Study Reveals That Melanoma May Have Hidden Biomarkers

17AID07_Blog_SanfordHurnham_melanoma_72Melanoma is always a concern for those living in the Sunshine State. Not only are residents exposed to harmful rays year round, many older men and women retire to Florida to lay in the sun during their senior years. As Michael Steppie, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Florida State University, has often pointed out, the incidence of melanoma in men above the age of 65 is twice as high as the rate in women. By age 80, the rate triples. With older men being the largest high-risk group, melanoma prevention and early detection is especially important in reducing the mortality rate for this group. After all, research suggests that nearly 90 percent of melanomas could be preventable.

Dr. Steppie recently collaborated with Ranjan Perera, Ph.D., associate professor at Sanford Burnham Presbys Medical Discovery Institute at Lake Nona and other colleagues to study new biomarkers that could potentially provide earlier and more reliable clinical diagnostics for the deadliest form of skin cancer. In the past, many dermatologists warned vitiligo patients suffering from the disorder that generates white patches on their skin that they could be at a higher risk for skin cancer. It seemed to be a reasonable warning as sufferers lack the natural protection of the skin pigment melanin. However, more recent studies into the genetics of vitiligo revealed that the genes, which increase the risk of vitiligo may simultaneously decrease the person’s risk for melanoma.*

In the past, it was believed that vitiligo was an autoimmune disorder, but the research studies at Sanford Burnham Prebys have identified a microRNA called miR-211 as a possible culprit. The role of microRNAs are to prevent gene expression. Since damaged vitiligo skin cells are void of this RNA, it appears to be a disease involving abnormal cellular energy metabolism. While going from target to treatment could take time, identifying miR-211 and the genes it regulates could be promising therapeutic targets. Presently, Perera and Steppie are working to launch large -scale studies that could verify the promising findings published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

As a noted Florida dermatologist and long-time advocate of melanoma prevention, Dr. Steppie offers these sun safety tips for all people who live in warm regions:

  • Remember that all skin types can develop skin cancer including people who tan easily or have naturally dark skin.
  • Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin — even on cloudy days — year-round.
  • Use a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 SPF.
  • Apply approximately one ounce of sunscreen (a shot-glassful) 15 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat (preferably sun-protective clothing, accessories and swimwear carrying a UPF 50+ label) and UV-Blocking sunglasses.
  • Seek shade when possible. The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Water, snow and sand reflect and magnify the damaging rays of the sun, increasing your chance of sunburn. Especially during peak hours while at the beach, stay in the shade from an umbrella carrying a UPF 50+.
  • Avoid tanning beds – there is no way to get a tan through UV exposure without increasing the risk for skin cancer. Using a tanning bed before age 35 increases your risk for melanoma by 75 percent.
  • Be aware that certain prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight
  • Sun-proof your car windows with UVA-filtering window glass or film.

Source: Melanoma Research Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology

*NOTE: Having vitiligo does not mean you cannot get skin cancer, so it is very important for those with the disorder to use recommended forms of sun protection and visit his or her dermatologist for regular checkups. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, sunburn can make vitiligo worse.

Dr. Steppie Sees Promising Results from Recent Vitiligo Study with Sanford Burnham Prebys

17AID07_Blog_SanfordHurnham_vitiligo72After participating in a study on vitiligo that was recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Michael Steppie, M.D., a clinical professor of Dermatology at Florida State University College of Medicine and the President and Medical Director of Associates in Dermatology, remarked, “The promise of a treatment that cures vitiligo, rather than just dealing with the symptoms alone, is particularly exciting.”

Although vitiligo can start at any age and affects all races and both sexes equally, the white patches most often appear between twenty to thirty years of age. There is a loss of pigment in the person’s skin related to the destruction of melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment-forming cells. Vitiligo can appear in patients of any race but is more noticeable in darker-skinned individuals. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH), the cause of vitiligo is not known but it affects about 0.5 to 1 percent of the world’s population. Vitiligo can run in families and the children of parents with the vitiligo are more likely to develop the disorder.

What causes the patches of lighter skin appear is still somewhat a mystery, which is precisely why Ranjan Perera, Ph.D., the scientific director of Analytical Genomics and Bioinformatics at Sanford Burnham Prebys, and Dr. Steppie were eager to examine new evidence. Although medical researchers have long believed the skin disorder to be associated with autoimmune disease, Perera and Steppie (along with their colleagues) may have found another culprit. Since a microRNA called miR-211 is not found vitiligo cells, it is believed the messenger RNAs may prevent gene expression by turning off several genes linked to mitochondria creation.

