Psoriatic Arthritis


What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) happens when a body’s immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal tissues within the body. Patients with PsA can experience swelling, stiffness and pain in their joints and surrounding tissues, as well as nail changes and extreme fatigue.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.

PsA, which is an inflammatory form of arthritis, affects an estimated 2.25 million Americans.*

People with psoriatic arthritis experience the red patches of skin and silvery scales that psoriasis patients experience, as well as joint pain and stiffness associated with autoimmune forms of arthritis.

PsA can affect any part of the body, including fingertips and spine, and the severity of the disease can range from mild to severe. For patients with psoriatic arthritis, disease flare ups are relatively unpredictable as they often alternate with periods of remission.

There is currently no cure for psoriatic arthritis.


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Signs and Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Onset of psoriatic arthritis is different for every patient. In some people it develops slowly with minimal symptoms; but, in others it develops quickly and painfully.

Common symptoms include:

  • General, overall fatigue
  • Pain, swelling and/or tenderness around tendons
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Morning stiffness and fatigue
  • Swollen toes and finger
  • Stiffness, pain, swelling and/or tenderness in joint(s)
  • Nail changes, often affects distal joints (those closest to the nail) in fingers or toes

Lower back, wrists, knees or ankle could also show signs and symptoms. In 85 percent of patients, psoriasis occurs before joint disease. 

Risk Factors for Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Having psoriasis is the number one risk factor for developing psoriatic arthritis
  • Research shows those with with psoriasis on their nails are more prone to develop psoriatic arthritis
  •  Family history: genetic components have shown to exist between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients.
  • Anyone can develop psoriatic arthritis, but it occurs most often in adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
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