My Blog

By Academic Dermatology
September 10, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Acne Treatment   Acne  

Teenage AcneThough 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!

By Academic Dermatology
July 24, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Skin CancerIt'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.

By Academic Dermatology
May 22, 2018
Category: Skin Care

You need to speak to your Edina dermatologist about skin care

Skin, the body's largest organ, needs more than just lotions and creams to stay healthy. Skin is a protective layer that prevents the escape of moisture from your body, prevents harmful bacteria, fungi, or viruses from entering the body and regulates the body's temperature. Learn more with your Edina, MN, dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Tope, at Academic Dermatology.

How to Maintain Healthy Skin:

Preventing skin damage in the first place is a good counter measurement. You should maintain a healthy skin care regimen to counter issues like age spots, wrinkles, and stress for as long as possible. Make sure you wash your face with a gentle cleanser and use lukewarm water to rinse it off twice a day. Pat wet skin dry instead of rubbing it with a harsh towel. Consistent skin exfoliation, at least twice a week, helps remove dead cells. Applying skin moisturizer immediately after a shower, or bath, and wearing sunscreen when outside is an important preventative measure.

Women should remove makeup every day and stop using tanning beds, quit smoking, avoid stress, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Visiting your Edina dermatologist is vital, as well as self-examinations.

Skin Infections

Visiting your doctor and examining your own skin is important for keeping an eye out for infections:

  • Bacterial Infection: Keeping your skin clean prevents bacteria from entering your body if you have a cut, or break in your skin. Certain bacteria can cause rashes, such as Impetigo, a common skin infection in children.
  • Viral Infection: Viruses are parasitic organisms that do not respond to antibiotics and need medication to help relieve pain. Examples of viruses are:
    • Human Papilloma Virus
    • Human Herpes Virus
    • Chickenpox, shingles
    • Genital herpes
    • Mononucleosis.
  • Fungal Infections: Fungal infections only infect the outer layer of skin, like in the case of yeast infections, thrush, athlete's foot, or jock itch.

If you want to know more about how to take care of your skin, call your Edina, MN, dermatologist at (952) 746-6090.

By Academic Dermatology
April 03, 2018
Category: Dermatology

Large scars used to be an unfortunate consequence of surgery to remove skin cancers. Luckily, innovative micrographic surgery mohs surgerytechniques 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.

By Academic Dermatology
January 15, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Acne  

Drs. Whitney Tope and Dawn Tope, the dermatologists in Edina, MN, understand what it means to have acne. About 5 percent of adults acneand 80 percent of adolescents suffer from acne, which can cripple an individual's confidence.

More About Acne

The secretion of sebum from sebaceous glands is a natural process. This oil gland is meant to provide your skin with the moisture it needs, but this isn't always the case. The sebum moves from the root of the hair follicle to the top, the surface of the skin.

When you're suffering from acne, though, the sebum doesn't reach the surface of the skin. Instead, it creates a blockage, which consists of sebum and dead cells.

Whiteheads are formed when the opening of the hair follicle is completely blocked. Blackheads, on the other hand, are formed when the hair follicle's pore is still open. The inflammation of whiteheads and blackheads can produce red pustules that, when inflamed, lead to the scarring of the skin.


Treating acne isn't easy and your Edina dermatologists know just what to do. Here are a few techniques that may help with acne:

  • If your acne is only mild, Benzoyl Peroxide may help in reducing the blockage of the skin pores
  • Your hair follicles are susceptible to infections, which is why antibiotics, both oral and topical, may be important to consider
  • Using sources of Vitamin A, such as tretinoin, helps exfoliate blocked pores
  • Some people may use a metal instrument that removes and extracts whiteheads and blackheads manually or by force

Acne Scars

Unfortunately, no matter how much you may try to keep your skin healthy and eliminate acne, scars may develop. This shouldn't worry you though. Modern technology has several techniques to help reduce or eliminate those scars.

Here are some procedures your dermatologist provides:

  • Microneedling
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser Skin Treatment

For more information on acne, acne scars, and the various acne treatments, don't hesitate to call your Edina, MN, dermatologist.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.