Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. With psoriatic arthritis, the immune system targets the joints and the skin. Most often, those who have psoriatic arthritis have dry, scaly, itchy, or painful lesions (psoriasis) on their skin, but it is possible to have psoriatic arthritis (PsA) without any noticeable skin changes.

Types of Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis Symmetric PsA is the most common type, affecting half of those who have the condition. With symmetric PsA, joints on both sides of the body are affected equally. An arthritic left knee would be matched with an arthritic knee on the right.
  • Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis Both sides of the body are affected unevenly with asymmetric PsA. A person with this type, for example, may have arthritis in their left elbow but not the right. Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis occurs approximately in 35 percent of those diagnosed.
  • Distal Psoriatic Arthritis The fingers and toes, specifically the small end joints, are most affected by distal psoriatic arthritis. Often there will be changes in the fingernails and toenails. Changes include pitting, spots, scaling, and lifting from the nail bed.
  • Spondylitis Psoriatic Arthritis Inflammation of the spine and the neck characterizes this type of psoriatic arthritis. Most often the lower back and sacroiliac joints are also inflamed and painful.
  • Arthritis Mutilans Psoriatic Arthritis Arthritis mutilans is the rarest form of Psoriatic Arthritis. Mutilans PsA can cause deformities in the small joints of the fingers and the toes and destroy the joint completely. This type only occurs in 5% of those who have the condition.

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Early diagnosis is crucial for the best outcome. Medications are available to reduce inflammation, pain, and decrease the risk of joint damage, which can occur within the first six months. Anyone with symptoms should see a doctor promptly. Most with psoriatic arthritis will have skin symptoms prior to having other symptoms.

  • Psoriasis
  • Fatigue
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Pain and swelling over tendons
  • Swollen toes and fingers
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Fungus-like changes in the fingernails and toenails
  • Red, painful eyes

Top 5 Routes for "Psoriatic Arthritis"

  1. This is an informative article on the topic of psoriatic arthritis. The article contains a description of the condition, plus additional information about the different types. The article also discusses psoriatic arthritis in children and services available for those facing chronic disability.
  2. Posted by the Arthritis foundation, this article describes the condition and details the five different types. Links to additional information, support communities, and a link to a newsletter are also on the website.
  3. The This is a brief article about the basics of psoriatic arthritis. The reader will also find articles written by people who have PsA. Some of these articles have humorous titles; some are more serious. There are a lot of helpful, inspirational articles submitted.
  4. MedicalNewsToday This article contains information on alternative treatments for psoriatic arthritis including tea tree oil, oats, and vinegar. The reader will also find information about the use of supplements and alternative therapies. There is a notification on the site cautioning that anyone suspecting psoriatic arthritis should consult their health care professional. These treatments are not suggested to replace traditional medical care. Alternative treatments discussed including massage, acupressure, and acupuncture. There are also diet recommendations for the reduction of inflammation.
  5. This is a peer to peer information site. People diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis can create an account and discuss life with PsA. The website offers a guide for the newly diagnosed. There are topics listed to choose from and a link to research news.

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