By Michael Steppie, MD
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Associates in Dermatology proudly continues to deliver an unrivaled level of care to patients across numerous Central Florida communities including 5 in Osceola county.
Its president and medical director, Dr. Steppie, is one of the few elite members of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Amonette Circle and his expert opinions have been quoted in numerous publications including Men’s Health Magazine.
He is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs micrographic surgeon, and his role as an ardent supporter of the Central Florida community goes far beyond the routine practice of dermatology. “I feel my most important goal is to help educating the public about the risks of skin cancer and encouraging them to adopt simple practices to help protect their skin!” says Michael Steppie, MD.
Dr. Steppie continues by saying: The latest skin cancer foundation statistics show that 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime. However, our year-round sunny climate means local residents spend more time than normal enjoying the outdoors as well as higher level of exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Unfortunately, it also might explain why Florida’s rates of new skin cancer diagnoses are higher.
However, I also wish to stress that men are especially at risk… Says Dr. Steppie. In fact, in 2012 he wrote an article which was published in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal “Skin Cancer and the Gender Gap: Why More Men Die from Skin Cancer”.
“Men tend to misperceive their level of risk and they are also more likely than women to skip recommended precautions such as sunscreen and protective clothing but they are also especially notorious for skipping visits to the doctor… so what might have been a simple, easily treatable skin cancer goes untreated for too long and becomes a more serious or even life-threatening”.
Dr. Steppie continues, “I wish they could take a cue from women… as about half of all melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) occur in men over age 50”
You can learn a thing or two about skin care and your skin cancer risk from the women in your life, “Women pay attention to their skin and take precautions early, so should you.” Says Dr. Steppie, then he continues, using the famous axiom from Benjamin Franklin: “one ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!
Research shows that just one blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing melanoma later in life. Make sun protection as part of your daily ritual and seek shade, avoid the sun as much as possible when the sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10am and 4pm!
All skin types can develop skin cancer, including people who tan easily or have naturally dark skin.
Here are a few more important tips:
- Use a sunscreen SPF 30+
- Apply approximately sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure.
- Reapply sunscreen regularly and after swimming or sweating and remember that water and sand magnify the damaging rays of the sun, increasing your chance of sunburn.
- 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.
- And if you notice a mole changing in color, size or texture, Contact Associates in Dermatology to schedule a skin check.
Associates in Dermatology
15 Central FL Locations including: Hunter’s Creek, Kissimmee, Saint Cloud, Poinciana, Celebration.
800-827 SKIN (7546) – www.Dermorlando.com