Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist

Lawrence A. Schiffman D.O., FAOCD, P.L.

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Lawrence A. Schiffman, D.O., FAOCD - Board Certified Dermatologist


An Ounce of Prevention: 8 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

Published January 20th, 2020 by Thepracticeagency

We all want healthy, glowing skin, that is free of sun damage, many of us also love the sun. The warm feeling on your skin combined with the energy it gives us. It’s no surprise that people love being outdoors, enjoying a warm, sunny day.

Unfortunately, the sun can also cause harmful skin damage and even skin cancer if we aren’t careful.

While it isn’t always possible to prevent cancer, there are certain sun precautions we can take and prevention methods that can keep damage to a minimum while soaking up the sun.

This guide has eight ways to prevent skin cancer and still be able to enjoy the outdoors.

Apply Sunscreen

While no one can say for certain how to prevent skin cancer completely, doctors can say with certainty that applying sunscreen is a must when you are spending time in the sun,

Applying sunscreen doesn’t just mean putting a little on in the morning before going out into the sun either.

In order to keep your skin safe from harmful sun damage and sunburn, you need to apply at least one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover yourself about 15 minutes before going outside to be properly protected according to the American Academy of Dermatology

You also need to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Don’t forget to put it on again after sweating or getting out of the water as well.

Always try and use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher as well. Remember to apply sunscreen to the top of your feet, your head, neck, and your ears. The back of your hands tends to get forgotten as well.

Wear Protective Clothing

When you’re outdoors and in the sun, wearing protective clothing is a must. Wearing protective clothing can help you keep the sun off of your arms, legs, and face. Protective clothing includes rash guards with UV protection, hats, long sleeves, pants, and sunglasses.

If you will be outdoors walking, hiking, or running, even if it is hot out, you’ll want to cover your skin in a breathable material that will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

Wear sunglasses as well to protect your eyes. If your feet will be exposed, cover those with closed-toed shoes when hiking to avoid a painful sunburn on your feet.

Stick to the Shade

When you’re planning on being outdoors and in the sun, try and seek some shelter from the sun when you can. If shade is available, take it at least part of the time.

If you’re looking to hit the pool or the beach, try and bring an umbrella or use one if they are available.

Being in the shade means you’re covered from being directly in the sun and the shade will keep you better protected.

Wear a Hat

Hats can do wonders to protect you from the sun. Not only will a hat protect your eyes but it will also protect your scalp and your face.

Men especially are prone to sunburn on the top of their heads and back of their necks if they don’t have hair to protect them.

When you’re out in the sun, wear a protective hat that has a wide enough brim to keep your face and neck covered.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are just asking for trouble. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, there is absolutely nothing safe about tanning. 

In fact, just one visit to a tanning bed increases your risk for melanoma by 75% before the age of 35. No tan is worth that percentage. Stick to lotions, sprays, and make-up for a sun-kissed look without the risk for cancer.

Don’t Get a Sunburn

Getting sunburn is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. To avoid getting a sunburn, make sure you wear sunscreen and always reapply. Wear a hat, try and get some shade and wear protective clothing when you can.

Once you are sunburnt the damage is already done and it will be too late. You'll want to see a doctor if you're suffering from a serious sunburn. 

Remember to Protect Your Lips

Skin cancer can also start to form on your mouth and lips. To protect yourself from getting skin cancer on your lips, apply chapstick, lip balm, or lipstick that has sunscreen.

Look for a lip product that has an SPF of 15 or higher for the best protection. Make sure you always reply as well and carry it with you on days at the pool or hiking in the sun.

Keep Newborns and Kids out of the Sun

Kids, babies, and especially newborns should be kept out of direct sunlight. While you’re not going to keep your five-year-old out of the sun, your five-day-old should never be exposed to direct sunlight.

To help keep your little ones protected, make sure you cover them in sunscreen and reply often. Every time your kiddo gets out of the water, lather them up again.

If possible, keep your kids under an umbrella or in the shade. Make sure your kids and babies wear hats in the sun and protective clothing whenever possible.

Swimsuits with built-in rash guards are extremely helpful in protecting your kids. There are also rash guard shirts that can be worn over swimsuits.

Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

Knowing how to prevent skin cancer is the first step to reducing your risk. While the sun is a vital mood and energy booster, spending too much time out in the sun without protection can be dangerous.

Make sure to get your annual skin cancer screening to test for damage and signs of skin cancer each year. 

Knowing how to avoid skin cancer and how to prevent melanoma starts with sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen and making sure you reapply is key.

From there, staying in the shade and wearing a hat, protective clothing, and lip protection can go a long way to helping protect your body, eyes, and lips.

