Psoriatic arthritis

Alternative Names

Arthritis – psoriatic

Definition of Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an that is often associated with psoriasis of the skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that causes red patches on the body. About 1 in 20 people with psoriasis will develop arthritis with the skin condition. In most cases, psoriasis comes before the arthritis.

Symptoms

The arthritis may be mild and involve only a few joints, particularly those at the end of the fingers or toes. In some people the disease may be severe and affect many joints, including the spine. When the spine is affected, the symptoms are stiffness, burning, and pain, most often in the lower spine and sacrum.

Signs and tests

During a physical examination, the health care provider will look for:

Treatment

Your doctor may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or salicylates to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints.

Expectations (prognosis)

The course of the disease is often mild and affects only a few joints. A few people will have severe psoriatic arthritis in their hands, feet, and spine that causes deformities. In those with severe arthritis, treatment can still be successful in relieving the pain.

Review

Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/13/2010

Psoriasis, guttate on the arms and chest
Psoriasis, guttate on the cheek

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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