Posts for category: Dermatology
Skin wrinkling, acne scars, sun spots, and sagging are common problems which diminish appearance and self-esteem. At Academic Dermatology in Edina, Dr. Whitney Tope and his team specialize in skin rejuvenation, the modern way to look as good as you feel. Read answers to frequently asked questions Dr. Tope encounters at his innovative cutaneous surgery and laser center.
Why does my facial skin become wrinkled?
There are two culprits: sun exposure and the aging process. Sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, but beyond that, UV radiation causes areas of hyperpigmentation on the face and other areas of the body. You may know these areas as sun or age spots or freckles.
Regarding the aging process, yes, skin does change over time. The wrinkles, sagging and creepy skin you see when you look in the mirror comes from diminished collagen, the protein which helps youthful skin stay smooth and elastic. Also, older skin tends to be drier and therefore, prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
What can be done about the lines around my eyes, across my forehead and between my nose and mouth?
Your skin rejuvenation doctor in Edina offers BOTOX injectables, a purified type of the botulism toxin. Injected in selected areas of the skin, BOTOX stops excessive muscular movement when you smile, laugh or frown (dynamic wrinkling). Skin becomes smoother and stays that way for 4 to 6 months. BOTOX requires no special preparation or downtime and is suitable for people up to age 65.
Another helpful technique is laser skin resurfacing. This in-office apparatus sends focused beams of light into selected areas of the skin, stimulating collagen production. A versatile procedure, laser skin resurfacing makes big pores, acne scars, sun spots, and fine lines and wrinkles practically unnoticeable.
How do I know I am a candidate for skin rejuvenation?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says many people qualify for the cosmetic procedures offered by a board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Tope. Keys to successful treatment are:
- Realistic expectations of how you will appear after your procedures (don't expect to look 18 if you are 55)
- Knowing that facial rejuvenation may involve more than one service to achieve the desired results, including the application of at-home products such as high-quality skin moisturizers or Vitamin A acids
- Treatment plans which are individualized to patient need and preference
Ready to look and feel better?
Dr. Whitney Tope and his staff at Academic Dermatology help scores of patients with their medical and cosmetic dermatology issues. If you're curious about skin rejuvenation and would like to ask more questions, come see us in person at our beautiful Edina, MN, office. Call today for an appointment at (952) 746-6090.
The effects of aging, heredity, lifestyle and environment...they accumulate, causing aesthetic skin issues you'd love to eliminate. Fortunately, Academic Dermatology in Edina offers comprehensive skin rejuvenation therapy suited to your needs and goals. Dr. Whitney Tope, your board-certified dermatologist, will confer with you, creating a plan which returns a healthy glow and even skin pigmentation and texture. You'll love the results.
What is skin rejuvenation therapy?
Skin rejuvenation at Academic Dermatology in Edina combines medical and aesthetic services which enhance facial appearance safely and dramatically. With your realistic goals in mind, Dr. Tope will review your medical history and examine your facial features, skin tone and aesthetic concerns, compiling the best course of treatment.
Skin rejuvenation therapy addresses problems such as:
- Static and dynamic wrinkling from sun exposure, smoking and the aging process
- Uneven and dull skin tone
- Hyperpigmentation and sun spots
- Skin sagging
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scarring and other superficial scarring
- Blood vessels which are noticeable below the surface of the skin
Critical to skin rejuvenation are good overall health, realistic skin goals, smoking cessation and commitment to continued protection from the sun, says the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Available skin rejuvenation treatments
There are several. One of the most popular is BOTOX Cosmetic. A purified and injectable form of the Botulism toxin, BOTOX is applied to areas of dynamic wrinkling across the forehead, between the brows, around the eyes and at the sides of the mouth. The medication reduces muscular movement, and therefore, the obvious appearance of frown and smile lines. BOTOX is a half-hour treatment and causes no downtime.
Another common cosmetic service is laser resurfacing. An expert in, and teacher of, laser techniques, Dr. Tope uses short, intense bursts of light to smooth skin texture and stimulate collagen production. Collagen promotes youthful skin elasticity. Laser skin treatments are comfortable, safe and long-lasting.
Finally, dermal fillers are injectable gels which increase skin volume in the cheeks, lips and under the eyes. FDA-approved, many of these medications feature hyaluronic acid as the key component. It's a naturally-occurring chemical, readily accepted by the body. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery reports that one million American adults--both men and women--use fillers for quick, lasting and effective facial contouring and rejuvenation.
Create your refreshed look
You can with a consultation at Academic Dermatology. Meet Dr. Tope and his team and learn about the services which help skin look its
very best. Call today for an appointment in Edina, MN, at (952) 746-6090.
Though notorious for plaguing teenagers, acne does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, young or old. Luckily, your dermatologist is committed to helping you manage your acne’s symptoms and finding the best treatment options for you. Find out more about acne treatments and how your dermatologist can help with Dr. Whitney Tope at Academic Dermatology in Edina, MN.
Do I have acne?
