Lasers and Botox Go Unregulated in ‘Wild’ South Florida

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The owners of Silk Laser Centre want you to be smooth – not harmed.

“We’re seeing a lot of people coming in with burns,” said Nicole Silverstein, office manager of the Fort Lauderdale medical spa. “It’s like no one cares.”

The Astaphan family owns Silk Laser Centre, a medical spa on North Federal Highway that provides skin rejuvenation, hair removal, Botox and fillers. Silk Laser Centre, Silverstein said, strives to play by the rules, but there is little regulation in their field.

“We received our first inspection by the state in 11 years and that was for bio hazardous waste,” Silverstein said. “It’s not like we’re hiding.”

Silk Laser Centre is registered with Florida’s Department of State Division of Corporations. Joseph A. Astaphan, M.D., DDS and CLHRP, owns and operates the medical spa. Astaphan graduated dental school from Howard University, trained as a surgeon at Harlem Hospital Columbia University and practiced medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York.

Anti-aging is why patients come to see him, Astaphan said.

“They want to look younger,” he said.

Silverstein describes herself as a patient advocate. She blames lack of proper government oversight for the high number of customers coming to Silk Laser Centre with burns.

“The further south you go in Florida, it’s like the wild, wild west,” Silverstein told SFGN. “We have asked the state for help, but they simply don’t have enough manpower.”

Silverstein said there needs to be more information dispensed on the practice of laser treatment, Botox and facial fillers.

“We’ve heard so many stories from people who have come to us that have been burned at another place,” Silverstein said. “There are underground places in Wilton Manors where people have gotten burned.”

Cases of unlicensed Botox injections are out there too, Silverstein said.

“There are offices across South Florida where people are injecting Botox fillers and it’s not a sterile environment,” Silverstein said.

Often times patients are “naïve,” Silverstein said, as to the practice of lasers and Botox in medicine.

Howard Cunningham understands the injection process. Cunningham is a dentist with more than 30 years of experience in practice. He met with SFGN for lunch near his Fort Lauderdale office. Cunningham said there is no specific license for Botox and fillers injections.

“We are not licensed to provide this service in our profession,” Cunningham said. “I’m a licensed dentist.”

Cunningham said patients are often intimidated away from Botox treatments.

“People are not quick to give a referral to a cosmetic place because they don’t want to admit to having work done,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham grew up in New York. He is a gay man and father who received his education from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He describes himself as a “science geek” with an “artistic element.” After 30 years in dentistry, Cunningham says he still loves doing it.

“We do procedures,” he said of Oakland Park Dental. “We spend a lot of time advising on insurance, but we work on procedure and we do not diagnose a patient.”

Cunningham said women often try to enhance their lips and cheeks. To fight aging, men often seek to erase lines in their forehead, cheeks and brow line, Cunningham said. Botox has been prescribed to treat migraine headaches, Cunningham said, but a diagnosis from a neurologist is required first.

What causes these lines in our face?

“Life,” Cunningham responded. “We internalize our stresses and hold it in.”

 

More Info:

Silk Laser Centre

www.silklasercentre.com

954-462-7455

924 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Oakland Park Dental

954-566-9812

3047 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306


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