What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Unless you suffer from psoriasis, you never need to worry about developing psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is a medical condition that affects the skin. Those who have psoriasis develop bright red or pink patches on the skin. Those patches can develop scaly patches on top of the skin, which almost resemble fish scales. These scales are often gray, white or silver. Psoriatic arthritis can develop before the psoriasis or serve as an early symptom of the psoriasis. This type of arthritis affects the joints. Some patients notice that they have joint problems, which indicate the psoriatic arthritis and days later find an outbreak of psoriasis.

Like other types of arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis typically goes through periods of remission. You can experience severe joint pain for several weeks, only to have the symptoms disappear for one month or longer. Psoriatic arthritis presents as stiffness in a specific joint, followed by swelling of the joint and later pain. You might notice that your symptoms present in a different way, such as pain followed by stiffness and swelling. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any part of the body, including the back or hands.

Even though psoriatic arthritis can occur on any part of the body, most patients note some similarities in pain or symptoms. The most common shared symptom is swelling of the toes or fingers. You might notice that your fingers swell to two or three times the size of your normal fingers. Psoriatic arthritis can also cause some deformities of the joints, especially if you do not seek treatment for the condition. Patients with psoriatic arthritis also have pain in the back, especially around the lower back or the small of the back. This pain occurs because the psoriatic arthritis settles into the spinal column.

Depending on where the Psoriatic Arthritis is in your body, you might also suffer from foot pain. Most patients note that the pain is worse on the bottom of the foot or on the heel. Psoriatic arthritis tends to settle in areas where you have psoriasis flare-ups. For example, if you typically have flare-ups on your arms, you might notice pain and swelling in the shoulders or elbows. Psoriatic arthritis occurs around the joints located near your flare-ups. With proper treatment, you can reduce the outbreaks of your arthritis and reduce the flare-ups of your psoriasis. Talk to your doctor for more information on the treatments available to you.

 

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