What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease characterized by red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. The disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in symptoms, characterized by joint inflammation. However, psoriatic arthritis tends to affect fewer joints than rheumatoid arthritis and does not produce the typical rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. The arthritis associated with psoriatic arthritis comes in five forms including the following:
- arthritis that affects the small joints in the fingers and/or toes
- asymmetrical arthritis of the joints in the extremities
- symmetrical polyarthritis, a type of arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis
- arthritis mutilans, a rare type of arthritis that destroys and deforms joints
- psoriatic spondylitis, arthritis of the sacroiliac sac (in the lower back) and the spine
What causes psoriatic arthritis?
Although the cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, factors such as immunity, genetics, and the environment may play a role.
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis:
Specific treatment for psoriatic arthritis will be determined by your physician based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the condition
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, and therapies
- expectation for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference