An Aug. 9, 2012 article in the New York Times pointed out substantial increase in the price of a number of commonly prescribed treatments for skin conditions. Of course, it's hardly news that the increasingly high price of medicines and medical treatments can be all but impossible for working people to bear. However, as many of the patients being treated by pathologist Dr. Rahim Karjoo know too well from personal experience, sufferers of the illness known as Morgellons disease can find themselves in a special bind.
After all, it's one thing to pay high costs for a treatment that may provide some relief. It's another thing for the victims of the disease marked by what appear to be fibers around the skins. Sufferers have found that conventional treatments have proven largely ineffective and most conventional doctors are highly skeptical of the illness's actual existence. Some physicians have even been known to label Morgellons patients as delusional or suffering from drug addiction or serious mental health issues.
According to Dr. Karjoo, however, Morgellons is in no way a delusion; it is a granulomatous skin disease caused by silicone, but in the form of implants and from contact with the skin or other body parts. This is not without some precedent, it appears. Dr. Karjoo notes that the FDA recently has issued a warning about the use of silicone mesh used for hernia repair.
In addition, Dr. Karjoo cites skin products, medication, vitamins, food, and more products, which Dr. Karjoo has linked with the toxicity of silica in humans for two decades. Doctors may have doubts, but the painful and sometimes disfiguring rashes appear to be all too real to patients. The situation can become financially devastating if the sufferer does not have medical insurance, and expensive skin creams are not helping.
Many patients, however, feel they have found a ray of hope in the Morgellons disease treatment provided by Dr. Karjoo. Dr. Karjoo is a pioneer in the exploration of this syndrome who has taken a serious look at Morgellons. He is now convinced that the illness is itself misnamed - many are now using the term "Karjoo phenomenon" - and that the cause is entirely misunderstood. By getting to the root of the illness, Dr. Karjoo aims to alleviate his patients' need to spend large amounts of money paying for treatments prescribed by other physicians that are both ridiculously expensive and of limited or no usefulness.
"It's actually very tragic," said Dr. Karjoo. "The suffering of people experiencing this condition is often quite extreme. The financial stress caused by having to pay enormous prices for treatments that don't work only compounds the problems - this kind of stress is never good for a person's health. I only wish some of my patients had been able to find effective treatment sooner."
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