Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis linked with psoriasis, a chronic skin and
nail disease. Psoriasis causes red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails.
Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in symptoms and joint
swelling (inflammation). But it tends to affect fewer joints than RA. And it does not
make the typical RA antibodies. The arthritis of psoriatic arthritis comes in 5
Doctors don't know what causes psoriatic arthritis. But factors such as immunity,
genes, and the environment may play a role.
psoriasis symptoms may start before or after the arthritis. Psoriasis causes red, scaly
rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. About 3 in 20 to 3 in 10 people with psoriasis
may develop psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may include:
The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can look like other health conditions. Make sure to see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Psoriatic arthritis is easier to confirm if you already have psoriasis. If you don’t
have the skin symptoms, diagnosis is more difficult. The process starts with a health
history and a physical exam. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. You
may have blood tests to check the following:
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on the severity of your condition.
the skin condition and the joint inflammation are treated. Early diagnosis and
treatment helps prevent joint damage. Some medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis
Other treatment may include:
condition may damage joints enough to change your activity level. Lack of activity can
lead to stiff joints and muscle weakness. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause tiredness
(fatigue) and low red blood cell count (anemia). You are more likely to develop:
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. But you can reduce your symptoms by sticking
to your treatment plan. Manage pain with medicine, acupuncture, and meditation. Get
enough exercise. Good exercises include yoga, swimming, walking, and bicycling. Work
with a physical or occupational therapist. He or she can suggest devices to help you in
your daily tasks.
your healthcare provider know if your symptoms get worse or you have new symptoms.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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