Acne is usually obvious and presents itself in the form of whiteheads or blackheads on the face, neck, shoulders, and chest. You may also experience red, tender bumps called papule or white-colored pimples called pustules. Acne may also cause large painful lumps deep under the surface of the skin called nodules or, if they fill with pus, cystic lesions. Often, acne responds to at-home care with over-the-counter products. However, more stubborn cases may require help from your dermatologist.
What causes acne?
Acne originates from your facial skin producing too much of an oil called sebum. Hair follicles connected to the oil glands become clogged with the excess oil, then dead skin cells slough off into the follicle to clog it further. Bacteria may settle in the follicle, causing an infection. Sometimes, hormones cause this excess oil production and lead to the formation of acne. If acne is severe or seems to come out of nowhere, you should see your doctor for help diagnosing the cause of your acne and treating its symptoms. If you experience acne with faintness, shortness of breath, tightness of the throat, or swelling in the facial region, you should seek immediate emergency care.
Acne Treatments in Edina, MN
Treating acne often begins with topical ointments or creams which your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescribe. Oral medications like antibiotics can also help treat the infections causing your pimples. Contraceptives for women help control hormone-related acne and certain therapies and treatments may also help to treat your acne.
Dr. Whitney Tope at Academic Dermatology in Edina, MN, can answer any questions you may have about acne treatments. Call (952) 746-6090 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Tope today!
It's more common than you may think, and it can turn deadly. Yes, skin cancer affects 3.5 million individuals in the United States annually, says the Skin Cancer Foundation. While you may not think it can affect you and yours, think again because individuals of all ages and walks of life fall prey to this all-too-common cancer. At Academy Dermatology in Edina, MN, your board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Tope, wants you to know the early signs of skin cancer because when caught early, this cancer is highly curable.
Kinds of skin cancer
There are three very common types:
- Basal cell carcinoma, the most frequently occurring and slowest to spread
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a type which spreads more quickly
- Melanoma, the rarest, but deadliest, which spreads to major organs fast
Both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically appear on parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure (the face, neck, arms, shoulders). Melanoma can show up almost anywhere, tends to run in families, and appears more often in people with very light skin.
Spotting skin cancer
People over the age of 40 should come to Academic Dermatology in Edina to see their dermatologist annually for a visual inspection of their skin. Additionally, patients should inspect their skin, including their back and other areas of the body which are more hidden, once a month.
Signs of concern include:
- Sores which do not heal and are itchy, red, inflamed, or which seem to spread pigment beyond their original borders
- Patchy, diffuse areas of scaly skin
- Moles with notched or changing borders
In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology urges adults to inspect skin spots, especially moles, using these easy-to-remember ABCDE guidelines:
- A stands for asymmetrical. If you were to divide a mole in half, each side should remain about the same size. A change in one side could indicate cancer.
- B stands for border. Borders, or margins, should be distinct and smooth, with no notching.
- C means color. A benign spot is one color all the way through. Color diffusion or multiple colors may indicate malignancy.
- D equals diameter. Melanomas grow to be larger than the diameter of a pencil top eraser.
- E means evolving. When a mole or spot changes size, color or shape, this may be skin cancer.
We're here to help
If you have any questions about a spot or mole, be sure to call Academic Dermatology right away. Also, Dr. Tope is available for online dermatology visits via smartphone imaging, and he is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, including innovative MOHS Micrographic Surgery to remove complex cancers. Contact the office in Edina, MN, today for more information: (952) 746-6090.
Large scars used to be an unfortunate consequence of surgery to remove skin cancers. Luckily, innovative micrographic surgery techniques have reduced the amount of tissue that must be removed and decreased scarring. Edina, MN, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Tope of Academic Dermatology discusses the Mohs micrographic surgery process.
What is Mohs surgery?
During traditional skin cancer surgery, a margin of healthy skin is also removed to ensure that no cancer cells remain. Unfortunately, removing larger or deeper areas of skin can cause significant scarring. During Mohs micrographic surgery, only one layer of skin is removed at a time. While you relax in our Edina office, we study the tissue under a microscope. If we see cancerous cells, we remove another layer and place it under the microscope. The process continues until there are no cancerous cells remaining.
What are the advantages of Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery offers these advantages:
- Less scarring and fewer concerns about appearance after surgery
- Preservation of healthy skin around the skin cancer
- Improved accuracy
- Only local anesthesia is needed
- Treated area heals completely in two to four weeks
When is Mohs surgery recommended?
Mohs surgery is most often used to treat squamous and basal cell cancers. In some cases, it's also a good option for melanomas.
What happens when I arrive for my appointment?
Your skin will be cleaned and numbed with a topical anesthetic before your procedure begins. Once we're sure that you can't feel a thing, we'll begin removing skin layer by layer. Although stitches aren't necessary if we only need to remove a few layers, they will be required if the cancerous area was large or deep. In some cases, skin grafts may also be needed to improve the appearance of the treated area. Before you leave the office, you'll receive instructions that will help you care for your skin while it heals. Post-procedure pain usually is mild and can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Are you worried that a new spot or a change in a mole may be a sign that you have skin cancer? Call Edina, MN, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Tope of Academic Dermatology at (952) 746-6090 to schedule an appointment.