Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

The largest dermatology practice in America, Advanced Dermatology provides complete clinical and cosmetic skin care. Immediate appointments available at one of our 180+ locations.

The Importance of Sunscreen and Sun Protection

Orange Flip Flops and Sun Cream

With the Florida sunshine and spring weather out in full force, some of you may already be sitting poolside or enjoying the outdoors. While some people may benefit from occasional exposure to the sun and Vitamin D, the sun's radiation is also partly responsible for aging and wrinkles. Protect yourself from the sun's rays by applying sunscreen and employing other protective measures. Read more about sunscreen from Advanced Dermatology's Dr. Scott Podnos.

Sunscreens have been around in various forms for more than 70 years but only recently has their importance become so well known. Originally designed to prevent sunburn, they now offer important protection from many of the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. These include various skin cancers, photoaging, and several inflammatory conditions caused or worsened by the sun. It is common to hear that 80% of sun damage happens before the age of 18, leading many adults to forego using sun protection. This is a common misconception based on some confusion from an early study, with the actual number probably being closer to 20%. One of the most important roles in dermatology is the get our patients to understand the potential dangers of the sun and how to properly protect themselves.

Ultraviolet-A radiation (UVA) is primarily responsible for premature aging, wrinkles and tanning, while ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation can cause burning. Both types can severely damage the skin, resulting in skin cancers. While older sunscreens were basically UVB protection, the newer generation of products also help block UVA. The introduction of avobenzone revolutionized protection against UVA in the late 1980’s, and many advances have resulted in several more stable compounds and combinations that offer excellent coverage. These products are known as chemical sunscreens, which act as filters to protect the skin from radiation. Also available, and possibly the most complete protection, are the physical sunscreens, also known as sunblock. These contain ingredients such a titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These have come a long way since the days of the white, pasty blocks of the past. Finely micronized particles now make these elegant as well as effective, either used alone, or in combination with the chemical sunscreens.

There are some controversies regarding sunscreen use. Some studies have found sunscreen ingredients absorbed into the body. Unfortunately, most of these used non-commercial products or used very high doses, so more research is being done. There has been considerable coverage recently about the role of vitamin D and sun exposure and various types of internal cancers. Some people may benefit from oral vitamin D supplements and occasional sun exposure, but this has to be individualized for each patient.

The well known sun protection factor (SPF) has probably confused many people, since it mainly deals with only UVB protection. In the near future there will be a UVA rating system, most likely using a number of stars, to help label the effectiveness of the sunscreen against both UVA and UVB. It is wise to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with re-application every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Combining sunscreens with other protective measures such as protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, tinted windows, seeking shade, and avoiding midday sun all help to avoid the potentially dangerous effects of the sun on the skin.

For more information about sun protection and skincare, contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. As the largest dermatology practice in America, immediate appointments are available at one of our 50+ Florida locations. To locate an office or doctor near you, please visit Advanced Dermatology online or call us today at (866) 400-3376.

General Skin Care Suggestions

Washing face

Healthy, beautiful skin at any age makes a glowing first impression. Working with your dermatologist to establish a good skin care regimen can help you look good and feel good about yourself. Risha Bellomo of Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery offers the mantra "cleanse, exfoliate, tighten, tone, hydrate, and protect!" and suggests some basic products that can change your skin for the better.

Cleansers should be used morning and evening to deeply cleanse pores and take off the excess oil and debris, such as make-up. Adding a Clarisonic brush to your cleansing regimen can allow for a deeper cleanse, stimulate circulation and allow for better penetration of the products being used. All together it will lead to a fresher look.

Exfoliate with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cleansers and creams. These products deeply clean blocked pores and remove the oil and dead skin cells that buildup on oily and acne prone skin. Also these AHAs smooth and tone the skin leaving a healthy glow.

Tighten, smooth, and enhance collagen production. This can all be done with one product and that is a Retinoid. Retinoids smooth the fine lines, tighten the skin by promoting collagen production, and exfoliate those dead skin layers that give us that dull, tired look. The use of a retinoid will make your skin look bright and energetic.

Erase the signs of photoaging by eliminating the brown discoloration on your skin by the use of Hydroquninones, CoffeeBerry Extract, and Kojic Acids. By suppressing the melanocytes in the skin and decreasing the excess melanin production, the skin will look more even toned with a youthful color.

