seem to be confused with the new PICO and NANO SECOND technologies for laser tattoo removal.

Every laser clinic tells you their laser offers the fewest treatments, but who can you believe?

“Pico second” or “nano second” refers to the length of time in which the laser energy is delivered (a.k.a. pulse duration).

Nano second lasers changed the tattoo removal industry with their incredibly short “pulse duration”, measured in billionths of a second. This amazingly short burst causes the tattoo ink to shatter into smaller bits, and the body can then absorb those smaller bits for disposal through the lymphatic system. Safer and more effective treatments were the result.

Pico second lasers emerged a couple years ago and were thought to advance this idea with an even shorter pulse, measured in trillionths of a second.

The problem is, the pulse duration should match to the size of the ink particles. Basically, using a nano second laser at the beginning of a treatment series will be effective at breaking larger ink particles into smaller ones. Only then should pico second lasers be used to break those down further into smaller particles for more efficient disposal.


The analogy is, “Rocks to Pebbles, Pebbles to Sand”.









Westside Laser & Light has evolved our tattoo removal program to only treat the beginning portion of a tattoo removal series with our nano second laser (the renowned RevLite SI). After a number of treatments (usually 2-3), we then refer you to a dermatologist offering the pico second treatment. We feel this combination considers ink particle size and contributes to faster and safer treatment outcomes and at a reduced cost.

Please visit our website for more detail on this story at

If you wish to have your tattoo removed, please call us for a free consultation at 403.685.0110.

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This Roman poet and philosopher nailed it! Why is there so much conflicting advice about nutrition? Why are there, literally, thousands of nutrition books on the market? Lucretius was right:

  • Dietary needs are NOT one-size-fits-all!
  • Your cultural heritage and genetic makeup are unique to you!
  • Your stressors, whether they are internal (think food sensitivities, hormone imbalances, gut bugs) or external, (boss is a jerk; your relationship is a disaster) are unique to you!
  • Your body is a finely-tuned chemistry lab, and stressors, be they internal or external, are very good at throwing your body into metabolic chaos (read dysfunction).
  • Symptoms will appear: things like fatigue, allergies, insomnia, irritability, acid reflux, low libido; the list is endless.
  • Functional nutrition, like functional medicine, approaches these very common but not “normal“    symptoms by determining root cause.

Functional nutrition knows that your food is SO much more than calories.  Food can be the best kind of medicine.  Certain nutrients can improve detoxification pathways, help you sleep, improve your mood, and enable better energy.  Most exciting to me is the area of epigenetics, which is a field of scientific research currently proving the influence diet and lifestyle can have on genetic expression! How powerful is that, to know that your genes don’t control you; you control your genes!  Best of all, functional nutrition is all about empowerment – giving you the tools to achieve your best health now and stay healthy for Life!

So let’s stop talking “diet” – I dislike that word – and quit eating like everyone else!  Let’s sit down and figure out what makes YOU achieve your BEST HEALTH!

Call today for a free 10-minute consult to see if functional nutrition is right for you!

Shauna Gourley, CHN, FDN®


Shauna Gourley, CHN, FDN®


Cell:  403.464.1894





Holy-Moly Guacamole


  • 3 avocados – mashed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped organic cilantro
  • 2 organic Roma tomatoes
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot)

In a medium bowl, mash together avocados, lime juice and salt.  Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes and cayenne pepper.  Refrigerate one hour for best flavor – or devour immediately. Instead of corn chips, which can be inflammatory, serve with cut-up veggies, and gluten free Mary’s seed crackers for a healthy snack!

Here are the reasons why you should incorporate avocado into your diet frequently! In a 3.5 ounce or 100 gram serving there are:

  • Vitamin K – 26% of RDA
  • Folate (the real thing – not synthetic folic acid) – 20% RDA
  • C – 17% RDA
  • Potassium (so many people are low on this important electrolyte) – 14% RDA
  • B5 (stress buster) – 14% RDA
  • B6 (PMS buster) – 13 % RDA
  • E (antioxidant) – 10% RDA – also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, Vit. A, B1, B2 and B3 (Niacin). All of this along with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy, brain-loving fat.  With 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams are fiber, so there are only 2 net grams of carbohydrate.

