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

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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.

Are your Kids Skin-Ready for school?

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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.

Learn more about:

Celebrate July 4th With a New Sun-Safe Look

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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.

http://skincancer.epubxp.com/t/17089/39

Tips for Reviving Skin, Hair & Nails After the Dry Winter Months

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The practice of dermatology involves improving and maintaining not only the appearance but also the health of your skin, hair, and nails. That can seem a tall order in the springtime, after the frigid winter months have left you with a dry, brittle and ashen look. Perhaps you’ve noticed changes like these over the past few months:

  • HEALTHY SKIN: As the humidity decreases in the winter months our skin becomes dry, irritated and even itchy. A hot shower may seem a go-to respite for warmth, but prolonged heat can actually do more harm than good because it disrupts the skin barrier, which serves as physical protection and an immune defense, and further dehydrates the skin. In order to nourish and restore the skin and its protective functions, it is important to use mild cleansers and avoid overuse of harsh scrubs. While cleansing, use lukewarm to prevent stripping the skin of its natural fats and oils that provide it with moisture. Immediately after bathing, the skin should be patted (never rubbed) dry and a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer should be applied.
  • HEALTHY SCALP: Just as with the skin on your face and hands, the winter cold, the dry, artificial heat generated by heating systems in homes and buildings can sap the moisture from your scalp and hair. Thus, it’s common to experience a dry, itchy scalp as the weather turns colder and you seek warmth indoors. This condition is most commonly caused by seborrheic dermatitis and is characterized by red and flaky patches on the scalp which may resemble dandruff. The best way to combat this problem is by washing hair on a daily basis and using medicated shampoos that deposit a layer of medicine on the scalp which remains and continues to work even after rinsing.
  • HEALTHY NAILS: Your nails can become dry, brittle, and split during winter as well. It is essential to avoid using harsh soaps when washing hands as this will remove the protective natural oils found in your nails. Also avoid nail hardeners as the chemicals found in these products can actually damage your nails, leaving them weak and brittle over time. After washing hands, apply a high quality moisturizer and be sure to rub it into the cuticles and nails to restore their strength and flexibility.

It’s clear that wintertime can wreak havoc on your look. While they may seem tempting, quick fixes that address only the appearance of your skin and nails, ignoring underlying health factors, will only allow for further damage. For instance, hiding unsightly nail fungus beneath colorful nail polish or buying a harsh, drugstore shampoo and conditioner based solely on the promises made in the packaging will simply mask or even exacerbate the issues.

While your look is understandably important, your health is all the more critical. After all – you deserve more than just a makeover. You deserve a thorough audit and treatment of any and all health issues that may affect your look and your life. Ensure the health and vibrancy of your skin, hair and/or nails by scheduling a consultation with Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology. Our experienced team of providers including board-certified dermatologists, paramedical assistants and nurse practitioners have the expertise to identify and effectively treat a range of skin, hair and nail related conditions or diseases and we accept most health plans.

Remember – Spring is a time of renewal and the warm summer months are just around the corner. Get a healthy start to the new season with a call to your nearest Associates in Dermatology location.

For more information on our services to treat specific skin, hair and nail diseases and conditions, click here.

Wishing You a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season from Associates in Dermatology and Dr. Steppie

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As 2015 winds down, no doubt you’re busily wrapping holiday gifts, preparing feasts and doing a bit of last-minute decorating to assure loved ones have a memorable time. December is a festive time for families and friends, but it also can be a hectic time. That’s why Dr. Steppie and his team at Associates in Dermatology want to make sure you remember to take a little time for yourself, too.

Dr. Michael Steppie, MD and the staff at Associates in Dermatology have dedicated their careers to helping Central Florida residents protect their health and beauty. They know that the truest of both begins within. So, throughout the festivities, consider these recommendations:

  • Take time to reflect on all the blessings and accomplishments of 2015 and your hopes for 2016.
  • Set goals for the next year and carefully plan the steps needed to reach those goals.
  • Commit to spending a little more quality time with family and friends than you did in 2015.
  • Reconnect with a long lost friend.
  • If you haven’t already, adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise, a nutritious diet and, of course, a daily, high-quality skincare routine.
  • Make a point to take time for out for purely enjoyable activities at least once a week – Walks in the park, afternoons curled up in your favorite chair with a good book or a classic film, evenings out on the town with friends or your significant other and daytrips to area attractions you’ve been planning to visit.

If a healthy, vibrant new look is among your wishes for 2016, Associates in Dermatology can help. Dr. Steppie and his staff are committed to treating patients with the same quality care they’d give their own families. You can trust our dedicated and highly experienced team with all of your cosmetic and clinical skincare needs. Call today to schedule an appointment at one of our 12 Central Florida locations.

From Dr. Steppie, his family and the entire Associates in Dermatology team, here’s wishing you a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Dr. Michael Steppie Wins Vitals Patients’ Choice Award for the 3rd consecutive year!

