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!

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.

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.

Skin Cancer Awareness & Prevention is Dr. Steppie’s Heartfelt Mission


May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, an annual four-week observance initiated by the Skin Cancer Foundation to help spread the word about the risk factors of this potentially devastating condition and educate Americans on ways to prevent it. But for Dr. Michael Steppie, of Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology, every month is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

One of the elite few dermatologists and skin cancer surgeons nationwide who are members of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Amonette Circle, Dr. Steppie firmly believes that it’s his life’s purpose and mission to help spread awareness among the Central Florida community of the dangers that our sun-soaking lifestyles pose to our skin’s and our bodies’ health. His heartfelt drive mirrors that of Associates in Dermatology, which also has worked tirelessly to educate patients about skin cancer risks and preventative measures over the past 25 years.

Our area’s near-year-round warm, sunny climate means many days spent outdoors on the water, on the golf course or at parks – and that means a high level of exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can lead to skin cancer. It also means that the rates of new skin cancer diagnoses are statistically far higher here in Florida than they are in other states.

But many Americans fail to take the risk seriously. Despite the fact that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer is the United States, topping the combined instances of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer, half of all adults nationwide report at least one sunburn in the past 12 months. Doctors see the results firsthand with treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers alone increasing by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006. The number of new cases of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, rises each year, as well. In 2014, experts expect nearly 140,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed. And by 2015, it is estimated that 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime.

That’s why Dr. Steppie and his staff of top-notch skincare experts routinely hold free skin cancer screenings at each of Associates in Dermatology’s 12 Central Florida locations. Dr. Steppie also is a regular contributor to print, television and online media with articles and campaigns aimed at educating the public about the rates and risks of skin cancer, and encouraging them to adopt the simple practices that will help protect them. Associates in Dermatology is sponsoring Fox 35’s UV Index feature throughout the summer, and you may have seen Dr. Steppie’s skin cancer awareness campaign in May issues of The Orlando Sentinel and A Better You, a health insert magazine available at Whole Foods

You might also have seen his Free Skin Cancer Screening campaign advertised throughout Central FL with informative editorials on skin cancer in: Orange Appeal, South West Orlando Bulletin, Hunter’s Creek Magazine, Celebration News, Reflections Magazine (for Solavita Residents), Poinciana Pioneer, Osceola News Gazette, Osceola Health, The Apopka Chief, The Apopka Planter and Better Living.

Just last month, Dr. Steppie also penned an article about the rise in skin cancer occurrences among America’s Hispanic population.

These are just a few examples of Dr. Steppie’s tireless efforts to help Central Florida residents live long, healthy, skin cancer-free lives. To schedule your own skin cancer screening or treatment, call 800-827-SKIN (7546) or use our convenient online scheduling form.