What is Functional Nutrition?

Shauna Gourley, CHN, FDN®
”What is food to one man is bitter poison to others.” – Lucretius

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Lunchtime Laser Is More Than Corrective: It Turns Back The Clock

Medical Cosmetics often focuses on the corrective aspects of procedures and products whilst neglecting the cumulative benefits of consistent treatment. With our new Lunchtime Laser program, we hope to encourage our clients to consider the long-term benefits of laser, and not just the immediate WOW factor.


Every laser and light based therapy we use has a specific application:


We can diminish redness in the skin as well as reducing and removing brown spots; leaving clients with a peaches-and-cream complexion that is a sure sign of youthfulness.


We can stimulate collagen production deep into the dermis; plumping skin, reducing fine lines, evening out textural irregularities, and even tightening pores.


We can gently remove a portion of the old epidermis, revealing the fresh youthful skin below.


But beyond treating the “symptoms” of aging, are you aware of the long-term benefits of getting laser and light based therapies?


Science is starting to confirm what we have been observing anecdotally for years now: Laser and Light based therapies may alter gene expression in the skin. What does that mean? It means that getting regular laser and light treatments not only address the signs of aging, but also could be responsible for your skin expressing or “acting” like younger skin. A turning back of the clock, so to speak.


This is something that we have suspected for a while in the industry. People who consistently get laser and light based therapies have amazingly youthful looking skin that goes beyond looking “good for their age”.


Lunchtime Laser treatments -which are an array of quick, comfortable, no-downtime treatments- will not only combat the various signs of aging like: wrinkling, volume loss, textural issu, dull and dry skin, diffused redness, brown/age spots, macro-pores etc. but can also turns back your skin’s clock.


These new studies on gene expression have us excited to launch our new Lunchtime Laser offer that includes new lower pricing on all laser and light treatments. We also have our limited time Laser Credits Program: Spend over

$1000 and receive 10% LASER CREDITS; $2000 and receive 15% LASER CREDITS; $3000 and receive 20% LASER CREDITS; $4000 and receive 25% LASER CREDITS


We look forward to taking this journey back in time with you!




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A Mushroom Walks into a Bar…

A mushroom walks into a bar and asks for a gin and tonic. The bartender says: “Get outta here, we don’t serve the likes of you around here.”
“C’mon man!” the Mushroom says.  “Give me a chance… I’m a really fungi once you get to know me!”

We side with the bartender on this one. Nail fungus is not only unsightly and contagious, but we know it to be very resistant to treatment and can be a lifetime affliction.  Until a few years ago, oral or topical prescription medication was the only treatment available, and efficacy was poor. Topical medication could not reliably penetrate the nail to deliver the ingredients to where they were needed and had an efficacy of about 5-10%. Oral medication has higher efficacy (50%), but the trade off is a slew of undesirable side effects.  The advent of laser treatments to fight onychomycosis (nail fungus) in the last few years saw beautiful results. Lasers treat nail fungus by using bulk heating into the nail to kill the fungus, instead of medication, avoiding the issue of penetration or medication side effects. Laser treatments increased efficacy to over 80% but there are still stubborn cases that don’t clear with laser treatment alone.

The next evolution in treating onychomycosis, developed by our clinic, is a three-pronged approach:

  • A fractionated laser is used to “make tiny holes” in the nail. As you know from cutting your nails, the actual nail is made up of dead cells and no nerves, so there is minimal discomfort with this procedure.


  • These tiny holes allow a new, advanced formulation of antifungal topical medication to penetrate deep into the nail. Treating the fungus with a topical medication in between laser sessions keeps the fungus “at bay” while your immune system fights it off, and you body re-grows a healthy nail.


  • Lastly, a series of three conventional laser treatments 6 weeks apart are used to bulk heat the nail and further destroy the fungus in the nail.


PF animation and toesOther clinics may only offer a series of laser treatments to bulk heat into the nail, and that is not always enough. If a topical medication is recommended with the laser treatment, the penetration may not be optimal. Our addition of a fractionated laser treatment to create micro-channels for product penetration significantly increases your chances of clearance. This approach is unique to our clinic and is the best approach to deal with this stubborn nail fungus.
Call us today at 403.685.0110 to book your free consultation.


