Aspen Medical Center Blog

Skin Cancer Prevention

urgent-care-santa-fe-skin-cancer-preventionSkin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million cases being diagnosed annually.

According to the Skin Care Foundation, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives.

The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, followed by squamous cell carcinoma. Malignant melanoma is less common but more deadly.

The incidence of melanoma appears to be increasing with an estimated 76,690 new cases in 2013. There are other less common types of skin cancer as well.

The most important risk factor for the three types of skin cancer mentioned above is sunlight which is a source of ultraviolet radiation.

There is ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Both types of UV radiation can damage the skin and lead to wrinkles, skin cancer, and other skin problems.

Other risk factors for skin cancer include severe blistering sunburns, lifetime sun exposure, and tanning. Being in the sun too often and for too long can lead to skin cancer even if you don’t burn.

So, how do we prevent skin cancer? The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun. Try to avoid outdoor activities between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If you have to be outside, seek shade.

And remember that clouds and water don’t protect you. Sixty to 80% of the sun’s rays go through clouds and can reach swimmers at least one foot below the surface of the water.

The sun’s radiation can also reflect off water, snow, and white sand. Snow reflects 85% of UV radiation. Continue reading


Hey Wonderful Santa Fe!

Come join us THIS SATURDAY (4/6) for our Grand Opening Event!

We’re going to have some delicious food, awesome gift certificates, and excellent music provided by Mr. Limn. (check him out online!

Aspen Medical Center is dedicated to serving the Santa Fe community with top-notch Urgent Care and Primary Care as well as ensuring a great time at this Grand Opening Event!

Be sure to get you and your friends here early to get your name in the hat for the gift certificate drawing!

See you this weekend!

Dr Ropp Working with Himalayan Healthcare


In March and April of 2012, I had the pleasure of working with Himalayan Healthcare.  They are an amazing non-profit organization helping poor villagers in the mountains of Nepal since 1992.  Co-founded by Anil Parajuli, they provide  medical care, education, and income generating opportunities to the rural people of Nepal.

Twice a year, they lead volunteer medical treks into the beautiful mountains of the Ganesh Himal.  Our trek lasted ten days and we trekked through snow, rain, mud, fog, and over two mountain passes, the highest of which was 13,000 feet above sea level.  We visited two remote villages along the way where we planted trees, met with villagers, and set up medical clinics where we treated hundreds of people with otherwise little or no regular access to healthcare.  It was an awesome experience.  The people were incredibly hospitable and appreciative, the scenery was incredible, and I made friendships that I hope will last a lifetime.

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Join Dr Ropp at Hearts in the Himalayas: A Documentary

Date: 3/12/2013    Event Location: Santa Fe REI     Event Fee: Free     Time: 6:00 – 7:30 PM MDT


Description: Join Himalayan Healthcare for a special screening of Hearts in the Himalayas. This award-winning documentary showcases their volunteer work over a two year period providing medical care to rural villagers in the mountainous regions of Nepal.

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Caring For The World Films announced today its film Hearts In The Himalayas has won a prestigious Award of Merit in the Women Filmmaker category from the Best Shorts Competition. The award was given for director Debi Lang’s compelling humanitarian documentary Hearts In The Himalayas which profiles the extraordinary work of Nepalese NGO Himalayan HealthCare, a driven and dedicated volunteer organization that provides medical care, education, and income generation opportunities to the people of rural Nepal.

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Seasonal Allergies

Overview and Allergy Symptoms

Chamisa, Mulberry, Pig Weed, Cedar and Juniper Allergies


An allergy is the body’s overreaction to substances that do not cause a reaction in someone who is not allergic.  These substances are called allergens.  There are many different types of allergens including mold, animal dander, dust, pollen from trees, grass, and weeds like chamisa, mulberry, pig weed, cedar and juniper.

An allergic reaction to pollen is a seasonal allergy and can be called hay fever or allergic rhinitis.  Allergy symptoms include runny nose, itching, and nasal congestion.  Seasonal allergies will affect people at the time of year when certain pollens are at their highest levels.

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Seasonal Flu or Influenza Symptoms and Treatment

Influenza or “the flu” is a contagious viral respiratory infection.  It is spread from person to person and can cause mild to severe symptoms.  Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and often include:  fever over 102°F, stuffy nose, nausea, chills and sweats, fatigue, muscle aches, cough, headache, and loss of appetite.  Flu symptoms usually last for one to two weeks.

Coughs are one of the most common symptoms of childhood illness and should not be confused with the flu. Although a cough can sound awful, it’s not usually a sign of a serious condition as long as they do not “whoop” after prolonged episodes of coughing or having fits of coughing that are so severe that they can’t stop to catch their breath. Continue reading