Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that usually affects people suffering from psoriasis, an auto-immune disease that affects the skin. According to statistics, around 7.5 million people in the United States are suffering from psoriasis and about 30% of them are likely to develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis will affect any part of your body, even your fingertips. Currently, there is no cure for this condition and all the existing treatment aims at controlling the symptoms of the condition and preventing the damage to the joints. If you do not take immediate treatment for psoriatic arthritis, it may lead to disability.
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Psoriatic arthritis will get worse over time if not treated properly. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may improve sometimes and it also goes into remission and you will feel better for some time. Then the symptoms will come back all of a sudden at it will get worse.
Some of the common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:
- Swollen joints
- Swollen toes and fingers
- Painful tendons and muscles
- Scaly skin patches
- Morning stiffness
- Spinal pain
Swollen fingers and toes are often seen in people suffering from psoriatic arthritis. It may develop even before you have swelling on your joints. Severe pain in the joints and the scaly skin patches are also very common.
Types Of Psoriatic Arthritis
There are five types of psoriatic arthritis. The first one is the symmetric psoriatic arthritis, which affects the joints on both sides of your body. More than half of the people suffering from psoriatic arthritis have this condition. The next type is the asymmetric psoriatic arthritis. This type of psoriatic arthritis affects the joints on one side of the body.
Distal interphalangeal predominant psoriatic arthritis affects the joints that are closer to your nails. About 10 percent of the people suffering from psoriatic arthritis have this condition. The next type is the one that affects your spine. The condition is known as spondylitis psoriatic arthritis. The most severe form of psoriatic arthritis is psoriatic arthritis mutilans that affects your hand and feet.
Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
The treatment for psoriatic arthritis aims at improving the symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are used for reducing the pain and swelling in the joints. Another group of drugs that are used for preventing joint damage and to slow down the progression of psoriatic arthritis is the DMARDs. Steroids and immunosuppressants are also widely used for psoriatic arthritis treatment.