Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic condition that combines the symptoms of arthritis, such as swollen and sore joints, with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes itchy, scaly red patches to appear on the skin.
There are five types of psoriatic arthritis, including:
- Asymmetric PsA: This affects a joint or joints on only one side of the body. Asymmetric PsA is generally mild and often affects the knee, hip, fingers or toes.
- Symmetric PsA: This is the most common type of PsA and affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
- Distal PsA: Distal PsA involves the joints closest to the fingers and toes. Along with the common symptoms associated with arthritis, distal PsA may change the way the nails look, such as pitting, discoloration, and lifting from the nailbed.
- Spondylitis PsA: This type of PsA involves the spine, causing movement to be very painful.
- Psoriatic arthritis mutilans: This is a severe type of PsA that usually damages the small joints and tissues in the ends of the hands and feet.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis:
The most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:
- Swollen fingers and toes
- Morning stiffness
- Painful muscles and tendons
- Scaly skin patches
- Nail pitting
- Low back pain
- Tenderness, pain and swelling
- Reduced range of motion
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis:
Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means it occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake. This faulty immune response is what causes inflammation that triggers joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
Possible risk factors include:
- Family history
- Having psoriasis
Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis:
There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but treatment focuses on controlling inflammation in the affected joints. Common treatment options may include:
- Medications – NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
- Topical treatments – Anthralin, calcitriol, steroid creams, salicylic acid, and moisturizers.
- Systemic medications – Biologic therapy and immunosuppressants.
- Light therapy – UVA and UVB light
At ForCare Medical Center, we can help you manage your symptoms caused by psoriatic arthritis and find relief today. Contact ForCare Medical Center today to schedule your appointment.