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A Case Of The Februaries

February: The time of year where the excitement and warmth of the holidays is but a distant memory. Ahead stretches an endless wasteland of cold, dry, months with the only promise of excitement being Valentines Day, which can cause more depression than joy for most of us. The writer Martha Beck describes her first visit to a psychologist in the winter months like this:

The first time I ever sought professional counseling was during my freshman year in college in the Northwestern Hemisphere. I told the psychiatrist at the student health services that I was weepy, despairing, and unwilling to get out of bed. He glanced at his watch and said, in a casual tone, “it’s February.”

Oh February! Our bodies are pasty and ashen from lack of sun and moisture, our waistlines feel pudgy, and our face… Oh don’t even get me started on our face! Before the first rains of spring wash away that layer of grey dirt that seems to cover everything from vehicles to signposts to our psyche, there is February to deal with. I was recently immersed in exactly such a state of despair, sitting on the couch sipping tea with a girlfriend. “I feel like I am falling apart! I look and feel gross and my skin is freaking out.” To my surprise, she responded much in the same way that the psychologist in the story above did: “It’s winter” she replied matter-of-fact, “Everyone feels like that.”

No matter how much Glycolic acid-laden products I used, my skin had a texture to it that full coverage foundation only seemed to highlight. My pores looked huge, and despite almost daily at-home extractions, I couldn’t get rid of my congestion. The dry winter months left my skin looking dull, and nothing I tried was helping. I am not interested in spending more than half the year fighting with the state of my skin. I have better things to do, damn it! So, I decided to get a light Laser Peel done…what we are calling a Mini Pearl.

The original Pearl treatment is an ablative treatment, which is to say that it vaporizes some of the epidermis; kind of like a chemical peel. Unlike a chemical peel though, lasers can be precisely controlled and customized to remove an exact amount of skin down to a few microns. We can go lighter around the eyes, or zap a brown spot with higher settings, while completely protecting the surrounding skin.  The new Mini Pearl only ablates 50% of the epidermis and results in quicker healing and a nice light peel. The treatment wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable thanks to the use of a prescription strength numbing cream. I got my treatment on Thursday, and by Sunday, I was done peeling.

Midway through winter there is nothing better for congested, dull, and lackluster skin. My only regret is not getting it sooner, and instead spending my money at Sephora buying new foundations and concoctions to try and cover up and brighten my sad skin. One treatment was all I needed to refresh my appearance and get me through the rest of these dark, dry months. I have been getting tons of compliments on the glow of my skin.

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NEW Price List

In response to Calgary’s current economic climate, Westside Laser & Light has revamped our entire price structure to help make our services more accessible.

lipstick effect






Let us be your small luxury.

You may have heard of the “Lip-Stick Effect”.

During economic downturns, lip-stick and nail polish sales increase dramatically. The theory is that when facing tough economic times, consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury items in order to look and feel better about themselves.

Westside Laser & Light wants to help and we have made significant changes to our pricing in order to keep you looking and feeling good during these times.

View the NEW Price List here.

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Avenue Magazine

Calgary Guide to Anti-Aging

There’s still no perfect elixir to turn back time, but there is a vast array of highly effective products and procedures that can help reduce the appearance of aging through customized approaches


Tales of the Fountain of Youth have been told for thousands of years. Everyone from Alexander the Great and Ponce de León to Capt. Jack Sparrow has sought eternal youth by drinking from a mythical spring.

If only they’d lived a few centuries later, they could’ve popped down to their neighbourhood skin-care clinic for some Botox and laser treatments and saved themselves years at sea and all that sword fighting.

While there’s no single miracle treatment, modern products and procedures are highly effective in helping recapture that youthful look, and the range of options vary in type and intensity depending on your particular skin concerns and the type of results you expect.

“Taking care of your skin is like a marathon, and the aspects involved are moisturizer, sunscreen, exfoliating, healthy lifestyle and so on. Then there are the sprints, and those are the procedures,” explains Marie Bertrand, a microbiologist and owner of Skin Science skin-care clinic. While stressing the importance of a good daily skin-care regime, she acknowledges that topical products can only take you so far in combatting the appearance of aging.

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