If you’d like to speak with a professional board-certified dermatologist about skin damage, or any concerning skin condition, book an appointment online to help keep you and your skin healthy and protected.

Is Botox Worth It? 7 Amazing Benefits of Getting Botox

Published October 28th, 2019 by Thepracticeagency

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look a little younger, and if you are asking the question "Is Botox worth it?", you are not alone. 

Since it's approval in 2002, Botox was the most popular procedure out of over 15.9 minimally invasive cosmetic procedures performed in 2018. In fact, Americans spent a whopping $16.5 Billion on cosmetic surgery in 2018. 

While Botox is primarily known for being an anti-aging miracle, it has come a long way since then. Of course, it is the best choice for reducing wrinkles without having to deal with an invasive and painful facelift.

However, there are actually many other clinical benefits that Botox can help you with, such as sweat reduction, migraine relief, a cure for cross-eyes, relief from muscle spasms, and more. 

Keep on reading to learn more about Botox and find the answer to your question, "Is Botox worth it?"

1. Reduction of Migraines

Did you know that over 28 million people suffer from chronic migraines? It can become so debilitating that it causes nausea, blurred vision, and sensitivity to the environment. 

Thankfully, receiving a Botox treatment once every three months is now known to reduce or completely eliminate migraines. Injections into the temples, bridge of the nose, forehead, upper back, neck, and back of the neck are the most common for migraine relief. 

2. Fewer Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms are an uncomfortable condition, and most commonly happen as upper limb spasticity, cervical dystonia, or spasms of the eyelid. This is caused by a range of different conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, strokes, Cerebral Palsy, or stress.

By injecting Botox into the triggering point of the muscle, it can reduce involuntary spasms and provide a lot of relief. 

3. Overactive Bladder

Unfortunately, about 25% to 45% of women suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence. This can make it extremely uncomfortable to workout, wear certain clothing, or even laugh.

This comes from a variety of causes, such as childbirth, pregnancy, and even menopause. 

Ultimately, this will negatively affect their level of self-confidence and living a less enjoyable life. 

Thankfully, doctors have discovered a way to inject Botox into the overactive bladder, relaxing the involuntary muscles and helping to desensitize the overactive bladder, retraining it to control the urinary output.  

4. Excessive Underarm Sweating

Excessive underarm sweating, or Hyperhidrosis, is an embarrassing disorder with no known cause or cure. It can affect someone's quality of life, limiting the clothes they can wear and their social life. 

By injecting Botox into the muscles responsible for releasing sweat to the surface of the skin, temporarily block the chemicals that stimulate sweat glands.

Finally, those with Hyperhidrosis can finally relax and enjoy their lives without the fear of sweat-stained clothing.

5. Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles

One of the most common known treatments for Botox is its ability to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. As we approach the age of 30, our bodies stop producing as much collagen which causes our skin to lose about 1% of its thickness every year. This causes wrinkles and deep fine lines over time, and for some, it can be as early as in their 20's.

Botox contains a naturally occurring bacterium called Clostridium botulinum toxin type A, that when injected into the muscles, causes temporary paralysis. This helps reduce wrinkles by making the muscle under the wrinkle relax and unable to move. Eventually, this forced-relaxing will help the wrinkles to soften and disappear. 

The more Botox someone uses when they are younger, the less they will need to use as they get older. If used over time, it will help to prevent deeper wrinkles from forming.

If someone starts with Botox in their 50's, they are less likely to reduce the deep creases that have already formed. By this time, fillers or facelift procedures may be the only remedy.

Ultimately, the longer you use Botox, the better it will be as you age. 

6. Vaginal Spasms

Vaginal Spasms, otherwise known as Vaginismus, is a painful condition that causes severe cramping of the vaginal walls. This can make something so sacred such as sex a very painful and unenjoyable experience. 

During intercourse, the vaginal walls start to spasm, preventing intercourse entry and causing extreme pain. This can prevent their ability to have children, and completely affecting their relationships, and quality of life. 

With Botox injections into the vaginal muscle tissue every two to six months, it will relax the overactive muscles. This will lead to relief from pain, and improve the patient's life. 

7. Crossed Eyes

Crossed eyes, or medically known as Strabismus, is a debilitating condition that prevents both eyes from looking at the same place at the same time. This is caused by unbalanced muscles that are pulling in opposite directions. 

Eventually, Strabismus can lead to blurry vision, double vision, eye soreness, inability to focus, and lack of depth perception. This could prevent someone from being able to work, drive, or exercise, as well as affecting their confidence levels.

Doctors have discovered a way to reduce Strabismus by injecting Botox directly into the eye muscle. This can completely realign the eyes and reduces the Strabismus by up to 100%!