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For more than 25 years, Associates in Dermatology has helped thousands of Central Florida residents fight the ravages of skin cancer and improve the health and appearance of their skin. Over the last few years, for his valiant efforts, Dr. Steppie has received multiple top-tier awards. Now, he has earned another prestigious award to add to his list of accolades.

Vitals, a leader in providing online transparency tools and data that help consumers find top doctors and make informed decisions about their medical care, recently honored Dr. Steppie with the 2014 Vitals Patients’ Choice Award for the third consecutive year. The Award, now in its seventh year, is a widely recognized distinction bestowed on doctors not by their peers or by industry leaders, but by a far more important audience – the very people they care for.

Throughout the year, Vitals collects millions of patient-reported physician ratings covering multiple components of a healthcare providers’ work. Factors include doctors’ bedside manner, the amount of time they spend and engage with patients, diagnostic accuracy and the quality of treatment and follow up care. To be considered, finalists for the award must receive an overall rating of at least 3.5 or higher (out of 4.0) and have a medical license in good standing with no sanctions. Of the nation’s 1 million active physicians and dentists, just 5% qualified for this honor in 2014.

In addition to the Patient’s Choice Award Dr. Steppie also was recognized in Vitals’ Top 10 Doctors program as one of the most revered physicians in the Orlando area in the Dermatology Specialist category. To be considered for this particular honor, candidates must be among a significant number of highly-rated physicians practicing the same specialty within a neighborhood and must rank in the top ten among eligible physicians practicing the same specialty within a neighborhood. Top 10 Doctors winners also are chosen via patients’ reports on physicians and their practices covering multiple factors including bedside manner, follow-up care, ease of appointment setting, courtesy of office staff and overall appointment experience. Only about 20,000 doctors – less than 3% of all doctors nationally – meet the criteria for Top 10 Doctor honors each year.

“I am deeply honored as providing patients high quality care is our number one priority,” said Dr. Steppie, a board-certified physician and nationally renowned MOHS micrographic skin cancer surgeon. Dr. Steppie also is a dedicated member of the prestigious Amonette Circle of Skin Cancer Foundation and has been honored with multiple American Medical Association Physician Recognition Awards.

“Doctors recognized with a Vitals Patients’ Choice Award are committed to the patient experience,” added Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals. “We commend these doctors for bringing both compassion and expertise to the practice of medicine.”

A New You for the New Year

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The New Year has begun and if you’re like millions of Americans, you too have a list of resolutions aimed at a healthier, happier more beautiful you. But while developing a svelte figure is the undisputed No. 1 annual goal, there’s another beauty objective that should be on your list as well – taking better care of your skin.

After all, your skin is your body’s largest single organ and its first line of defense against disease, infection and other harmful elements. It’s also your calling card, so to speak – the first feature that others notice about you. Here at Associates in Dermatology, patients who resolve to have healthier-looking, smoother and younger looking skin invariably enjoy beautiful results using our exclusive skincare products in a customized regimen. Take it from Sandra G., just one of many satisfied patients:

I just wanted to thank you for your recommendation of Dr. Steppie’s products. I can’t say enough great things about each and every one of them. It has always been difficult finding products that work as they are advertised. Many products seem like scented water with fancy packaging and a huge price tag. Dr. Steppie’s products are worth their weight in gold! Not only did they help my face heal beautifully after a chemical peel, they have continued to improve my skin throughout the last couple of months. The skin on my neck has never looked better and even my husband noticed a difference.

One of my favorite things about these products is that I can complete my entire skin care regime in less than three minutes in the morning and in about two minutes in the evening. Most of the products last several months and they smell and feel really nice. I’m in love with the cleanser and serum!

I will no longer be fooled by products that carry a big price tag, fancy advertising yet never show much improvement and can honestly say that I will never again buy my skin care in a mall or grocery store. I only have one face and it has never looked better, even at 51.

Thanks again for your wonderful products and excellent service.

~Sandra G.

If beautiful skin is among your goals for 2015, remember that a targeted skincare regimen tailored just for you by our highly experienced skincare specialists is available at any of our 12 Central Florida locations or by calling 800-827-SKIN. Plus, you can count on our dedicated providers for any other skin, hair and nails concerns so that you can face 2015 head on!

Associates in Dermatology, Dr. Steppie Wish You a Healthy, Happy Holiday

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As 2014 comes to a close, Americans are busily making holiday plans. But once the gifts have been opened, the holiday meal enjoyed and the guests bid adieu, it’s time to quietly reflect on the year behind us and the New Year ahead.

Dr. Michael Steppie, MD and the staff at Associates in Dermatology have dedicated their careers to helping Central Florida residents protect their health and beauty. So, during this time, we enjoy reflecting upon all that’s beautiful in our lives and resolving to make those things priorities in the New Year. Among our favorites are…

  • Quality time spent with family and friends
  • Setting goals, making plans and celebrating achievements
  • Taking time out for purely enjoyable activities like a walk in the park, an evening at a concert or an afternoon curled up in your favorite chair reading a good book or watching a classic film
  • Appreciating and caring for our bodies and skin by adopting healthy lifestyles

Associates in Dermatology can help assure your 2015 is a beautiful one. Dr. Steppie and his staff are committed to offering high quality care and treating patients as if they are members of our own families. You can trust our dedicated and highly experienced team with all of your cosmetic and clinical skincare needs.

