Registered Pharmacist Michelle Gray of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley. Nicole Leclair Photography

Registered Pharmacist Michelle Gray of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley. Nicole Leclair Photography

Protect your skin when you’re having fun in the sun

Compounding pharmacists can create custom lotions and medications for skin conditions and care

The powers that be certainly knew what they were doing when they made May ‘National Sun Awareness Month’ and ‘Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month.’

It’s the time of year when Canadians can finally catch some rays and catch up on their vitamin D. And after a long dark winter, it’s also the time of year when many of us chase the sun a little too hard, harming our skin in the process.

“It’s important to practise sun safety every day, regardless of the weather or the activity you’re doing outside,” says Michelle Gray, pharmacist and owner of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy.

Avoid peak hours when the UV index is highest, cover up with light-coloured clothing and a hat, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Check skin regularly, and look for ‘ugly ducklings’

Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals in many BC communities, especially with the family doctor shortage and long waits at walk-in clinics. That means they play an important role in the continuing care for their clients.

“Effective June 1st, Pharmacists in BC are able to diagnose and prescribe for minor ailments, and we’ll recommend further treatment for more serious ailments. Because we have these longterm relationships and we’re just on the other side of the counter, people often turn to us to start a health conversation or answer questions,” Michelle says.

Worried about a suspicious spot on your skin? One of the signs of melanoma is a mole or patch of skin that doesn’t look like other spots on your body. Dermatologists sometimes refer to this as the ‘ugly duckling’ — a spot that’s a different colour or shape than the rest.

Skin cancer diagnosis always requires a biopsy. Keep up with regular self-checks of your skin, and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. Don’t delay treatment.

Custom solutions for sun protection and skin treatments

Protect your skin to reduce your risk of melanoma, sunburn and other discomfort.

“As a compounding pharmacy, we can create custom, precise medications, treatments and products for a wide variety of conditions, including skin treatment and protection,” Michelle says. “Compounded medications are the opposite of one-size-fits all.”

  • Choose your form: Not all medications have to be administered in pill form! Lotions can be very effective, and not just for skin treatments.
  • Avoid allergic reactions: Compounding pharmacists can avoid additives, preservatives and ingredients that cause allergic reactions. Choose the medicine’s base to avoid adverse reactions or improve efficacy.
  • Adjust dosage: Have your compounding pharmacist create a medication at the strength that meets your needs.
  • Multiple active ingredients: Address various issues at once, or add cooling, numbing or other soothing properties for added comfort and convenience.

Find Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy at 417B 304th St. on Highway 95 in Kimberley, open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Get in touch at 250-427-0038 or at

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