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!

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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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.


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


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.

Get Your Skin Holiday-Ready with DOT Laser Treatment


As the holiday season gets underway and 2015 begins to wind down, chances are you’re reflecting upon the ups and downs of the year and looking forward to the changes, triumphs and wonders that 2016 may bring. Now is a great time to capture a little of that hopeful holiday glow for a healthy, radiant look to your skin. And a great way to do just that is with DOT Therapy laser treatment by Associates in Dermatology.

While you can’t stop the hands of time, there are ways to significantly improve the look and youthfulness of your skin without having to undergo costly surgery. Among the newest and most effective non-invasive skincare options is DOT (Dermal Optical Thermolysis) laser therapy, a cutting-edge treatment that reverses signs of aging, sun damage and acne scarring. Via a controlled laser, DOT Therapy deploys a customized pattern of tiny scanned pulses of energy to your skin. This creates thousands of precisely placed microscopic punctures in your skin, stimulating the natural production of collagen. New collagen helps to reduce the appearance of pores, facial wrinkles and fine lines, leaving you with smoother, firmer, evenly-toned and younger-looking skin.

Available at all 12 Central Florida Associates in Dermatology locations, DOT Therapy laser resurfacing is perfect for improving your overall complexion or targeted areas like the neck and under-eye or upper lip areas. You’ll see marked improvement with just one treatment, but your health care provider may recommend several additional treatments to achieve your unique goals.

But don’t take it from us. Here’s what actual patients are saying about DOT Therapy:

“My friends and family noticed the difference and commented how radiant and glowing my skin was. And now, a month after the procedure, I couldn’t be happier with how soft and healthy my skin feels. DOT Therapy definitely delivered!” –Aimee

“I was shocked to see that the fine lines around my eyes and mouth had been replaced with smoother looking skin.” –Michelle,

“My skin’s pore size really decreased after the DOT Therapy treatment, leaving me with a glowing, youthful complexion! What more could you ask for?” –Charlotte

Because the sun’s rays are much gentler this time of year, now is the perfect opportunity to find out just how DOT Therapy or our new V Beam Pulsed Dye Laser treatment can help you achieve that gorgeous glow to your skin just in time for the holidays. Call 800-827-SKIN (7546) to schedule a consultation at the Associates in Dermatology location nearest you today.

Want Beautiful Skin? Associates in Dermatology Has Just the Formula for You


Any artist will tell you that it takes just the right tools – the right paint brush, the right color palette, the right canvas – to create a beautiful painting. Such is the case when you’re looking to get beautiful, healthy skin. That’s why Dr. Michael Steppie and Orlando’s Associates in Dermatology offer a range of skincare products targeting a range of skin health issues. You’ll find only top-quality, highly researched and expertly developed formulas at our 12 area locations.

For years, patients from throughout Central Florida and beyond have trusted Dr. Steppie and his team of highly specialized and dedicated skincare professionals to safely and effectively treat them and their entire families. From children experiencing skin conditions such as eczema to young adults learning to keep acne at bay to elders looking to turn back the clock a bit, Associates in Dermatology has you covered. Our skin health professionals can prescribe highly targeted medications or topical creams and ointments; recommend appropriate over-the counter products; or even provide cutting-edge formulas from the exclusive STEPPIE MD skin care line, available in all Associates in Dermatology locations.

Many of our patients report excellent, visibly noticeable results using our intensive serums designed to help resurface the skin texture, minimize age spots and pigmentation, and visibly minimize tell-tale wrinkles that can make one look older than he or she feels. On-site treatments such as medial-grade chemical peels and laser anti-aging resurfacing can help to reset the clock on your appearance, while prescribed at-home regiments help to prolong the effects of these customized treatments.

Associates in Dermatology’s skincare products feature targeted and highly potent, yet gentle formulas for cleansing care, moisturizing care and protective care, including two state-of-the-art sunscreen formulas. Following is a brief overview of the numerous top-quality, targeted treatments and take-home skincare products we offer:

Cleansing Care / Refresh · Purify

This ultra-gentle botanical cleanser forms a creamy lather that washes away environmental pollutants, excess oil and make-up while leaving skin pristinely clean and refreshed. It is enriched with skin-conditioning ingredients and anti-oxidants. Soap and alcohol-free. Ph balanced. Non comedogenic. Paraben free.

