Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease involving inflammation of the skin including psoriasis along with inflammation of the joints, called arthritis. Approximately 10% of people who have psoriasis will have inflammation of their joints, in what is known as psoriatic arthritis. They don’t show up at the same time, with arthritis appearing several years after the onset of psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis patients may also experience inflammation in other areas including the cartilage, tendons, eyes, aorta, or lung lining.
About Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease, so once you have it, it is most likely going to be something you struggle with your entire life. Is it caused by an inflammation of your skin in conjunction with inflammation of your joints; this causes psoriasis and arthritis at the same time. You must have both to be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis usually appears between ages 40 and 50 and equal among men and women. They usually appear separately, with psoriasis usually coming on first, followed by arthritis several years later.
Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis doesn’t currently have a known cause though a combination of risk factors are usually involved. These factors include environmental, genetic, and immune risk factors. There are some gene markers found in many people with psoriatic arthritis, including the HLA-B27 marker that is in approximately 50% of the cases. People with abnormal immune systems are at a higher risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, such as people with autoimmune diseases like AIDS.
Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis typically begins with symptoms of psoriasis including red, itchy bumps on the skin caused by the skin’s inflammation. After months or years, symptoms of arthritis may begin to develop such as hot, painful, red, and swollen joints in the feet, ankles and knees. The discomfort is usually worse in the morning upon waking and can also occur in the spine, lower back, neck, upper back, and buttocks. There may also be pain or stiffness felt in the tendons and cartilage. Inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis may occur in other organs which lead to additional side effects such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and acne.
Diagnosing and Treating Psoriatic Arthritis
The diagnosis method for psoriatic arthritis involves a physical examination in order to find inflammation and signs of both psoriasis and arthritis. The individual must have both conditions to be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Common treatment methods for psoriatic arthritis include getting regular exercise for the arthritis and anti-inflammatory medications for the arthritis and psoriasis.