Aspen Medical Center Blog

showing rashes on arm

How to Know If Your Rash Needs Medical Attention Right Away

The majority of people will develop a skin rash at some point in their lives. When you see a rash, you automatically know it is nothing to be concerned about, even though it may be uncomfortable and bothersome.

But there may be situations when you develop a rash and question whether it’s something dangerous that requires medical attention immediately. 

As to when you must get medical attention for a rash, there are no hard-and-fast guidelines. If you feel anything is strange or off, you should usually just go with your instinct.

The warning signals that a skin rash can be dangerous and need prompt medical intervention are listed below.

Rash Covers Your Entire Body

A body-wide rash is always a cause for alarm. Allergies to drugs frequently result in a widespread rash. However, it can also happen in cases of exanthems or Lyme disease.

Immuno-deficient individuals (those without immunological defenses) may also experience a widespread rash when others may only experience a localized rash. An illustration is the spread of shingles in persons with an advanced HIV infection.

You’re Feverish

The body elevates its temperature during an illness to destroy an invading pathogen, which is frequently indicated by a fever. 

The presence of a rash in conjunction with fever suggests an infectious etiology, but it could also be the result of a severe allergic reaction. It is crucial to have it checked out right away in either situation.

The Rash Hurts a Lot

A rash can be both itchy and uncomfortable, but there is a distinction between the two. Painful rashes should be investigated immediately since they could indicate an infection like shingles or genital herpes, which is potentially dangerous but treatable.

You Have Breathing Issues

The hallmark signs of anaphylaxis are a rapid rash or hive outbreak and shortness of breath. A whole-body allergy called anaphylaxis, which has the potential to be fatal, calls for urgent medical attention.

Anaphylaxis can cause shock, unconsciousness, asphyxia, heart or respiratory failure, or even death if it is not treated right away.

The Rash Burns

Numerous rashes are distinguished by the appearance of both small and large blisters. These include genital herpes, shingles, and chickenpox. A healthcare professional needs to examine each of these right away.

A potentially fatal medication reaction can also manifest as a blistering rash. This includes toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Early symptoms of both include skin puffiness and pain, which are followed by extensive blistering and skin layer peeling.

The Rash Rapidly Spreads

Never disregard a rash that is rapidly spreading. With some rashes, such as shingles, you can occasionally observe the blistering lesions form and spread right in front of your eyes. A similar thing can happen while taking drugs, which frequently affects the chest and back before moving on to the arms and the legs.

Cellulitis is a form of bacterial skin infection that initially manifests as moderately inflamed skin but quickly worsens to cause intense redness, swelling, warmth, and discomfort. This condition is potentially more worrisome. 

Red streaks may radiate outward along with pus-filled or blistering pimples as the infection spreads.

Conclusion

If you have any reason to be worried about a rash, it is better to be safe than sorry. Go with your instinct, consult a doctor, or visit the neighborhood walk-in clinic. You can also use your smartphone or laptop camera to connect with a telehealth provider who can examine the rash.

Ask your doctor to recommend a dermatologist if a rash is persistent or unattractive but not producing any other concerning symptoms so they can start an inquiry and determine the source.

If you need an urgent care center in New Mexico, don’t hesitate to turn to Aspen Medical Center. We’re a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Visit us anytime you need urgent care.

skin rashes

Does Your Skin Rash Need Urgent Care? Top 5 Signs

If you have a small or big rash, it could be because of something that made your skin itchy. But it could also mean you have a more problematic condition, like an autoimmune disorder, Lyme disease, or a severe allergic reaction.

Have you ever got a skin rash and didn’t know if you should go to urgent care or not? Well, in this blog post, here is a list of the top five signs that your rash needs special medical attention.

1. Rashes, Fever, and Pain Are Present

As soon as you notice pain and fever along with your rash, it’s time for an urgent care visit. This could cause a more serious medical issue like an allergic reaction or infection, requiring immediate attention from doctors specializing in these conditions!

2. Rashes Develop into Lesions

If you suddenly develop a rash that looks like a bruise, it could be a condition called vasculitis. Vasculitis happens when an inflammation of the blood vessels can cause them to become blocked or bleeding. 

In some cases, vasculitis can also lead to organ damage. Symptoms of vasculitis include fatigue, joint pain, and fever. If you think you have vasculitis, you must see a doctor immediately to get treated.

