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Psoriatic Arthritis

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
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Arthritis is a group of diseases that makes your joints hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis.

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis typically causes red bumps or patches covered with silvery, shiny scales. Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease that causes raised, red patches on your skin. The raised... read more Psoriasis is a skin condition causing flare-ups of red, scaly rashes and thickened, pitted nails.

  • Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint, but it usually develops in the spine, hands, and feet

  • Doctors look at your symptoms to tell if you have psoriatic arthritis

  • Medicines can sometimes help

What causes psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis happens when your body's immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more (organs and cells that fight infection) attacks your joints and tissues around them. Doctors don’t know exactly why this happens.

You're more likely to get psoriatic arthritis if someone in your family has it.

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

You may have one or more of the following:

Psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis typically causes red bumps or patches covered with silvery, shiny scales. Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease that causes raised, red patches on your skin. The raised... read more Psoriasis causes a rash. The rash may appear before or after you have joint pain. You may not notice the rash if it's hidden in your scalp, navel, or creases of your skin. The skin and joint symptoms sometimes appear and disappear together, but often either the skin or the joint symptoms are worse than the other.

How can doctors tell if I have psoriatic arthritis?

Doctors can tell if you have psoriatic arthritis based on your symptoms and family history and by doing an exam. They will also do tests:

How do doctors treat psoriatic arthritis?

Doctors will prescribe medicines to control the rash and lessen the swelling in your joints. Medicines that can help psoriatic arthritis include:

When other treatments don't work, doctors may suggest surgery to replace a badly damaged joint with an artificial one.

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