Stop suffering from psoriasis: Get a diagnosis and effective treatment in Jacksonville, FL
Psoriasis can be both an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition and it has effective treatment options, yet many people suffer needlessly from this skin disease. In fact, according to recent studies, it is estimated that over 8 million Americans have the condition. At Southside Dermatology in Jacksonville, FL, Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Mary Pentel, is an expert at the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis. She understands how much of a negative impact this chronic condition can have on her patients’ lives and takes every step possible to help them find relief and get back to their daily life.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that causes scaly, red, raised patches to appear on the skin. Its causes aren’t entirely understood, but scientists do know that the immune system and genetics can both play a role in the development of the disease. In many people with the condition, it goes through cycles where the disease “flares up” and causes problematic symptoms for weeks to months, and then goes into remission, or a symptom-free state, for weeks to months. Typically, people have certain triggers that cause their flare-ups and these triggers are unique to each person, so an important part of the treatment of psoriasis is to determine what a person’s triggers are and how to prevent them.
Women and men are about equally likely to get psoriasis, and while it most frequently develops between the ages of 15 and 35, its onset can begin at any period of life. Psoriasis patches or lesions typically appear on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can form anywhere on the body. The patches can look like an infection or rash that may spread to others, but it is important to know that psoriasis is not contagious. Even though it cannot spread, it can cause discomfort and affect the quality of life from people who have it – in a survey, Harvard researchers found that almost 60 percent of people who have psoriasis reported that it is a large problem in their daily life.
There are no specific tests or tools that can be used to diagnose psoriasis; instead, a highly skilled dermatologist such as Dr. Pentel must examine the affected areas of skin and discuss symptoms and family history to determine whether it is psoriasis or something else. Dr. Pentel may also perform a biopsy on a small area of the affected skin, examining the tissue under a microscope to help confirm the diagnosis. There are several types of psoriasis that cause different types of symptoms, and it is important to diagnose the type of psoriasis so that the correct treatment plan can be started.
Treatment options for psoriasis
Fortunately for psoriasis sufferers, there are more treatment options available now than ever before for the condition. It can take some trial and error to find the right treatment for you, but Dr. Pentel is committed to working with her patients to determine their triggers and eliminate their symptoms. Treatment options that may be available include:
- Topical treatments are creams or ointments that are applied directly to the skin; these are usually the first types of treatments that dermatologists recommend to patients who have been recently diagnosed with psoriasis
- Light therapy, also called phototherapy, is a relatively simple treatment with few side effects; it involves using special lights to systematically expose the affected areas of skin to ultraviolet light, which can reduce symptoms
- Systemic treatments are medicines that are administered either orally or by injection, and are usually used in moderate to severe cases
- Biologic drugs, also called biologics, can be used in moderate to severe cases of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis; these are derived from biological (living) materials, are given by IV infusion or injections, and are usually reserved for when other types of treatments have not worked
Schedule a consultation at Southside Dermatology today!
You may have been living with the uncomfortable symptoms of psoriasis for many years, but you can begin your road to recovery today by calling Southside Dermatology to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mary Pentel. She will conduct a thorough examination of your skin and talk one-on-one with you to learn about your symptoms, triggers, and treatment preferences to determine the best course of action. At Southside Dermatology, you will find more than a dermatologist’s office – you will find a team of compassionate, friendly professionals who are devoted to helping you feel better. Call us today at (904) 880-0622 to schedule your appointment at our office, conveniently located in Jacksonville, FL.