Find Orlando Family Magazine on Facebook! Follow Orlando Family Magazine on Twitter!

Celebrating 35 Years of Dedicated Service

As Dr. Michael Steppie and his team as Associates in Dermatology mark a significant milestone, their commitment to the prevention of skin cancer is as strong as ever.

Springtime in Central Florida means a wealth of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, whether that’s taking in the natural beauty of the area, visiting one of the many local attractions or spending an afternoon on the golf course. Of course, all of that time soaking up the sunshine comes with a lot of risk, and can ultimately lead to serious skin damage and dangerous outcomes.

With May representing National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to note that skin cancer rates are steadily rising in the United States, where more than five million cases are diagnosed each year, equating to more than all other cancers combined. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one out of every five people will develop a form of skin cancer by the age of 70. On the surface, those figures may seem daunting, but thanks to advancements in technology and treatment, there’s never been more ways to combat the disease.

Here in Central Florida, expert care can be found nearby at a practice that is celebrating a special milestone this year. Associates in Dermatology was founded 35 years ago and proudly continues to deliver an unrivaled level of care to communities across the region. Its president and medical director Dr. Michael Steppie is still as motivated as ever to make a difference in his patients’ lives.

“I feel my most important goal,” he says, “is to help patients avoid the effects of overexposure to the sun, premalignant growths and skin cancer.”

Having completed residencies in dermatology and dermatologic surgery, Dr. Steppie is renowned for his years of service in the field and is an accomplished surgeon with vast experience in the highly specialized treatment known as Mohs surgery, which is used for the removal of skin cancer tumors. Thanks to his extensive training and expertise, he has been able to continually remain at the forefront of dermatologic services.

Thousands of local patients—across several generations—also have been loyal to Associates in Dermatology for its dedicated care in treating diseases of the hair, skin and nails. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 1,100 new residents move to Central Florida each week, and as they adapt to the year-round warm weather, a visit to one of Associates in Dermatology’s 17 convenient locations can help them stay on top of their health.

“Regularly practicing good skin care habits is important because Florida’s near year-round high temperatures put us at an increased risk for cancer,” Dr. Steppie says. “By taking simple and responsible measures to protect yourself, you can make a real impact in protecting the largest organ in the body. Keeping a close eye on your skin can give you greater peace of mind, and if needed, improves your chance for successful treatment. Most importantly, the daily use of sunscreen and other forms of UV protection can greatly reduce your risks for developing precancers and skin cancer.”

That is true for patients of all ages and backgrounds: Although younger patients and those with darker skin tones often believe they are at a lesser risk for cancer, recent studies confirm that just the opposite is true. For example, over the past 20 years, the incidence rate of melanoma among Hispanics has risen nearly 20%. The truth is that anyone can be at risk for developing dangerous skin conditions regardless of age, ethnicity or skin tone. 

There are three main types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma (the most common), squamous cell carcinoma (the second-most common) and melanoma (the most deadly). Because of the aforementioned exposure to the sun in our area, residents are particularly susceptible to the dangers of melanoma. In the past decade, melanoma rates have skyrocketed nearly 45% and continue to be at an all-time high.

“It may sound unbelievable at first, but the fact is that people who have more than five sunburns over the course of their lifetime are at a heightened risk to develop melanoma,” Dr. Steppie says.

Dr. Steppie’s highly influential work has earned him a mantle full of prestigious honors, including Compassionate Doctor awards and inclusion on Orlando Family’s Top Physicians list. 

He has also introduced his own line of Steppie MD Ethereal Beauty skin care products designed to address and treat a variety of issues. On-site dermatologic procedures such as medical-grade chemical peels and other cosmetic services help to reset the clock on a patient’s aging appearance, while an at-home skin care regimen can help to prolong the effects of the personalized treatments. 

It’s no wonder then why so many area residents entrust Dr. Steppie and Associates in Dermatology with their skin care needs. Thanks to the practice’s 16 locations, including in Celebration, Clermont, Dr. Phillips and Ocoee, patients can visit any number of centers that are close to home, work or otherwise.

“Being accessible to our patients is a hallmark of the practice and it gives them comfort to know that they don’t have to travel great lengths to receive the expert care they are accustomed to,” Dr. Steppie says. “I’m honored that so many patients have relied on Associates in Dermatology for their various dermatology needs.”

“While the month of May certainly raises heightened awareness in the fight against skin cancer, I truly understand that the battle is waged all year long,” he adds. “That is why we will always go above and beyond to offer the utmost in personalized care for all of our patients.”


Associates in Dermatology
16 locations in Central Florida including:
Celebration | Clermont | Dr. Phillips | Hunter’s Creek | Ocoee
(800) 827-7546