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What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Apr 03, 2017

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes the inflammation of joints. It is usually developed from psoriasis, a condition that is characterized by scaly red patches of skin on the body. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease that develops in people who have a suppressed or a weak immune system. In some people it is mild and presents itself occasionally causing joint pain. But in some, it is severe and a continuous pain in the joints is observed. Though usually developed from psoriasis, it may also occur in people who do not suffer from psoriasis or it may present itself before any symptoms of psoriasis appear. It generally affects the large joints especially those in the toes and fingers.

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis usually are accompanied by the symptoms of psoriasis. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are very similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. They are:

  • Swollen fingers and toes those are extremely painful. It can also lead to deformed and swollen hands and feet.
  • Painful muscles and tendons in the ankle or the feet.
  • Development of spondylitis, a condition that causes major back pain, usually the lower back, due to the inflammation of the joints between the vertebral columns.

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where your immune system starts targeting the healthy tissues and parts of the body with an intent to destroy them, the cause of which is unknown. Certain risk factors are known to lead to psoriatic arthritis. They are listed below.

  • Psoriasis
  • Genetic factors
  • Family history of psoriatic arthritis
  • Old age

If not treated in time, psoriatic arthritis may worsen and progress to arthritis mutilans, a very painful condition which is more often than not disabling. It leads to the destruction of small bones that present in your hands and fingers.

A complete cure for psoriatic arthritis is still unavailable and hence all the treatments offered are symptomatic. Treatments usually include prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help in suppressing the pain in the joints. Other treatments include drugs that can slow down the development of arthritis, known as Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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