Over time, these lesions could even become blisters. There is a long list of reasons why people might develop blisters, but if you have a rash and now it’s bubbling, then urgent care is the place for your needs.

3. Rashes Spread All Over Your Body

If you have a rash that is all over your body, it might be a sign of a severe allergic reaction. You should go to the doctor and tell them if you have made any changes to your life in the last two weeks, like starting a new medication.

4. Rashes Are Not Healing Naturally

The rash may be an indication that you have been infected by something. Some common symptoms include warmth, pain, and yellow or green discharge which appears cloudy with a foul odor to its clearness state, thus requiring medical attention immediately, if not sooner than later!

5. Rashes Are Transforming

You need to see a doctor as soon as possible if you notice an expanding circular rash on your skin and are located in or have traveled recently near areas where Lyme Disease is known.

Another odd change is if your rashes become a different color. The purple spots on your hands and feet may signify that you have an infection of the heart. This can even lead to severe complications, so it’s essential for people with these symptoms – or who see them in others-to seek medical attention immediately!

Conclusion

If you notice any type of rash and it doesn’t seem to go away with time on its own, then it is recommended to seek urgent care. Many types of skin irritation can be caused by factors like allergies or even infection from certain insects in your area; when one affects your health severely, you should always take precautions and actions, not ignore them!

If you are experiencing or noticing one or two of the symptoms listed above, please do not hesitate to visit Aspen Medical Center. We have locations in both Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, and our team of specialists will help you properly diagnose your condition and provide you with the best urgent care and treatment plan. 

Medication

Types of Medication You Could Get at an Urgent Care Clinic

Among the many conveniences offered by urgent care centers, most have their own pharmacies, meaning patients don’t have to go elsewhere to get their prescriptions after their visit. 

Doctors at urgent care clinics can prescribe medications, too. Certain medications, however, need monitoring, so follow-up appointments are necessary. The patient could be referred to a primary care doctor in such cases. That said, patients can have peace of mind knowing that should they need medication immediately, an urgent care doctor can prescribe what they need. 

Here are some types of medication an urgent care doctor can prescribe:

Antibiotics

Urgent care doctors can prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections. There are different types of bacterial infections, and when this happens, doctors will prescribe the right antibiotic to treat the infection. In the case of ear infections, doctors can also prescribe ear drops if needed. 

Short-Term Pain Medications

Urgent care clinics can prescribe short-term pain medications. This includes medicines for headaches, back, neck, and shoulder pains, sprains, and strains. 

Diabetes Medications

People with diabetes can visit urgent care clinics to check their blood sugar levels and get the medications they need to control their glucose levels. One of the most common medications prescribed is insulin.

Allergy and Asthma Medication

Urgent care clinics can prescribe allergy and asthma medications. These medications have long-lasting effects, and patients will find them very convenient.

Medication for Stomach Conditions

If you have a stomach condition, you can go to an urgent care clinic and ask the doctor to prescribe you medications for gastritis, ulcers, or gastroenteritis.

Medication for Colds, Flus, and Other Respiratory Conditions

You can visit an urgent care clinic and get your medication if you’ve got a cold or the flu. You may also require a follow-up visit to monitor your condition.

Medication for Non-Life-Threatening Conditions

There are times when you don’t need to go to a hospital or an emergency room for your illness—this is when you can go to an urgent care clinic. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, you can visit the clinic to get your ankle wrapped as a temporary measure. Doctors will also give you crutches to help you get around.

When Shouldn’t Patients Go to an Urgent Care Clinic for Medication?

Patients should know that not all medications can be prescribed by urgent care clinics. This is true for drugs, such as anti-seizure medication, that require careful monitoring to ensure they’re doing their job properly. It is also true for complicated medicines such as chemotherapy drugs and prescriptions covering a range of possible illnesses.

Conclusion

If you think you need urgent care, you should consider visiting an urgent care clinic. However, it is vital to have a basic understanding of the care provided by these centers, which is why we have provided in-depth explorations of the types of services provided by urgent care clinics. By arming yourself with an understanding of what you can expect, you can be assured that you’ll get what you need at an urgent care clinic.

Aspen Medical Center is an urgent care center in Santa Fe, NM that can provide you with the medications mentioned above and both urgent and primary care services. Contact us today to know more about the services we offer!