Although vitiligo is not life threatening, it can be life-altering causing some people to develop low self-esteem. The chronic skin disorder is usually first seen on sun-exposed areas of the face, lips, hands and feet but can progress to other body parts including the genitalia, mouth, lips, eyeball or facial hair. Although no cure exists for vitiligo, dermatologic treatments may help to slow or stop the discoloring process. Rarely does the skin get its color back but some patients have had limited color return following his or her treatment regimen. That’s why identifying miR-211 as a possible cause means this microRNA could be a promising therapeutic target.

Both Steppie and Perera are working to launch large-scale studies so the group’s recent findings can be validated and new progress made toward identifying a cure or preventing the condition in the first place. 


Skin Cancer Screenings for Melanoma Awareness Month

17AID05_Blog_skincancerscreeningAs the recurring sponsor of the daily UV Index feature on Fox 35 in Orlando, Associates in Dermatology has become well known in many of the Central Florida communities served by our 15 locations. In turn, it has become our goal to reach out to each community in hopes of saving lives through better patient outcomes for all skin cancer treatments. “The journey begins with educating key members in the community and making everyone aware of the vital role that routine screenings play in the early detection and treatment of skin cancer,” said Dr. Michael Steppie, Associates in Dermatology President and Medical Director.

May is “Melanoma Awareness Month”, a nationwide observance founded by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) to spread the word about the importance of early detection for the deadliest form of skin cancer. In addition to providing better sun-safety education through their community outreach programs, Associates in Dermatology is committed to providing FREE* skin cancer screenings at each location during May. With rates for both incidences and deaths continuing to rise, melanoma is a major health concern for everyone living in warmer climates like Florida.

Consider the statistical research collected by American Academy of Dermatology:

  • An estimated 161,790 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2017.
  • Melanoma affects people of every skin type.
  • On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour.
  • People with 50+ moles, atypical or large moles are at an increased risk for melanoma.
  • Before age 50, melanoma incidence rates are higher in women than men.
  • By age 65, melanoma incidence rates are twice as high in men.
  • Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females ages 15-29.
  • In 2017, it is estimated that 9,730 deaths will be attributed to melanoma.
  • Five-year survival rates for melanoma detected and treated early is 98 percent.
  • Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.

In an article penned by Dr. Michael Steppie and published in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal, about half of all melanoma skin cancer occurs in men over age 50. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men. The incidence of melanoma in men ages 80 and older is three times higher than women of the same age.
Our dedication to promoting melanoma awareness and providing free skin cancer screenings each May has made Associates in Dermatology one of the most trusted sources for high quality care for those seeking skin cancer prevention and treatment. Remember skin cancer can strike anyone at any time and early detection is crucial to delivering life-saving treatments in a timely manner, so call to schedule your free skin cancer screening today.

*Offer applies to new patients. The patient and any other person responsible for payment has a right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for any other service, examination, or treatment that is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for free, discounted fee, reduced fee service, examination or treatment. Existing patients: Free only applies to those who have not been seen in 3+ years.

Give Your Mom the Gift of Radiance this Mother’s Day


Everyone believes their mom is the most beautiful in the world – And everyone is right! But truth be told, even the most gorgeous moms love an occasional beauty boost. So, for her special day, why not honor the mother you love with the gift of a radiant new look? Whether for your mom, your wife or yourself, Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology is offering amazing Mother’s Day specials on top-shelf fillers Radiesse and BELOTERO BALANCE®throughout the month of May.

  • Radiesse:  Author Helen Steiner Rice once wrote that a mother’s smile “is like the sunshine breaking through a threatening cloud.” With age, however, those tell-tale marionette lines and pre-jowl folds form around the mouth, making moms everywhere look a bit wearied. Luckily, Radiesse offers a highly effective way to restore Mom’s look to match the youthful spark still evident in her personality. Formulated with tiny calcium-based microspheres suspended in a water-based gel, this popular dermal filler temporarily restores volume, smoothing the lines and plumping the sagging skin that forms around the smile and in the chin area. Over time, Radiesse can actually stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen, the structural protein that keeps the skin’s underlying connective tissue strong and taut. The result is a long-lasting, youthful and radiant look.
  • BELOTERO BALANCE®: Another popular solution for instantly erasing the signs of aging is BOLOTERO BALANCE. It’s infused with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring element in the skin that binds to water, filling in wrinkles. It’s highly effective for minimizing marionette lines as well as those thin lines around the lips that so quickly betray a woman’s age. But it also plumps the lips, lending a naturally full, firm and youthful look.