Hydrate your skin daily with a moisturizer that will help heal the skin and boost the skins ability to retain moisture. Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer if you are acne prone and if you are especially dry use a hydrating mister several times a day. Hydration will make your skin look supple and balance the pH of your skin.

And last but not least Protect your skin. Protecting is two-fold. First apply your sunscreen daily before you leave your house in the morning. And if you are out for the day reapply your sunscreen every 80 minutes and after swimming. Second apply an antioxidant one to two times a day. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C will protect your skin from free radicals. Free radicals breakdown the healthy proteins in the skin, collagen and elastin, leaving you with photo damaged and wrinkled skin. Together these two products are your barrier and protection from the elements.

For more information about skin care and dermatology, contact Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. As the largest dermatology practice in America, immediate appointments are available at one of our 50+ Florida locations. To locate an office or doctor near you, please visit Advanced Dermatology online or call us today at (866) 400-3376.

Join Advanced Dermatology at the First Annual Crystal Ball on April 11

Please join us for the first annual Crohn's and Colitis Crystal Ball... looking into the future for treatment and cure. Featuring an unbelievable night of entertainment, martini and scotch bars, wine sampling, delicious delectables, and a few other surprises.

This is the reception which will bring together leaders in the Orlando business, investment, legal and medical communities along with small business owners in Orlando. 

Location: Solar Blue's downtown Orlando Penthouse building (with a 360 view under the stars), 6-8 pm.  Benefits Crohn's and Colitis (CCFA).

Date: Monday, April 11, 2011
Time: 6-8pm
Benefits the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) 

Join many movers and shakers in Orlando for this memorable event, hosted by Leavitt Management, Advanced Dermatology, David Maus, Solar Blue. 

To purchase tickets or for more information, call or email: Laura Kraubetz at
646-203-1214 |

Shop R. Essentials - Fresh & Clear


To achieve Dr. Leavitt’s goal of keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy, he has developed R. Essentials, a custom skin care line created to fit your needs. From Retinol Serum to Anti-Oxidant Cream, his exclusive line caters to your specific skin type and helps you to discover the youthful, beautiful skin you were always meant to have.

To browse and shop our full collection of moisturizers, acne treatments, and anti-aging products, visit Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery online.

Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Opens New Office in Bradenton, FL

Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (AD&CS) is pleased to announce that we have opened a new office in Bradenton , Florida – the sixth office in West Florida and the first part of an 11 office expansion into the West Coast of Florida.

The new office is located at 2902 59th Street West, Suite A, in Bradenton, Florida 34209.  Dermatology treatment will be provided by Dr. Stephan Levitt and CaSondra Soto PA-C.  Immediate appointments are available by calling 1-866-400- DERM (3376).

“Bradenton was the logical first step in our further expansion into the West Coast of Florida.  We are excited to have our experienced medical team provide first class patient care to the Bradenton market,” said David Morell, President of AD&CS.

About Stephan Levitt, M.D.

Stephan Levitt, M.D. is a board certified dermatologist. Originally from Rochester, New York, he received his bachelor’s degree in biology summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He continued at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine where he received his medical degree and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.

After two years of training in pathology at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, he completed a three year residency in dermatology at the MetroHealth Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Levitt is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He established a successful private practice in dermatology in Nashua, New Hampshire where he lived for over 20 years before relocating to Florida in 2006.

About CaSondra Soto, PA-C

 CaSondra Soto, PA-C graduated from the University of Texas, where she earned her Bachelor of Science, and her Masters from Nebraska University.  CaSondra is board certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.  She has extensive experience in all aspects of dermatology, providing a variety of treatments for disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.  She performs dermatologic surgery, specifically surgical excision of skin cancers and repairs.  CaSondra also provides a variety of cosmetic treatments including chemical peels, Botox Cosmetic and facial vein therapy.

About AD&CS

 Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery with 42 offices in Florida and Ohio specializes in complete care for the skin, hair and nails. General dermatology care includes treatment of rashes, psoriasis, acne, nail conditions and hair loss. In addition to providing the education to help prevent skin cancer, AD&CS also diagnoses and performs skin cancer surgery.

As a natural extension of dermatology services, AD&CS offers a variety of cosmetic procedures. These treatments include spider and varicose vein therapy, Botox, collagen, Restylane, chemical peels, laser hair removal, laser skin resurfacing and permanent make-up.

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