For the holiday season and into the New Year, warmest wishes from Dr. Steppie, his family and the Associates in Dermatology team.

Skin Cancer Rates Among Hispanics Soar

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Recently released statistics back up something that Dr. Michael Steppie, MD and others at Associates in Dermatology have long observed in the practice’s 12 locations in Central Florida, which an ever growing number of US Hispanics call home – that skin cancer rates among this group are soaring.

In the past two decades alone, melanoma incidence among Hispanics has risen nearly 20 percent – a disconcerting statistic particularly considering that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, expected to kill more than 9,700 Americans in 2014 alone. Research shows that an erroneous perception that those with darker skin are at a lesser risk than others for skin cancer may be to blame. That mistaken perception has led many Hispanics to believe they simply don’t need to employ sun safety techniques like using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, limiting their time in the direct sunlight and seeking shade. All of these have contributed to the rapid rise in the rates of melanoma and other skin cancers among Hispanic Americans.

Study results also suggest an unsettling lack of skin cancer education campaigns and materials tailored to Hispanics, who comprise the nation’s fastest growing population. The consequences can be deadly. In fact, statistics show that Hispanics with melanoma have significantly poorer survival rates than non-Hispanic patients, primarily because they tend to be diagnosed with the condition at a later stage.

One study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Dermatology, researchers found that initial melanoma diagnoses were late-stage in a full 26 percent of Hispanic patients, compared to just 16 percent of white patients.

Consider these troubling findings: 

  • Nearly 40% of all Hispanics sunbathe regularly and 12 percent of Hispanics age 18 to 29 underwent indoor tanning in the past year;
  • More than 43% of Hispanics report they rarely or never use sunscreen and of those who do use sunscreen, more than 22% don’t know its SPF;
  • One in three Hispanics have experienced sunburn in the past year;
  • Only a fourth of Hispanics say they wear protective clothing in the sun;
  • Just 15 percent of Hispanic women regularly do self-skin checks and a full 89 percent admit they’ve never discussed melanoma with a doctor.

These disturbing statistics clearly underscore the urgency for year-round sun protection, regular skin self-examinations and annual visits to a dermatologist.  This advice goes for everyone, no matter your ethnicity or skin tone. No one is immune to the ill effects of too much sun exposure, including melanoma skin cancer. It’s also important to note that while the risk of melanoma increases with age – 61 being the average age at the time of diagnosis – melanoma also is one of the most common skin cancers in adults younger than 30.

Here at Associates in Dermatology, we care about our Hispanic friends, neighbors and patients. We urge you to learn more about skin cancer risks and preventative measures, and to share that information (including this article) with your loved ones.

A great way to start is to schedule a skin health screening at one of our 12 convenient Central Florida locations. Call 800-827-SKIN (7546) or use our convenient online scheduling form.

 

 

Associates in Dermatology Helps Golf Pros Play it Safe in the Sun with 2 days of Free Skin Cancer Screenings!

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Dr. Steppie is starting off 2014 by continuing its skin cancer awareness outreach efforts in the Central Florida community. And this year, he is reaching out to the golfing community.

Avid golfers spend lots of time in the sunshine, which means they’re constantly exposed to harmful UV rays – by far the leading cause of skin cancer. That’s why Dr. Michael Steppie, has arranged for Associates in Dermatology’s healthcare providers to perform partial skin cancer screenings during the Orlando Golf Industry Show on February 5 and 6.

The Golf Industry Show (GIS) takes place at the Orange County Convention Center, located in the heart of the region’s tourism district. Approximately 8,000 representatives from golf courses and golf course owners associations from around the country attend the show each year. These golf course professionals and their staff are at a particularly high skin cancer risk due to the sheer amount of time their jobs require them to be outside in the sun. For them, early skin cancer detection is critical, but busy schedules can limit their opportunity to be screened regularly.

To that end, Dr. Steppie is committed to educating golfers and golfing industry professionals on the risks of and treatments for skin cancer – an epidemic in the golf community. He has partnered with The Sun SafeTee® Program, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that (www.sunsafetee.org ) that teaches golfers how to protect themselves in the sun. And Dr. Steppie’s editorial, Playing it Safe on the Golf Course, published in golf directories available in the top 10 Orlando Golf country clubs (including Bay Hill, Isleworth, Windermere, the Ritz Carlton, Orlando Golden Bear at Keene’s Point) for the past three years will be distributed to attendees.

Click here to download Dr. Steppie’s editorial : Playing it Safe on the Golf Course!

Click here to find out more on the Sun Safe tee Program. www.sunsafetee.org

Contact us & schedule and appointment! http://www.dermorlando.com/contact