Asthma

Learning Asthma’s General Impact and Its Assessment Process

Allergens are all around us, even without our awareness, affecting children and adults. Pollen, mold, dust mites, and even cigarette smoke are common causes of different allergic reactions. And when experiencing such reactions, there’s a high chance of developing asthma.

Asthma is a chronic disease that is the main contributor to a lower quality of life. It’s a serious disorder because the airways connected to the lungs are unable to function properly and allow the air to flow freely in and out.

Unfortunately, between our busy lifestyles and the tons of pollution in the atmosphere, we are more prone to be affected by asthma than ever before. It’s best to understand its impact and how you can have it assessed and treated. Continue reading to learn more.

What Do We Know About Asthma?

As implied above, asthma is a respiratory disease that affects the airways and lungs. People with asthma are susceptible to triggers and inflammation, which can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness.

This disease is becoming quite common due to pollution and the overpopulation of the planet. But, despite the fact that so many people are affected by asthma, and the number is increasing, there are still so many people that don’t know about it and its impact. 

Does Asthma Require Primary or Urgent Care?

Asthma impacts the lives of many people and can be difficult to manage. And its management is handled by the primary care physicians. Visiting the primary care doctor for asthma is mainly for prescriptions, intensive treatments, and a long-term asthma management plan.

However, for immediate medical attention and treatment for an asthma attack, an urgent care facility is recommended. That way, symptoms can be calmed down as specifics about your asthma are assessed, from your triggers, patterns, and severity.

What’s a Common Symptom of Asthma?

Asthma symptoms typically include shortness of breath, with the airways getting smaller and restricting the air from reaching your lungs. This usually leads to coughing and wheezing to cope with that sudden shortness of breath.

This is followed up by chest tightness and inflammation. These are the most common asthma symptoms, and most of the time, these symptoms are caused due to different exposure to triggers such as pollen, dust, mold, or cigarette smoke.

How Is Asthma Physically Assessed?

Asthma is a serious health condition, and low-level symptoms need to be assessed by a medical professional. There are many ways to evaluate asthma, but here are the fundamental steps to getting a diagnosis for this disease:

  • Physical Exam. A physical examination forms the basis for all of the additional inspections. It provides an indication of the presence of asthma or even other lung or breathing conditions. 
  • Diagnostic Test. Depending on the physical exam and symptoms, a doctor will conduct a diagnostic test. This can give insight into a patient’s asthma severity, as well as their general breathing capacity.
  • Final Diagnosis. All of the information gathered by the previous steps is used in the final diagnosis of asthma. Asthma trigger tests can be carried out to understand which allergens are causing asthma attacks.

Conclusion

Asthma is a notable condition that can be controlled and managed, but the key is to address and treat it. As you can see, there’s a lot of information to assess asthma, from its symptoms to triggers and even its evaluation. Seek the right care and treatment for you.

Looking for an urgent care center? Aspen Medical Center is a locally-owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Visit us today.

primary care

5 Important Benefits of Direct Primary Care in Senior Care

It is expected over the next few years that the number of seniors in America over the age of 60 will continue to grow. Consumers of senior care services, as well as seniors themselves, will have to make important decisions about what type of care to choose. 

One of the ways to cut costs and ensure quality coverage is to take advantage of direct primary care.

What Is Direct Primary Care

At its basic level, direct primary care is affordable and accessible healthcare for seniors and their families. Direct primary care providers are able to offer medical services, including preventative care, at a lower cost than traditional medical practices.

Providers of direct primary care are usually paid directly by their clients, unlike those in the traditional health maintenance care setting. 

Direct primary care is a relatively new service and is sometimes considered a boutique care service. It is a relatively inexpensive and convenient way for seniors to receive primary care services. 

Here are seven important benefits seniors can enjoy through this type of care as they age.

1. Give Freedom to Choose Your Provider

Direct primary care doctors and the companies that employ them usually give the customer the freedom to choose their own provider. This can allow seniors a great deal of choice in where they receive their services. As a customer, you are the one who chooses the direct primary care provider you want to see. You can then register with them and schedule visits whenever you need to.

In traditional health care settings, your provider is chosen for you. You have no say in where you receive your care.

2. Give Better Access

With traditional health care providers, seniors are forced to wait for appointments and endure long lines to see physicians. This is frustrating and time-consuming.

Direct primary care services, however, allow seniors to schedule appointments at their convenience and see providers at their own pace. There is usually no waiting. This is a great advantage for seniors who need routine checkups and those who are not feeling well and need immediate attention.

