Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that affects millions of people who are having psoriasis which is an skin disease which cause red, scaly rash, on elbows, knees, ankles, feet, hands and other areas. This psoriatic arthritis is an auto immune disease means our immune system attacks the healthy tissues by mistake. If we don’t treat this psoriatic arthritis the inflammation that comes along with it can damage joints and tissues.

psoriatic arthritis

This is one of the chronic autoimmune disease where there will be inflammation of skin and joints. This is common skin condition affecting 2% of Caucasian population in United States. The onset of this disease generally occurs in fourth and fifth decade. Males and females both are affected equally.


There are five types of psoriatic arthritis, based on the parts which are affected and also the severity of the inflammation. They are:

  • Symmetric psoriatic arthritis: This affects the same joints on both sides of the body, usually in symmetrical pairs, such as both knees, wrists. The symptoms can range from mild to disabling.
  • Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis: This can affect any joint not usually symmetric joints. This often occurs to fingers and toes and gives them a sausage- like appearance and usually mild and may be severe in some.
  • Distal interphalangeal predominant (DIP): Distal interphalangeal predominant psoriatic arthritis is often confused with osteoarthritis and it involves distal joints fingers and toes.
  • Spondylitis: This is an inflammation of the spinal column and it may cause stiffness in the neck, lower back, spinal vertebrae and pelvic region. This makes the movement very difficult.
  • Arthritis multilans: This is least common form of psoriatic arthritis, but most severe. This causes degeneration and deformity. Usually small joints in fingers and toes which are close to nails are involved and also affect the neck and lower back region.


Most of the people have psoriasis for years before they develop psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms include:

  • Swollen, painful, hot, red joints in knee, ankles, feet.
  • Swollen fingers or toes that appear like sausages
  • Joint stiffness that is worse in mornings
  • Pitted nails(Tiny dents and ridges on nails)
  • Nails separating from nail bed sometimes entire nail separates from nail bed This separated part may be opaque with white, yellow or green tint.
  • Lower back pain and shoulder pain
  • Enthesitis is an inflammation where muscle joins the bone as like the Achilles tendon behind the heel which hurt while walking and climbing stairs.
  • Tendinitis
  • Fatigue
  • Costochondritis which is an inflammation of chest wall and cartilage that connects the ribs to breastbone.


This psoriatic arthritis occurs when body immune system begin to attack healthy cells and tissues. This abnormal immune response causes inflammation in joints as well as overproduction of skin cells.

Both the genetic and environmental factors play a role. Researchers have developed some genetic markers that appear to be associated with psoriatic arthritis. Physical trauma or any viral and bacterial infection may trigger this psoriatic arthritis.


*Having psoriasis before is one of the risk factor. About 10-30 % of people with psoriasis get psoriatic arthritis. It affects both men and women equally

*Your Age: Usually affects people between 30-50.

* Family history: 40% of people with psoriatic arthritis have family history of skin or joint disease.


  • Closely examine joints for signs of swelling or tenderness
  • Check fingernails for pitting, flaking and other abnormalities
  • Press on soles of feet and around your heels to find tender areas

No single test can confirm diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. but some tests can rule out causes of joint pain such as gout.


  • X-rays
  • MRI ( Magnetic resonance imaging)


  • Rheumatoid factor: RF is an antibody that is present in blood of people with RA, But it is not usually in blood of people with psoriatic arthritis.
  • Joint fluid test: By using a needle, a sample of fluid is removed from the affected joint. The uric acid crystals in the joint fluid indicate gout than psoriatic arthritis.


  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Extra weight
  • Infection
  • Not taking medication properly
  • Injury to the skin like sunburns


Having this psoriatic arthritis there is more chance to develop other conditions are:

  • Cancer: The cancers such as lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Such as heart attack or stroke.
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Eye inflammation and vision problems
  • Gout
  • Joint damage
  • Metabolic syndrome

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