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Psoriatic Arthritis

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that is associated with psoriasis. Psoriasis a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that develop silvery scales.

Psoriatic arthritis is generally mild and involves only a few joints. However, in a few people, Psoriatic arthritis is severe and affects the fingers and the spine. When the spine is affected, the symptoms are very much like those of ankylosing spondylitis.

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?  

The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known. However, people with psoriatic arthritis have other family members with psoriatic arthritis or with psoriasis.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Symptoms may vary from patient to patient. The most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:    

  • Nail abnormalities
  • Skin lesions of psoriasis
  • Joint swelling and joint pain
  • Hip pain, elbow pain, ankle pain
  • Pain and swelling at the site of attachment of tendons to bone

Can Psoriatic Arthritis be Treated?    

Yes. Treatment of psoriatic arthritis involves medication to reduce pain and swelling, patient education, physical therapy, gentle exercise, rest, heat and cold applications, and occupational therapy.In severe cases, surgery to repair or replace damaged joints will be performed. If the patient also has psoriasis, psoriasis treatment is necessary.

Types of Medicinal Treatments

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or salicylates are used to reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints. More severe arthritis requires treatment with more powerful drugs called disease modifying antirheumatic drugs . Occasionally, particularly painful joints may be injected with steroid medications. Psoriasis treatment is usually continued or started.

Complications of Psoriatic Arthritis   

The most common complication is a repeated episode of psoriatic arthritis.

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