Solving Psoriasis

Treating the patient is as important as treating the disease.

Like many other Americans, Elizabeth Roe knows what it’s like to have few resources growing up. As a native Floridian, recreation for her as a kid was going to the beach. Unfortunately, she paid a high price for spending so much time in the sun.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Now that her psoriasis is being managed, Elizabeth feels even better about herself.

“Back then, there wasn’t any sunscreen, and I have very fair skin, so I burned a lot,” she shares. “I got skin cancer from the sun damage.”
It was the skin cancer that first prompted Elizabeth to see Jason L. Welch, MSN, NP-C, a certified nurse practitioner specializing in dermatology. She initially saw Jason when he worked at a dermatology practice in New Smyrna Beach, but she followed him when he left to help start a new practice, Blue Ocean Dermatology, in Port Orange.
“At first, my insurance didn’t cover Jason, so I stayed at the old office and saw the new doctor, but I wasn’t happy,” Elizabeth reports. “At that point, I found out where Jason moved and started to see him even though my insurance didn’t cover it. I liked him that much.”
About ten years ago, Elizabeth began getting the scaly plaques of psoriasis all over her body. Her skin’s reaction to the disorder was intense, uncomfortable and unsightly.
“The psoriasis was awful. I had the scales and plaques pretty much everywhere,” she says. “It got to the point I could barely move my arms; it was like they’d stick to my sides. It was so itchy and painful. It was also ugly and embarrassing, so I tried to cover it. I wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
“I was embarrassed to have people look at my skin, and you could tell they were repulsed by the looks on their faces. I felt uncomfortable but didn’t really feel bad about myself or lose confidence.”
Jason first tried treating Elizabeth’s psoriasis with topical creams, but they had limited effect on the condition. He then opted to treat her with an injectable biologic, a medication used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
“I was confident Jason would find a treatment that worked for me if he just kept trying,” states Elizabeth. “I trusted him to come up with something, and the biologic totally cleared up my psoriasis.”

Late Onset

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition caused by the abnormal functioning of the body’s immune system. Skin symptoms occur when the immune system becomes overactive and begins generating immature skin cells that start piling up on each other, creating scales and plaques that are dry, itchy, and can be unsightly.
When psoriasis affects large portions of the visible skin, sufferers may become very self-conscious of their appearance. Like Elizabeth, they might wear clothes to try to hide their skin. In some cases, psoriasis that is very visible, such as on the face, can lead to serious self-image and emotional problems.
“Sometimes, people develop a negative body image and low self-esteem because of the visual disturbances caused by psoriasis,” cautions Jason. “Some people even become depressed. They start withdrawing from social contact because they don’t want others to see their skin.

“I didn’t feel bad about myself because of the psoriasis, but now that I look better, I feel even better about myself.” – Elizabeth

“Another problem with psoriasis is that people can go most of their lives without symptoms and then, all of a sudden, when they’re thirty-five or forty, they start developing it. If they have jobs that frequently put them in front of other people, the appearance of the scales can be devastating.
“People need to know that dermatologists can get psoriasis identified and under control.”
At Blue Ocean Dermatology, the skin specialists have many treatment tools for psoriasis at their disposal. They have one of the area’s only specialty lasers for treating the disorder. The laser is especially useful for the condition affecting the scalp, where it’s difficult to affectively target steroid creams.
“We also have a narrowband UVB light box that’s effective for psoriasis,” notes Jason. “In addition, our staff has expertise in the many biologics, and we stay on top of the literatures and the current best practices for treating psoriasis.”

Perfect Situation

As it turned out, following Jason to Blue Ocean Dermatology was an extremely fortunate decision for Elizabeth. When topical psoriasis treatments failed, Jason found a treatment that was effective on her symptoms. She is very pleased with her outcome.
“Since I started the biologic, my situation is perfect,” raves Elizabeth. “My skin is completely clear now. And with the psoriasis cleared up, I feel better because it doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Being without the pain and itchiness is just part of the excellent results Elizabeth achieved. She is also happy to once again have skin that looks healthy. She’s grateful to Jason and his staff.
“I didn’t feel bad about myself because of the psoriasis, but now that I look better, I feel even better about myself,” she relates. “I don’t have to worry about how people are going to react to seeing my skin. I don’t have to hide it, which makes things a lot easier for me.
“Jason is very concerned about his patients,” she adds. “I followed him because I trusted him. The staff is fantastic. Everyone in that office is great. They’re very kind and welcoming. I recommend Jason and Blue Ocean Dermatology to everyone.”

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    • Blue Ocean Dermatology

      Blue Ocean Dermatology provides outstanding medical and aesthetic dermatology to people of all ages. All services are performed with integrity and honesty, and with high regard to humane concerns.... Read More

    • Nitra H. Welch, MSN, NP-C

      Nitra H. Welch, MSN, NP-C, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Troy State University in Troy, AL. She was an ICU nurse for eight years. She earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing and her family nurse practi... Read More

    • Jason L. Welch, MSN, NP-C

      Jason L. Welch, MSN, NP-C, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Florida State University in Tallahassee.  He was an ICU nurse for seven years. He earned his Master of Science degree in Nursing and family nurse pract... Read More

    • Stanley N. Katz, MD

      Stanley N. Katz, MD, obtained his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ) in 1974. He has since played vital roles in a broad range of medical disciplines, his specialization being achieved in dermatology. With a diverse b... Read More