These medicated cleansers contain an ultra pure glycolic acid available in 5% or 10% coupled with the proven acne fighting ingredient salicylic acid used at a 2% concentration.
Both help clear and prevent acne, reduce breakouts and clogged pores. These may also help with enlarged pores, folliculitis and keratosis pilaris while boosting the removal of dead skin cells

Moisturizing Care / Protect · Hydrate · Nourish

Free from chemical sunscreens, this weightless SPF 50 sunscreen offers the highest level of UVA/UVB protection. Its moisturizing formula is also enriched with 5 essential anti-oxidants and emollients.
Ideal for all skin types and especially gentle on sensitive and acne-prone skin. Oil-free. Alcohol-free. Paraben-free. Fragrance-free. Fast absorbing. Non-comedogenic. Non-whitening.

This lightweight micronized zinc oxide sunscreen offers the same benefits as the tube version and this spray is ideal to cover larger body areas such as arms and décolleté, but also the face if swimming or sweating while outdoors. Water-resistant (40 minutes).

bb cream- antioxidant oil control sunscreen BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 50+
A skin-perfecting tinted BB cream that evens skin tone and powerfully protects your face from sun damage. This silky smooth, multi-tasking formula can either be worn alone or under foundation. It offers a SPF 50 protection with a superior physical sunscreen – Zinc Oxide-, oil control and is enriched with moisturizers and anti-oxidants. Its sheer tint visibly helps conceal minor skin imperfections on all skin tones. Fragrance-Free, Oil-Free, Paraben-Free and Gluten-Free.

This lightweight moisturizing serum replenishes the skin with 18% hyaluronic acid and 2 cutting-edge complexes plus Niacinamide. Ideal for all skin types, including oily skin. Oil and fragrance-free. Non comedogenic.

A sumptuous wrinkle-defying cream enriched with, phyto stem cells, repairing anti-oxidants and a unique skin-identical lipid concentrate. It helps supports matrix repair throughout the night and restores skin’s comfort and youthful velvety texture.

Intensive Care / Renew · Treat · Repair

This potent active retinol serum is available without a prescription. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, a time-tested ingredient which promotes flawless skin while boosting exfoliation to improve the appearance of skin texture, pores, pigmentation, as well as its youthfulness.

This highly intensive retinol serum delivers great results. It is twice as potent as Retinol Renewal 1 and must be handled with care. Follow the instructions for our Associates in Dermatology’s health care provider.

Target UV damage and visibly fade away pigmentation spots! To assure maximum potency, this formula is freshly mixed upon purchase. A potent dose of 6% vitamin C, 4% kojic acid and alpha arbutin -therapeutically equivalent to 4% Hydroquinone-, is added in the serum. These ingredients all act in synergy with other natural skin brighteners and protective antioxidants that further help fortify the skin’s cellular matrix and repair UV damage.

A breakthrough, needle-free serum powered by the Pro Organic Complex™, formulated and developed by Dr. Steppie. It is supercharged with potent sequoia leaf native cells* and a rejuvenating kelp extract** paired with replenishing olive oil blend that deliver exceptional anti-aging results. 95% organic. Premium aloe vera replaces water in the formula.
90% found an improvement in skin firmness**
85% found an improvement in the skin texture and hydration**

*/** In-vitro tests. **Self-evaluation: 2x/day application for 28 days. Study performed on 20 volunteers under dermatological control.

Ultra pure 5% glycolic acid powerfully exfoliates dead cells and surface grime while helping boost the penetration of the proven, OTC drug acne fighting ingredient salicylic acid used at the maximum strength, 2% concentration. Helps clear and prevent acne, reduce breakouts and clogged pores. These pads may also help with enlarged pores, folliculitis and keratosis pilaris while boosting the removal of dead skin cells.

This clinically proven formula visibly rejuvenates the eye contour. Boosted with a patented complex, 8 anti-puffiness and dark circle ingredients, 7 moisture boosters and 8 anti-oxidants! Clinically proven to reduce dark circles and puffiness and to minimize lines and wrinkles depth and volume.

All Steppie MD products are produced and manufactured in the USA in state-of-the-art, FDA registered facilities. So, if you’re looking to improve your skin’s appearance for a smooth, vibrant, picture-perfect look, visit your nearest Associates in Dermatology location for a customized treatment plan and at-home skincare regiment. Our targeted formulas are designed to meet your specific needs, so be sure to ask your healthcare provider which products will work best for you.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month – Do You Know the Risks?