Every mom deserves a bit of pampering on Mother’s Day. If you’re seeking the perfect gift for the mother you love, or if you’re a busy mom looking to treat yourself, call your nearest Associates in Dermatology location to schedule a consultation. Ask about the money-saving specials we’re offering on Radiesse and BELOTERO BALANCE throughout May or talk with your skincare provider about the full range of products and procedures we offer including laser skin resurfacing, pulsed light therapy, medical-strength chemical peels and more.

From Dr. Steppie and all of us here at Associates in Dermatology, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Associates in Dermatology, Dr. Steppie & His Team Wish You a Happy Holiday Season and Amazing 2017


The holidays are in full swing and a brand-new year is just weeks away. As you busily shop for gifts, plan the menu for your Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s Eve feasts and ponder what changes and challenges 2017 will bring, Dr. Steppie and the rest of the team here at Associates in Dermatology offer a few tips for a peaceful, productive and truly happy holiday season:

  1. Embrace being perfectly imperfect: Any lifestyle mentor will tell you emphatically that perfectionism is a myth and that the pursuit of it ultimately will cost you dearly. It will only serve to cause you stress (and stress-borne wrinkles) and likely end up putting a damper on productivity anyway. So, do your best, but cut yourself some slack if every planned detail doesn’t fall into place as expected.
  2. Let go: You may already have jotted down a few New Year’s resolutions, hoping to get a mental jumpstart on your 2017 hopes and goals. But before you can make an effective plan for the new year, you must clear your path all that stands in the way physically, emotionally and otherwise. A few examples – Clear your home, office or workspace of clutter; free up your hectic schedule by learning to delegate responsibilities, to say “no” to commitments that don’t further your own goals, and to accept only those that prove truly effective and enjoyable; forgive and forget.
  3. Indulge yourself: Let’s face it – Everyday life can be hectic, whether you’re a young professional trying to jumpstart your career; a mother struggling to maintain calm in the chaos of raising children; or a retiree wondering how you’ll navigate post-career life and create a whole new reality for yourself. Keep a healthy balance to life by making sure to relax and indulge yourself regularly. Make it a non-negotiable point to take a daily walk; spend time with friends, family and pets; read a good book; travel – whatever helps you to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.

Through it all, remember that it’s critical that you guard your health, including your skin’s health as well as your hair and nails. So, start the New Year with a consultation at your nearest Associates in Dermatology location. You’ll find a team of highly experienced dermatology providers eager to help you gain and maintain your healthiest, most vibrant look. From the top of your head to the tips of your toenails, we’ve got you covered with a full array of clinical and cosmetic dermatology services.

For those of you who have been loyal Associates in Dermatology patients over the past 25 years, helping us to grow to 15 locations in six Central Florida counties, we extend our heartfelt appreciation. To all current and prospective patients, partners and friends, we wish you a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season and a prosperous 2017.

Get a Beautiful New Look for the Holidays!

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Sparkling jewelry, comfy sweater, that designer purse you’ve been eyeing – Sure, these may make your wish list. But what do you truly want for the holidays? How about a smoother, tighter, more youthful complexion? Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology offers three ways to give yourself the gift of beautiful skin:

  • Radiesse: It’s been said that a genuine smile is the most glamorous accessory. But those marionette lines and pre-jowl folds that form around the mouth as we age can do a number on your otherwise gorgeous grin. That’s when you need Radiesse. Formulated with tiny calcium-based microspheres suspended in a water-based gel, this popular and highly effective dermal filler temporarily restores volume, smoothing the lines and plumping the sagging skin that forms around your smile and in the chin area. Over time, Radiesse actually works to stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen, the structural protein that keeps the skin’s underlying connective tissue strong and taut. The result is a long-lasting, youthful look.
  • Xeomin: The holiday season, and life in general, can be stressful. Unfortunately, much of that stress can ultimately manifest as wrinkles and fine lines that prematurely age and mar your youthful look. Enter Xeomin, a prescription medication that utilizes Botulinum toxin type A to temporarily improve the appearance wrinkles. It’s a highly effective solution for glabellar frown lines – those two vertical lines that form between your eyebrows after years of frowning, squinting and stressing, making you look older (and angrier) than you truly are. Xeomin works by relaxing the nerve endings in your muscles, thereby preventing certain muscle fibers from contracting. Reduced muscle contraction leads to a visible smoothing of the lines and furrows that have formed in your skin over time, virtually erasing years from your look.
  • Juvederm: Each day, exposure to the sun’s damaging rays as well as a myriad of environmental pollutants subject your skin to a barrage of unhealthy and unflattering effects. Topping the potential troubles is the gradual loss of hyaluronic acid, the naturally occurring fluid in connective tissue that helps keep your skin smooth and taut. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated and the elastin and collagen fibers lose their integrity, leaving you with dry, thin, loose and wrinkled skin. A top solution is Juvederm, a biodegradable gel that replaces hyaluronic acid, infuses collagen and elastin with new moisture and restores volume – all in less than an hour and requiring no downtime.

So, give yourself what you really want this holiday season – a youthful, healthy and vibrant look. Call today to schedule a consultation at the Associates in Dermatology location nearest you. We’ll help you decide which treatment will best help you ring in 2017 beautifully!

Associates in Dermatology to Provide FREE* Skin Cancer Screenings October 2016

As the seasons change and turn colder throughout the rest of the US, fun in the sun in Florida still has months to go.   After all, outside is a natural place to be in Central Florida, and as temperatures become more tolerant, often people become less concerned abut potential melanoma issues.   Associates in Dermatology is dedicated to raising awareness for the prevention, early detection and treatment of melanoma. Although melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it is the most dangerous and kills over 10,000 people annually in the United States.  We are offering free skin cancer checks at our facilities for a short period of time in the month of October. 

Associates in Dermatology Locations

Skin cancer screenings* are available at the following 15 locations:

  • Altamonte Springs
  • Apopka
  • Celebration
  • Clermont
  • Davenport
  • Dr. Phillips
  • East Orlando
  • Hunter’s Creek
  • Kissimmee
  • Mount Dora
  • Ocoee
  • Poinciana
  • Sanford
  • St. Cloud
  • Sumterville

As a sponsor of the Daily UV Index featured on Fox 35, Associates in Dermatology has already become a trusted source for quality skincare. Through their community-wide effort, the group is offering free* skin cancer screenings at various local events as well as their 15 Orlando-area locations. Over the past decade, the prognosis for people with malignant melanomas has been steadily improving. If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable with a survival rate of 98%. However, once the cancer cells grow deeper into the layers of skin or spreads to other parts of the body, it becomes more life-threatening.

Dangers of Untreated Melanoma

Melanoma originates in the melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells in the basal layer of the epidermis. Brown spots, moles and most growths on the skin are typically harmless, but not always. The first signs of the dangerous cancer can appear in one or more atypical moles. Melanomas often resemble moles and some cancerous lesions develop from moles. Although there is no reliable cure for melanoma, around three fourths of the people who have the cancerous tissue surgically removed will have no further problems. While previous sun exposure and tanning beds are established risk factors, melanoma can still arise without overexposure and on areas of the body that were not exposed to sunlight.

Everyone is at some risk for melanoma, but it is a more common occurrence in people with certain risk factors. Those with lightly pigmented skin, excessive sun exposure, atypical mole syndrome, a weakened immune system or a personal history of skin cancer are at a greater risk. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be multi-shaded, pink, red, flesh-tone, purple, blue or white. If a mole changes its shape, border, color or size, or if you develop a lump or unusual patch on the skin that you are unsure about, it’s time to contact a doctor at Associates in Dermatology.


*Offer applies to new patients and existing patients who have not been seen in 3+ years. The patient and any other person responsible for payment has a right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for any other service, examination, or treatment that is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for free, discounted fee, reduced fee service, examination or treatment. 

Are your Kids Skin-Ready for school?


It’s that special time of year. You and your kids start trading pool floats for pencils, summer camp for the classroom, and picnics for packed lunches. At our dermatology practice, we also tend to see more skin conditions flare for kids and teenagers during this time. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your family’s skin healthy and ready for this school year.

