- Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic arthritis. In some people, it is mild, with just occasional flare ups. In other people, it is continuous and can cause joint damage if it is not treated. Early diagnosis is important to avoid damage to joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis can occur in people without skin psoriasis, particularly in those who have relatives with psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the large joints, especially those of the lower extremities, distal joints of the fingers and toes, and also can affect the back and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis.
- For most people, appropriate treatments will relieve pain, protect the joints, and maintain mobility. Physical activity helps maintain joint movement.
- Psoriatic arthritis is sometimes misdiagnosed as gout, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammation that occurs in about 15 percent of patients who have a skin rash called psoriasis. This particular arthritis can affect any joint in the body, and symptoms vary from person to person. Research has shown that persistent inflammation from psoriatic arthritis can lead to joint damage. Fortunately, available treatments for are effective for most people.
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. Children with psoriatic arthritis are also at risk to develop uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye). Approximately 15 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. At times, the arthritis can appear before the skin disorder.