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November 5, 2019 BlogDermatologyPsoriasis

According to current studies, more than 8 million Americans suffer from psoriasis, but what is it really? By definition, psoriasis is a condition that causes skin cells to multiply rapidly, and consequently build-up on the surface of the skin. This can cause scaly, red patches that are often itchy, painful, and sore. While the exact cause is unclear, psoriasis is thought to be related to an immune system issue with T-cells and other white blood cells, called neutrophils, in the body. T-cells normally travel through the body to defend against internal intruders, such as viruses or bacteria. But if you have psoriasis, the T-cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection, thus causing a scaly build-up of skin cells on the surface.


While it is considered a chronic condition, fortunately psoriasis can be managed through a variety of methods. Check out our top tips for managing psoriasis and its symptoms below!


  1. Avoid Stressors

While stress is never 100% avoidable, you can give your body a fighting chance and help prevent psoriasis flare-ups by staying away from certain internal and external stressors.  It’s a well-known fact that tobacco and alcohol can compromise even the healthiest of immune systems, but if you suffer from psoriasis, you’ll want to avoid that second glass of wine or after supper cigarette. Additionally, why you may not be able to avoid stress at work or home, adopting some easy stress release practices, such as yoga or meditation, may help reduce stress enough to prevent your immune system from going into overdrive.


  1. Treat Your Skin Right

Did you know bathing or showering in hot water could make your psoriasis worse? Hot water is notorious for drying out the skin and causing flare-ups. We recommend soaking or showering in lukewarm water to help prevent a painful trigger. Additionally, a lukewarm bath with epsom salts, milk, or olive oil could help relieve the painful symptoms of psoriasis. In fact, mixing a tablespoon of olive oil with your body moisturizer actually helps to seal in essential moisture, and adds an additional layer of topical protection when applied to active psoriasis breakouts.


  1. Consider Participating in a Clinical Trial

Modern medicine continues to make incredible strides in helping to manage psoriasis, with Jacksonville Center for Clinical Research on the front lines of exploring new and exciting treatments. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify for one of our clinical research studies. If you qualify for one of our clinical trials, your health will be closely monitored by our team of expert medical professionals throughout the trial.  It is an accepted statistic that people who participate in clinical trials generally improve their overall health, as they are given access to cutting edge clinical techniques and healthcare experts dedicated to their individual needs.


January 1, 2016 BlogDermatologyPsoriasis

Medical progress has made the lives of folks with autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) better than ever before.  These conditions have been extremely difficult to treat successfully in the past.  Now thanks to advancements in medicine using biological agents more people are living free of psoriasis and PsA flare ups.

Psoriasis is most commonly known for the raised, white or greyish patches that appear on the skin.  These patches can progress to thick, scale-like plaques which may harden and become cracked. The severity of psoriasis is measured both by how much psoriasis a person has on their body and how much it affects their quality of life.  For example, psoriasis can have a serious impact on one’s daily activities even if it involves a small area, such as the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory form of arthritis affecting the joints and is often accompanied by skin psoriasis.  Early diagnosis and treatment of PsA can help prevent or limit extensive joint damage that occurs in later stages of the disease.  Symptoms are similar to the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis (OA).  One way to tell the two conditions apart is determining whether the arthritis is symmetrical or not.  PsA usually affects major joints of the body symmetrically, while OA commonly affects one particular joint such as the left knee or right hip.   An accurate diagnosis may require x-rays and blood tests.  Once diagnosed an effective treatment plan may begin.

In the past, doctors could only treat psoriasis topically and with limited success.  In the 1950’s researchers discovered methotrexate, an immune suppressant, and in the 1970’s it was approved for use in patients not responding to topical treatments. This medication and others like it are still used today, however there can be many possible side effects when suppressing the immune system. Through many years of research and clinical trials, researchers have now discovered biologics.   Biologics are genetically-engineered human or animal based proteins designed to target the specific inflammatory pathways caused by psoriasis and PsA.   Because of the large molecule size and complexity of biologics, they must be injected in order to be absorbed.  Fortunately, injections are only needed once a month or every several months to be effective in most cases.  There are several biologics currently FDA approved, however because of the recent discovery and high production costs, biologics can be extremely expensive through insurance.

At Encore Research Group, we are currently investigating many new and exciting biologic drugs for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. We are actively looking for qualified participants in North East Florida. Research provides participants with many great benefits. Some advantages of participating in a study include cutting-edge therapies, study-related medication at no cost and a stipend for time and travel.  If you are interested in learning more about research, or our current studies please visit our website for more information.  Without participants today, there won’t be new medications tomorrow!





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As a proven clinical research organization, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of and maximize the value for our research volunteers. Qualified doctors, nurses and study coordinators on staff provide support and care throughout the research trial. Participation is always voluntary. We appreciate the time and effort that research volunteers bring to this important process.

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