The Western Dermatology Consultants team cares about health. It’s why our board-certified dermatologists offer medical services, including skin cancer detection, for Albuquerque-area patients. In light of the March 25 “shelter in place” order for New Mexico, “nonessential” surgeries and other procedures have been put on hiatus—but this ban is waived in cases that would jeopardize a patient’s life. That means three things for our patients: Our spa is closed, our dermatology office is still providing “TeleMed” visits for remote care, and we are still able to treat urgent issues in our offices.

There are obviously a lot of health concerns right now in the community, the country, and the entire world. With so much focus on a single, specific problem—in this case, COVID-19—it can be easy to push aside thoughts of other medical issues. But even though a respiratory pandemic is in seemingly every headline, we want to remind you that skin health remains as vitally important as always.

In other words, if you have a potentially pressing medical issue, such as a melanoma, do not hesitate to talk to a qualified medical professional to determine how best to proceed. Melanoma is a particularly fast-moving and deadly cancer, so it is crucial to identify it and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Note that we are taking precautions with the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community in mind. If you have a fever, cough, shortness or breath, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19 or the flu, please call us before coming into our offices for your urgent care, and we can work together to determine what to do next.

Know that we are continuing to practice excellent hygiene, cleaning, and sterilization routines, as per our usual standards and in following national recommendations and guidelines.

We also encourage everyone to commit to proper hygiene practices at home: Use soap and water to routinely wash your hands, especially after touching surfaces or handling items outside the home. If there are no products or facilities available to allow you 20 to 30 seconds of thorough hand washing, apply hand sanitizer (minimum 60 percent alcohol), especially before touching other objects, such as keys, a car door, or a front door. Then, wash your hands at the next available opportunity. Also, avoid touching your face as much as possible.

To get answers to other skincare and hygiene questions, contact our team at Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants by calling 505.855.9267 or reaching out online.