3. Provide Affordable Preventative Care

Direct primary care is an affordable way for seniors with insurance to get the preventative care they need. Seniors who have monthly premiums through traditional HMOs and PPOs may not have coverage for the pre- and post-visit care and medical expenses associated with the preventative care that is provided.

Direct primary care providers, however, cover this care and care for qualified patients is bundled into one monthly fee. Seniors who need annual checkups and other preventative care are able to receive these services at a lower cost with this type of care.

4. Better Quality Care

Traditional insurance companies and HMOs are focused on cutting costs and making money, not on providing quality care. Direct primary care providers are focused on providing quality care and improving health.

Seniors do not have to sacrifice time with their loved ones to go to medical appointments, and they can be confident they are receiving quality care in accordance with the standards of the medical field.

5. Save Time and Resources

Traditional healthcare can be very costly and time-consuming. Insurance companies and Medicare cause seniors to wait for appointment times and give them complicated prescriptions and complex medical bills. Seniors do not want to spend lots of time trying to figure out how to manage their healthcare needs.

With direct primary care, seniors are given straightforward care and instructions, and they can get reimbursed from their insurance. They are also able to get a physical and address any urgent concerns quickly.

Conclusion

Direct primary care services are a cost-effective and convenient way for seniors to get the medical services they need. Quality of care is the focus of these practices, not the money that insurance companies and healthcare providers can make from the services. It is a great way for seniors to get the benefits of a care team and 24-hour-a-day access to a primary care provider.

Aspen Medical Center provides primary care and urgent care in Santa Fe. We are committed to providing the highest quality medical services in a compassionate, professional atmosphere. Let us help you take care of your health. Schedule an appointment with us today!

vaccine

Everything You Need to Know About Flu Vaccines

Flu vaccines—we need them more than ever today. You probably have yours once a year. But have you ever thought about how it works in the body? You might be surprised. 

How the Vaccine Keeps You From Getting Sick

A flu vaccine mimics the immune system via intramuscular application or via nasal spray form. The flu vaccine has the germs of the illness that it protects you against. When the vaccine enters the system, the body will then begin to produce unique proteins that will tell the immune system to attack the virus. These antibodies are what the vaccine will make when your body becomes exposed to the illness naturally. 

The body takes about two weeks for the body to produce the antibodies following the vaccination. 

Remember, every flu season the virus changes a little; therefore, the updated flu shots every year. They have new formulas that help fight off the new strains of the virus. 

What’s In a Flu Vaccine

Aside from the same germs that cause the illness, there are other ingredients in a flu vaccine, such as aluminum salts, that help develop a stronger immune system in response to the viruses in the shot. It also contains antibiotics that keep the bacteria from growing in the vaccine while in production or storage. 

A flu vaccine also contains chicken egg proteins because viruses usually grow in fertilized chicken eggs. It also contains formaldehyde that can kill off any other harmful germs and toxins in the formula. 

The gelatin keeps the vaccine formula from weakening or getting damaged due to extreme weather temperatures. And finally, the thimerosal in it is a preservative that keeps it uncontaminated from bacteria and fungi. 

How Safe if the Flu Vaccine

Many misconceptions surround the safety of a flu vaccine. The truth is, it’s very safe. 

One thing to remember is that although it contains the same germs that cause the flu, it’s already weakened or dead. Hence, you won’t get the flu when you get the shot, although minor side effects may be experienced for a day or two. Arm soreness is also normal following the vaccine. 

Next, no scientific evidence suggests the ingredients in a flu vaccine cause autism. Researchers and scientists have not found a link between the two. 

COVID-19 Vaccine and a Flu Shot

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), you can get both vaccines simultaneously. They help protect you and your loved ones from serious illnesses. 

It’s best to talk to your physician should you have any other questions about flu vaccines. If you have existing medical conditions, you should consult with your doctor first.

The Bottomline

These answers about a flu vaccine should help you make better decisions about the vaccination. There are many myths about it; however, if you talk to your physician about it, you’ll learn why it’s important to get one.

If you want a flu vaccine, schedule an appointment with your physician. It’s important to get vaccinated as early as possible.

Get your flu shots in Sante Fe, NM here at Aspen Medical Center. We are a locally-owned outpatient medical facility offering state-of-the-art primary and urgent care services. Call us today.