Psoriatic arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis


Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic disease which causes red patches silvery scales on the skin. It can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in and around the joints.

 Psoriatic arthritis affects 3 in 10 people who already have psoriasis. Some people may develop psoriatic arthritis without developing psoriasis first and also there are cases where people with psoriatic arthritis never have the red patches of psoriasis.


 Psoriatic arthritis can be of two types which include:

  • Oligoarticular: This is the type of PSA that affects only fewer joints and it is less severe.
  • Polyarticular: this is the type of PSA that affects more than four joints and it is more severe.


  • Scaly, inflamed patches of skin often on the scalp, elbow or knee which is a typical characteristic of psoriasis.
  • Stiffness, pain, and swelling of joints.
  • Fatigue
  • Nail changes such as pitting or separation from nail bed
  • Inflammation of the digestive tract which occur in some people.
  • Inflammation of the eye which can cause pain and redness of the eye (uveitis) in addition to blurry vision.
  • Stiffness and tiredness in the mornings.
  • Toes and fingers becomes swollen
  • Areas over the tendons becomes painful , swollen and tender

Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis occurs when the immune system begins to misbehave and then begin to attack healthy cells and tissue. When this occurs there will be an inflammation of the joint as excessive production of skin cells.

Factor that triggers this immune malfunction includes:

  • Genes: Many people with psoriatic arthritis have a family history of the disease. That is it affected a family member it is likely to affect the person.
  • Infection: Infection that attacks your immune system can trigger off the psoriatic arthritis.

Risk factors of Psoriatic arthritis

  • Psoriasis:  A person with psoriasis has a greater chance of developing psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis tends to develop 5 to 10 years after psoriasis is diagnosed.
  • Family history: it has been discovered that those who have a family history of skin or joint disease are at a high risk of developing psoriatic arthritis.
  • Age: Anybody at any age can develop psoriatic arthritis but it usually affects more of people between 30 and 50.

 Diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis

  • The doctor will examine your joint and see if you feel pain, tenderness, swellings, or warmth also inquire if any of your family members have psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or other autoimmune disease.

Medical tests: You may be required to go through tests such as:

  1. Imaging tests such as X- rays, MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds can be carried out to know the true nature of the disease.
  2. Blood tests will also be carried out to see if their other kinds of arthritis present and o see if there are signs of inflammation.
  3. Fluids from your joints or samples of skin will be taken and examined.


The treatments for psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS): These drugs can reduce or stop pain, swelling and the damage to tissues and joints.
  • Non Steroidal anti –inflammation drugs (NSAIDs): These are drugs that can be obtained over the counter like Ibuprofen and Naproxen.
  • Immune suppressants: These are drugs that can stop the immune system from malfunctioning which caused the psoriatic arthritis
  • UV light:  This is a therapy that can help people with severe psoriasis which has seriously affected their skin
  • Biologics: This medication blocks a protein that causes the inflammation unlike DMARDS that will weaken the entire immune system.
  • Steroids: Steroids can be used to control inflammation. Due to its ability to make skin rash become worse doctors do not use it often.  When steroids are used for a long time to treat PSA there will be severe side effects such as brittle bones, hypertension, diabetes, weight gain.
  • Surgery: Surgery can be used to treat a very severe joint damage by using a metal or plastic to replace a damaged joint.

Other things to do for quick recovery may include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce the intake of alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight

By Ekene Arodiogbu

Ekene Arodiogbu is the CEO of Excedel World. He loves to listen to good music and watch movies in his spare time.

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