Skin Care

WinnMed provides specialized skin care for patients of all ages who suffer from both common and rare problems of skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes.

The skin care program at WinnMed specializes in:

  • Acne
  • Skin cancer
  • Eczema
  • Dry or sensitive skin
  • Nail problems
  • Pigmentation disorders
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Rashes

Physicians and health care providers at WinnMed work together to provide integrated and comprehensive care from diagnosis through rehabilitation.


Many teenagers and young adults suffer from acne, mostly because hormones likely play a role in its development. But people of all ages can get acne. Three factors contribute to the formation of acne:

  1. Overproduction of oil (sebum)
  2. Irregular shedding of dead skin cells resulting in irritation of the hair follicles of your skin
  3. Buildup of bacteria

Acne usually appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, which are the areas of the skin with the largest number of oil glands. Acne may show as whiteheads, blackheads, small raised bumps (papules), red tender bumps (pustules), large solid lumps (nodules) or cysts.

It’s not known what causes the increased production of oil. But a number of factors – including hormones, bacteria, certain medications and heredity – play a role. Teenage and adult acne can take months or years to treat successfully. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and lead to scarring. Women may experience mild to moderate acne associated with hormonal changes of pregnancy, their menstrual cycles, and starting or stopping birth control pills. Treatment is available, together with antibiotics and other medications, including Accutane.

Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis

This form of dermatitis is a chronic condition that causes itchy, inflamed skin. Atopic dermatitis may begin in infancy; most often begins in childhood and may persist into adulthood. It occurs in the folds of the elbows, backs of the knees or the front of the neck. It tends to flare periodically and then subside for a time, even up to several years. The exact cause of this skin disorder is unknown, but it may result from a malfunction in the body’s immune system. Even mild cases of atopic dermatitis can be extremely itchy. Self-care measures, such as avoiding soaps or other irritants and applying creams or ointments, can help. See your provider if your symptoms distract you from your daily routines or prevent you from sleeping. Signs and symptoms of eczema/atopic dermatitis include:

  • Red to brownish-gray colored patches
  • Itching, which may be severe, especially at night
  • Small, raised bumps, which may leak fluid and crust over when scratched
  • Thickened, cracked or scaly skin
  • Raw, sensitive skin from scratching


Warts are growths caused by a virus. They are particularly common in childhood, and are spread by contact. Warts and molluscum contagiosum are hardly ever a serious problem, but may be treated because they can become unsightly and painful, or embarrassing. Whatever treatment strategy you choose, persistence and patience are essential. Multiple treatments are often required.

Moles & Skin Checks

Moles are common, usually harmless skin lesions, correctly called nevi. They may be flat or protruding, varying in color from pink flesh tone to dark brown or black. Although most moles are harmless and can be safely left alone, a mole that has bled, has an unusual shape, is growing rapidly or changing color should be removed. Prompt removal of an abnormal appearing mole is the best way to avoid a more serious and life threatening melanoma. Those that are unsightly or being irritated by clothing, combs or razors can also be removed for cosmetic reasons.

Skin Checks

Follow the steps below offered by the American Academy of Dermatology when checking your skin.

  1. Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then the right and left sides with your arms raised.
  2. Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper arms, underarms and palms.
  3. Look at the back of the legs and feet – check spaces between toes and on the soles of your feet.
  4. Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer look, or use a hairdryer when inspecting scalp.
  5. Finally, check the back and buttocks with a hand mirror.


Rashes are not usually serious, but can be painful. Skin is resistant to a wide variety of injuries, but it’s still susceptible to various invaders, such as viruses, parasites, fungi, heat and medications which can all cause skin rashes. Some, such as heat rash and swimmers’ itch, clear up on their own. Others require medical treatment. See your provider if you have questions concerning a rash.

Skin Cancer & Treatment

In most basic terms, skin cancer is a disease in which malignant cancer cells are found in the outer or upper layers of your skin. Skin cancer may be caused by overexposure to UV rays emitted from the sun or tanning beds. Tanned or sunburned skin is damaged skin and increases your chance to develop skin cancer.

There are three major types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinomas and most squamous cell carcinomas are slow growing and highly treatable, especially if found early. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It affects deeper layers of the skin and has the greatest potential to spread to other tissues in the body. Squamous cell carcinoma also can spread internally.

Your Appointment

Skin care specialty appointments can be made by calling WinnMed at 563-382-2911.  You can also request an appointment through MyChart.

Meet Our Team
Laurie Tope, D.O. headshot
Family Medicine
Mayo Clinic Health System
Skin Care Stories
Skin specialty services continue at WMC
December 5, 2023

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