By Dr. Casey and Dr. San Filippo After carefully monitoring the developments with COVID-19…
Are you wondering whether or not hospitals and clinics are safe due to COVID-19? Has this caused you to miss important medical appointments? Or have you been putting off seeing your doctor for a non-COVID concern or going in for a skin consultation with your dermatologist because you fear you might become infected?
We completely understand how you might be concerned to visit a hospital or clinic during these uncertain times. However, you might be putting your health even more at risk by missing your routine appointments.
For instance, postponing an evaluation of a suspicious mole by a board-certified dermatologist can run the risk of that mole turning into a skin cancer.
Or maybe you have a patch of rough, scaly skin on your arm that just won’t go away no matter how much moisturizer or lotion you use. This could be actinic keratosis, which is a precancerous skin condition that has a small chance of transforming into skin cancer.
Postponing routine skin screening visits can allow skin cancers to grow undetected. Skin cancers that are not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner will continue to enlarge and evolve into a much bigger concern. On the other hand, a skin cancer or skin condition that is diagnosed early is often easily treated in the dermatology office.
As you can see, it’s always a good idea to visit a certified physician if you have a troublesome skin condition or issue — even during COVID-19.
Unfortunately, chronic illnesses, skin conditions, and infections unrelated to COVID-19 still continue during the pandemic. And while it might seem like most resources are going towards those affected by COVID-19, we’re making sure all of our patients are taken care of!
At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, we’re implementing comprehensive safety protocols and following COVID-19 safety measures to ensure that each and every one of our patients stays healthy when visiting our clinic.
Protective COVID-19 Safety Measures at the Center for Surgical Dermatology
Here are the protective measures our practice has put in place to keep patients safe from COVID-19:
- Using telehealth appointments to screen conditions and determine if an in-person appointment is necessary. This limits exposure and keeps infection risk to a minimum.
- Performing daily temperature checks for all staff members and patients.
- Asking screening questions for all patients, staff, and visitors who enter the building.
- Rescheduling patients who exhibit symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Limiting provider schedules.
- Reducing waiting room capacity and letting patients wait in their vehicles to minimize person-to-person contact. When your room is ready, you’ll get a call on your cell phone telling you it’s time to come back in.
- All staff and providers are wearing protective equipment, like masks, to minimize the risk of transmission.
- Thoroughly sanitizing waiting areas and high-touch surfaces multiple times each day.
- Cleaning exam rooms after every patient according to CDC guidelines.
- Limiting visitors to those escorts required for special assistance or circumstances.
Additionally, for patient procedures, such as Mohs surgery, our office is assigning a single staff member to each patient whenever possible to reduce the risk of exposure. Overall, our goal is to keep patients safe while continuing to adequately treat skin cancers and skin conditions.
When Should You Visit a Board-Certified Dermatologist?
While it’s absolutely important to minimize your exposure and reduce your risk of infection, it’s also important to avoid neglecting your overall health and wellness by skipping important appointments and putting off seeing your doctor for an acute non-COVID concern.
If you’re experiencing any of the following skin conditions and issues below, it may be time to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Suspicious mole(s).
- Irritating rash or hives.
- New or non-healing skin growths.
- Cystic acne or painful breakouts that won’t go away with OTC medication.
- Irritating skin conditions, such as rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema.
- Abnormal hair loss.
- Irregular skin lesions, such as cysts, a group of warts, or painful cold sore.
- Skin infections.
Additionally, if you’re experiencing something abnormal that’s not on this list, it’s still important to get it checked out by a professional to rule out any serious condition or illness.
Staying Safe at the Center for Surgical Dermatology
Neglecting your health by skipping important appointments and putting off visiting a physician might be doing more damage than COVID-19 ever could. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to put your health first — and that includes making a necessary appointment with a doctor when you have a serious, non-COVID concern.
If you’re ready to visit a board-certified dermatologist to address a troublesome skin condition, we’re here to help. And rest assured, we’re putting your safety first with our protective COVID-19 safety measures and protocols!
Furthermore, if you have questions about our procedures, please give us a call, and we will give you the most up-to-date information about how our practice can safely support your skin needs.