What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic (sore-EE-AA-tick) arthritis causes pain and swelling in some joints and scaly skin patches on some areas of the body. It is related to the skin condition psoriasis.

What Are the Symptoms?

About 95% of those with psoriatic arthritis have swelling injoints outside the spine, and more than 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have nail lesions. The course of psoriatic arthritis varies, with most doing reasonably well.

Symptoms include:

Silver or grey scaly spots on the scalp, elbows, knees and/or lower end of the spine.

Pitting of fingernails/toenails

Pain and swelling in one or more joints

Swelling of fingers/toes that gives them a “sausage” appearance.

What Causes It?

The cause is not yet known. It may be partly inherited and environment might play a role.

How Is It Diagnosed?

May involve X-rays, blood tests and joint fluid tests.

Treatment Options

Skin care

Light treatment (UVB or PUVA)

Corrective cosmetics

Medications: glucocorticoids, NSAIDs, DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) such as methotrexate, sulfasalazine, gold, cyclosporine



Heat and cold


Surgery (rarely)


Who Is At Risk?

Psoriatic arthritis affects men and women of all races and usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 50, but can occur at any age.

More Information About Psoriatic Arthritis

Resources and Suggestions

Visit Your Arthritis Store to request the free Psoriatic

Arthritis brochure.

National Psoriasis Foundation

6600 SW 92nd Ave., #300

Portland, OR 97223

1-800-723-9166 1-800-723-9166

503-244-7404 503-244-7404



http://www.arthritis.org/AFStore/singleproduct.asp? idproduct=3331&idcat=8


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