  • Check your family’s skin products. If you or your children have sensitive skin or a history of eczema, this is particularly important. We always recommend looking for the word “hypoallergenic” on all soaps, lotions and detergents. This term means the product is free of irritating dyes, fragrances or substances that may cause an allergic reaction. However, when these steps aren’t enough, eczema symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning of the skin can be frustrating and distracting for a child when they are in school. Sometimes a stronger medication, such as a topical steroid, is needed. Allergy tests also can be performed to help discover triggers of symptoms.
  • Is it a new rash or sudden appearance of itching? It may not be eczema. Contact dermatitis, fungal infections and even psoriasis can present with itching, flaking skin. Some rashes and lesions, such as molluscum and warts, are viral in nature, and thus are contagious to other kids. Remember also that oceans, lakes and rivers have their own set of diseases. Make sure you and your family change out of wet swimwear and try not to share or reuse towels. If over-the-counter treatment still hasn’t helped clear your child’s rash, schedule an appointment to prevent worsening of symptoms and, if the rash is contagious, spread of the condition.
  • Tame the acne. Most of us remember high school and the self-confidence growing pains. Add acne to that mix, and you just might have an emotional teenager on your hands this year. Many parents and kids tend to be influenced by highly advertised brands when trying to treat acne. Yet there is no “one size-fits-all” remedy, and when over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, moderate to severe acne may require prescription treatment, such as a retinoid cream or antibiotic. A dermatology provider also can prescribe an acne treatment that helps treat and prevent scarring. Additionally, check any makeup products and make sure they include the term “noncomedogenic”, which means it doesn’t clog pores. Finally, remember that a healthy diet also may help treat and prevent mild acne breakouts.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen! Summer might be coming to an end, but remember that we are in Florida, also known as the Sunshine State. Continue your summer habits for a few more months and keep your children covered in sunscreen. If they have recess outside in areas without shade, send them to school with a hat or a cap they love and a bottle of sunscreen. Look for sunscreen labels that read “broad spectrum” and aim for an SPF of 30 or higher.

So while the kids enjoy the last few days of summer freedom, keep their skin in mind. An ounce of prevention, and sunscreen, go a long way. Over-the-counter tips, tricks and old wives’ remedies can treat many skin conditions. However, know that there’s professional advice right around the corner at your nearest Associates in Dermatology location (There are 14 throughout Central Florida). That’s what we are here for: keeping your family’s skin healthy for all the seasons to come.

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Celebrate July 4th With a New Sun-Safe Look


Summertime fashions have certainly changed over the past century, from the high-collars and floor-sweeping skirts of the Gibson Girl age, to the knee-grazing, shoulder-baring of the Flapper era, to Christian Dior’s post-war, softened “New Look,” to the fluid, Disco-inspired fads of the 1970s and so on. But never has the apparel industry created anything quite so fashionable AND functional as today’s sun-blocking textile technologies.

Clothing is the single most effective form of protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Perhaps driven by the savviness of today’s health-conscious consumers, clothing manufacturers increasingly are focusing on these new textile technologies that not only offer broad-spectrum sun protection but also reflect the sun’s infrared rays, wick sweat away from the skin and cool the body.

Summertime excursions to the beach, swimming pool, golf course, park or favorite fishing spot invariably place you and your family in the sun for hours at the time – especially during the school break and hot-weather holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Plus, splashing in the water or feeling the wind created by a speeding boat can create a deceptively cool sensation on your skin. While the wind and water can minimize the feel of the sun’s heat, keep in mind that those damaging UV rays are always there, posing a constant risk to your family’s health.

To better protect yourself and your family, choose your new summertime wardrobe by shopping these top-quality, trusted brands, each of which has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation for sun protective clothing and hats:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Coolibar
  • J. Crew
  • Land’s End
  • O’Neill Wetsuits
  • Quicksilver
  • Roxy
  • Specialized Bicycles
  • Sundriven
  • Wallaroo Hats Company
  • Whitworth Hats

While shopping, be sure to look for items labeled with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings, which communicate just how well a particular garment filters out the sun’s UV rays – the higher the UPF, the better the protection. For example, a light cotton T-shirt with a UPF of five will allow one fifth of the sun’s UV rays to penetrate the fabric and reach your skin, while a long-sleeved denim shirt with a UPF of 1,700 offers near full protection. The brands we’ve listed meet strict requirements that include a UPF of 30 or higher and acceptable test results according the standards of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists method or AS/NZS Standard.