Among the latest media stories to go viral is that of Tawny Willoughby, a beautiful blonde wife and mother with a heartfelt message about the dangers of sunbathing and tanning beds. To see her smiling social media photos, one would assume that the bubbly 27-year-old is the picture of health – far too young to be at risk for a serious health issue like cancer. Yet, that’s exactly what she is facing right now, and she wants to help people like you avoid her plight by sharing her story just in time for Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

Last month, Willoughby posted a heart-wrenching photo of her face covered in painful-looking scabs, along with the post: “If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like.”

Willoughby’s selfie and post since have gone viral and her story has been covered by multiple media outlets including CNN, CBS News, Good Morning America, People magazine and Huffington Post. But while her images are striking, they’re certainly not rare. In fact, one in five Americans is diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives, statistics show.

Willoughby’s story is much like that of many teens and young adults. She tanned four to five times a week in high school, both in the sun and in tanning beds, which often are erroneously thought to be safer than the sun’s harmful UV rays. She has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma once and basal cell carcinoma five times since her first diagnosis at age 21, though she considers herself fortunate to have never been diagnosed with melanoma, the most prevalent and deadliest form of skin cancer which claims the lives of some 9,000 Americans each year (1 person dies of it every hour!).

She is much like the typical skin cancer patient we see here daily at each of Central Florida’s 12 Associates in Dermatology locations. For more than 25 years, our dedicated team, led by nationally renowned skin cancer specialist Dr. Michael Steppie, has helped to educate residents about the risks of skin cancer by providing free-of-charge skin cancer screenings*, sponsoring Fox 35’s UV Index feature for several consecutive years and regularly contributing to print, television and online media coverage of skin cancer issues, including in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal. No doubt, you’ve seen some of this coverage in local media outlets like Osceola Health, Osceola Woman Newspaper, Insight Magazine, Apopka Chief, The Planter, Solavita Reflections, Poinciana Pioneer, Life at Hunter’s Creek, Celebration News, News Leader/Four Corners, Better Living

With springtime wrapping up and summer just around the corner, remember that while the warm rays of the sun seem tempting, they also pose a range of risks from premature aging of your skin to potentially deadly skin cancer. We here at Associates in Dermatology urge you to adopt sun-smart practices including avoiding the sun especially between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, applying a high-SPF, broad-spectrum sun block to your skin; donning long sleeves and pants as well as broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses; and seeking shady areas when spending time outside. Also, get regular skin cancer screenings and, if you spot suspicious moles and skin lesions, schedule a consultation at your nearest Associates in Dermatology, where we offer comprehensive skin cancer treatment options.

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.

Tech Neck – How Staying Connected is Aging You and How You can Fix it


In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, our smartphones, laptops and tablets are constant companions. They’re our windows to the world and our links to family, friends and colleagues. But the connection and convenience they offer unfortunately comes with a downside – premature aging.

Backing up the findings of researchers involved in multiple studies, skincare specialists nationwide are seeing an increasingly frequent incidents of “tech neck,” a growing phenomenon of wrinkles and sagging of the neck and jowls appearing in patients as young as 18. Once relegated to those in their 40s and older, neck and jowl sagging and wrinkles now are affecting younger generations for one primary reason – the frequent and long-term tilting forward of the head to read screens on our mobile devices. In fact, those most at risk for tech neck are 18 to 39-year-olds, a demographic of people who own an average of three devices.

The issue of tech neck increasingly is popping up in magazines, web publications and television programs, including a recent Good Morning America segment. It’s more common in women because their wardrobe choices more often leave their necks and collar bones exposed, making the skin in those areas prone to the effects of sun and wind exposure, including premature aging. Keep in mind that the skin in the neck area is finer than in other areas, and is quickly thinned even further by sun exposure. Yet, most people’s skincare regimens focus solely on their faces, ignoring the neck and collarbone area.

The good news is that tech neck can be prevented and treated. Here are three helpful tips from Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology:

  • Limit your time spent on your mobile devices and, when using them, position the screens at eye level with your chin held at a 70- to 90-degree angle to help avoid development of tech neck to begin with.
  • Maintain a daily skincare regimen that includes Steppie MD’s Ethereal Beauty™, an organic-based anti-aging serum that has proven highly effective for our patients.
  • Talk with an Associates in Dermatology skincare specialist about our new take-home product developed specifically to target the aging neck and clinically proven to visibly reduce sagging and wrinkles that betray your age. This breakthrough wrinkle repairing treatment is available for sale in all 12 Central Florida locations.

Don’t let staying connected cost you your looks – and remember that tech neck can affect both women and men. Call 800-827-SKIN to schedule a consultation with a dedicated skincare specialist at the Associates in Dermatology location nearest you today.