This can be a painful procedure, which is why there is numbing eyedrops added to the eyes before it begins. Treating Strabismus was actually the original purpose of Botox, before the realization of how many other conditions it can treat.

Is Botox Worth It? Now you Know

Since its discovery in the 1970s, Botox has come a long way. Who knew that this neurotoxin would be so beneficial when administered the right way? 

Now it is being used to treat a variety of muscular conditions and reduce the signs of aging, in other words, could Botox be the fountain of youth?

So, is Botox worth it? Our patients sure think so

If you would like to learn more about what Botox can do for you, feel free to contact us at any time to set up a consultation.

Topical Cannabis in Dermatology

Published August 8th, 2017 by Sahil

Topical Cannabis Could Help Your Skin

Skin problems such as acne, atopic dermatitis (AD), and psoriasis are prevalent and require various treatment methods to cure them. The high presence of these diseases has led to the introduction of topical marijuana as one of the methods that can treat skin problems. The use of cannabis based products has risen after the legalization of the herb in many states in the US. The legalization is mainly for medicinal reasons although some states allow cannabis use for recreational purposes.

Cannabinoids are components of the cannabis plant that can treat some maladies on the skin. The nature of cannabinoids improves their absorption by human bodies, and that is why they have an effect when consumed by people in whatever form. The human body produces its cannabinoids through its endocannabinoid system which have been found to affect appetite, skin sensitivity, and memory. When people consume plant cannabinoids, they get absorbed into the blood stream resulting in better functioning of the endocannabinoid system.

Topical Cannabinoids and Treating Skin Problems

The skin's vulnerability to harsh weather conditions can lead to health problems. Cannabis cream can address the problems by applying it to the affected areas of the skin. The cannabinoids contain multiple anti-inflammatory properties that boost the healing process of skin ailments. Topical cannabis could lower the time it takes to heal a wound using ordinary treatment options.

Topical marijuana has antibiotic properties that help the healing of burns, rashes, and other skin problems. The products developed from the cannabis plant are ideal for various uses even though more research about them is being undertaken. Some of the ailments the products have been found to heal include analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been found to have a relaxing effect on muscles and other body tissue.

Cannabis cream has many uses for humans which explain the reason more people use it. The products are available in the form of balms, sprays, oils, and salves. You can select the form that suits your lifestyle. Topical treatment for skin cancer is another popular use of cannabis products because many people suffer from the problem and require a cure.

Why Choose Miami Skin Dr for Topical Treatment

Miami Skin Dr is a leading practice with a state-certified physician capable of submitting qualifying patients’ information to the state of Florida. Once a qualifying patient submits the necessary forms and payment to the State, the State of Florida will then issue a medical cannabis ID card. After receiving a medical cannabis ID card, patients can then visit any state-approved dispensary to receive their order of medical cannabis, including topical creams.

Miami Skin Dr is a trusted and dependable medical cannabis doctor who is licensed to recommend medical cannabis as a treatment modality for patients who qualify.

The experts at the clinic, led by Dr. Lawrence A. Schiffman, make sure they match the medical symptoms with the right modality.

For medical marijuana evaluations in Miami, FL click here. Alternatively, call us on 305.615.2440.

Medical Cannabis for ALS Patients

Published July 20th, 2017 by Sahil

What is ALS?

ALS, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that worsens with time. It impacts the brain and the spinal cord, and can have a devastating impact on patients and their families. ALS destroys motor neurons that reach from the brain to the spinal cord, as well as from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Motor neurons are extremely important because they help transfer signals throughout the entire body. The slow degeneration of these integral components leads to death for many patients with ALS.

In patients with ALS, muscles become malnourished and waste away. Some early signs of the disease are tripping and falling, clumsiness, muscle weakness, slurred speech, and trouble swallowing. Eventually patients are unable to walk or carry out daily activities. Muscle movement deteriorates and eventually fails completely, and in later stages of the disease, patients lose the ability to speak, eat, and even breathe.

Although ALS is a devastating disease that causes great hardship for those who suffer from it, medical marijuana can help to alleviate symptoms. Medical cannabis can also increase the quality of life for many patients, and may even slow the progression of the disease according to some studies. Medical marijuana lacks many of the dangerous side effects of many prescription drugs, and can provide fast and lasting relief for sufferers of ALS.

How Can Medical Cannabis Help Patients with ALS?

Medical cannabis has been proven to alleviate many symptoms of ALS. It can act as a muscle relaxant, saliva reducer, bronchodilator and analgesic. Medical marijuana can also be used as an appetite stimulant, and even reduces symptoms of insomnia and depression. Furthermore, regular, controlled doses of cannabis oil have even been shown to slow progression of ALS in certain patients.