If a new summer wardrobe isn’t in your budget, chances are a few items already in your closet will offer protection, too. Polyester, nylon, wool, silk and denim all are effective fabric choices, particularly those made by San Soleil and Sun Soaked. Skip loosely woven, bleached cottons and crepe, as these fabrics offer little or no protection from the sun.

Don’t let poor fashion choices place you at risk for accelerated aging and potential development of skin cancer by exposing your skin to the sun. After all, healthy, smooth, vibrant skin is a most alluring fashion statement of its own. Choose sun-smart styles and don a high SPF broad spectrum sunblock every time you venture outside. Ideally, choose a sunblock that’s free of chemical sun filters. A top choice is Steppie MD Infinity UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+, available in tube and spray versions – and even as a BB cream! Also, be sure to schedule regular skin cancer screenings at one of Associates in Dermatology’s 14 Central Florida locations.

Remember that covering up is the best line of defense for you and your loved ones.

For further details on SUN SAFE clothing check out this article in a recent volume of the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal.

Associates in Dermatology Kicks Off Melanoma Awareness Month with Communitywide Skin Cancer Screenings


May is Melanoma Awareness Month, a nationwide observance designed by the American Academy of Dermatology to spread the word about the soaring rates of skin cancer and importance of early detection. Melanoma is among the deadliest forms of cancer and a major concern for residents of areas with warm climates, like Florida. Despite continuing research and advancements in treatment technology, the rate of melanoma diagnoses has been on the rise over the past 30 years in America.

Consider these statistics:

  • One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives.
  • About 76,380 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2016.
  • Melanoma will claim the lives of upward of 10,130 Americans this year.
  • Melanoma affects people of every skin type.
  • Melanoma affects an average 1 in 40 Caucasians; 1 in 200 Hispanics and 1 in 1,000 African Americans.
  • The risk of melanoma increases with age, but the disease can strike at any time. In fact, Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults age 20-39, especially young women who frequently sunbathe or use tanning beds.

Risk factors for melanoma include exposure to the sun; atypical moles; fair, freckled skin and light colored hair; a weakened immune system; age; and a personal or family history of melanoma or other skin cancers. In the United States, men have a higher rate of melanoma than women, although this varies by age. Before age 45, the risk is higher for women; after age 45 the risk is higher in men. In fact, in an article penned by Associates in Dermatology President and Medical Director and published in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal, about half of all melanoma skin cancer occur in men over age 50. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.

To help protect those in the community we love, Associates in Dermatology is offering *free cancer screenings at each of our current 12 locations and at various community events like the recent Heart to Heart Annual Women’s Information Expo & Health Safety Awareness Event held at Waterford Lakes May 1st.  Our skin cancer awareness and community outreach initiatives have spread across six counties and been covered in many popular publications including:

  • Apopka Chief
  • Better Living
  • Celebration News
  • CMD
  • Four Corners
  • Insight Magazine
  • The News Leader
  • Orange Appeal
  • Osceola Woman Magazine
  • Life at Hunter’s Creek
  • Orlando Family Magazine
  • Orlando the Beautiful
  • Osceola Newspaper
  • Osceola Woman Magazine
  • Poinciana Pioneer
  • The Planter
  • Solavita Reflections
  • The SouthEast Post

We also were featured in a recent issue of Orlando Style Magazine, Central Florida’s leading luxury lifestyle publication, which ranks Associates in Dermatology as the top winner in the Dermatology Practice category of its Readers Choice Awards.

Our dedication to promoting skin cancer awareness and providing free screenings and information each May has made Associates in Dermatology the area’s most trusted source for high quality care for those seeking skin cancer prevention and treatment. Associates in Dermatology also has sponsored the daily UV Index feature on Orlando’s Fox 35 for five consecutive years.

Remember that skin cancer can strike anyone at any time and early detection is critical, as potentially life-saving treatment is far more effective in the early stages of the disease. So, our free screenings are an opportunity not to be missed! Call to schedule yours today. And, look for our two new locations opening in Mount Dora and Hunter’s Creek in June!

Find out more on the various forms of skin cancer:

Find out more on melanoma & tips to spot it:

*Offer applies to new patients. The patient and any other person responsible for payment has a right to refuse to pay, cancel payment, or be reimbursed for any other service, examination, or treatment that is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for free, discounted fee, reduced fee service, examination or treatment. Existing patients: Free only applies to those who have not been seen in 3+ years.