What Is Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is a disease in which scaly red and white patches develop on the skin, it is caused by the body's immune system going into overdrive to attack the skin. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis, when the immune system attacks the joints as well, causing inflammation.

Like Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis symptoms flare and subside, vary from person to person, and may affect just one joint, several joints or multiple joints. The signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis often resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases cause joints to become painful, swollen and warm to the touch.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis often appear separately. In fact, the skin disease precedes the psoriatic arthritis in nearly 80% of patients. However, the psoriatic arthritis may precede the psoriasis in up to 15% of patients.

Psoriatic arthritis usually appears in people between the ages of 30 to 50, but can begin as early as childhood. Men and women are equally at risk. Genes, the immune system and environmental factors are all believed to play a role in the onset of the disease.

There is no cure for Psoriatic arthritis. Early diagnosis may lead to less joint damage and better long-term outcomes. Most people with psoriatic arthritis can lead active and productive lives with the help of the right medication, surgery (in some cases), exercise, rest and joint protection techniques.

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