Many of the debilitating muscular symptoms of ALS can be relieved by medical marijuana. Talking to a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana can greatly improve quality of life for ALS patients and possibly even prolong their lives in some cases. Since it can be difficult for ALS patients to eat, the appetite-stimulant qualities of medical cannabis can also be a huge benefit. Patients will find it much easier and more appealing to eat, and will not be at such high risk for malnutrition.

Since many ALS patients suffer from depression because of their short life expectancy, medical marijuana can also greatly improve their mood and alleviate symptoms of depression in many cases. Depression can be debilitating for ALS patients and can make them completely lose faith in their future. By working with a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana, symptoms of depression can be managed and even eliminated.

Many ALS patients worry about the legality of medical marijuana. They may be concerned with getting in trouble with the law, or with not being able to access their medication because of restrictive legislation. However, laws have taken a progressive turn in recent years and it's much easier for ALS patients to obtain medical marijuana. In the state of Florida, it's legal to use medical marijuana to treat ALS. Doctors are allowed to prescribe medical cannabis for patients with ALS. Florida Amendment 2 defends this right, and sufferers of ALS don't have to worry about getting in legal trouble for treating their condition. Because of Amendment 2, there's no way patients can be targeted by the law for using medical cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Is Legal in Florida

Medical marijuana can be extremely helpful for people suffering from ALS, and is completely legal in the state of Florida thanks to Amendment 2. By talking with a doctor who can prescribe medical cannabis, ALS patients can greatly improve their future and effectively treat their symptoms.

For more information about medical marijuana in Stuart, FL click here or call us on 305.615.2440.

Legislation Changes Medical Marijuana in Florida

Published June 29th, 2017 by Sahil

Here’s What You Need to Know about the New Updates on Amendment 2 in Florida

On June 23, 2017 Florida Governor Rick Scott signed for the implementation of Amendment 2. Florida’s “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014” was restrictive and only allowed patients with cancer or conditions causing chronic seizures to receive low-THC marijuana and medical marijuana was only given to patients with terminal illness. In November 2016 Florida passed the less restrictive Amendment 2 with 71% majority. Amendment 2 legalized the medical use of marijuana. This implementation comes with a few changes from the original bill that was passed. Below are some of the biggest changes for medical marijuana in Florida:

  • Being a qualified patient for medical cannabis is no longer limited to Florida residents. The new change includes seasonal Florida residents to be qualified as well. (Snowbirds and part-time residents.)
  • There will be no wait time of 90 days for qualified patients to receive and use their medical marijuana. (Once approved by the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.)
  • There is no more sales tax on medical products, including those needed for medical cannabis consummation.
  • The list of qualifying conditions are:
  1. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  2. Cancer
  3. Crohn’s Disease
  4. Epilepsy
  5. Glaucoma
  6. HIV Positive Status
  7. Multiple Sclerosis
  8. Parkinson’s
  9. PTSD
  10. Any type of terminal condition

And now also includes:

  • Chronic nonmalignant pain
  • Any condition that is a similar type or class of the 11-conditions listed above. An example is PTSD and Anxiety are similar types of conditions.

Other changes to Medical Marijuana in Florida

  • Tele-medicine visits are now prohibited; All behavioral and medical health examinations must be performed in person by a qualifying physician, like us.
  • Now qualifying patients can obtain up to three 70-day (210-day) supply limits of medical cannabis after being certified by a qualifying physician compared to previously patients only being allow 45-day supply limit.
  • Medical marijuana was previously only administered by:
  1. Inhalation
  2. Oral (example Capsule, Sublingual or Syringe)

And now also includes:

  • Edibles
  • Flower-like product that is sealed in a tamper-proof container

The new changes, in addition to all laws pertaining to Amendment 2, will take effect on June 24, 2017. Please remember that the following still applies: Under Florida medical marijuana laws, the use of medical marijuana does not include:

  • Possession, use or administration of medical marijuana by smoking
  • Transfer of medical marijuana to a person other than the qualified patient for whom it was ordered, or their legal representative
  • Use or administration of medical marijuana on any public transportation, in public space, in qualified patient’s place of employment (if restricted by the employer), in state correctional institutions, on the grounds of preschools, primary and secondary schools or on any school bus or vehicle.

The Florida legislation also paves the way for 10 more medical marijuana treatment centers by Oct. 3, which is the deadline for the new medical cannabis rules to be enacted, in addition to the seven already operating.

For more information on medical marijuana in Miami, Florida or more information on changes to Amendment 2 click here. You can also contact our qualified medical cannabis physician's office at 305.615.2440 for an appointment.

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