What are the Different Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2018
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Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are numerous, and they may vary widely from one patient to another. Some of the more common symptoms are joint pain and swelling, especially in the fingers and toes, as well as fatigue and tendinitis. Pain in the lower back and scaly blemishes on elbows, scalp and knees are typical psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

The onset of the disease usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and it is usually a lifelong condition, though periods of remission may occur. The main characteristic that separates psoriatic arthritis from other forms of arthritis is its connection to the skin disease psoriasis, a common disorder that causes red, scaly patches to form on the skin. Approximately 10% of people who suffer from psoriasis may also develop joint inflammation. When this happens, the psoriasis is generally classified as the disease psoriatic arthritis. Another difference between psoriatic arthritis and other types of arthritis is that the first can sometimes cause inflammation of internal organs, such as the heart, lungs, and liver.

Persons suffering psoriatic arthritis symptoms are usually treated by two different types of doctors. A dermatologist will address the skin condition, while a rheumatologist will treat the patient for arthritis. The types of medications will depend on the patient's overall health and the severity of the disease. Typically, treatment will include a combination of therapies and drugs to help diminish psoriatic arthritis symptoms.


Joint pain and swelling are common in most types of arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis. This swelling is caused by water retention in and around the joint. In some cases, swelling is the result of cartilage degeneration. This degeneration may cause bones around the joint to rub together. Anti–inflammatory medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen are generally prescribed to help alleviate both these conditions, though they have no noticeable effect on the skin lesions.

Though there is no cure for psoriasis, many treatments exist that may minimize the effects of the disease. Cortisone creams applied directly to the affected areas are generally considered the most effective. Ultraviolet light as well as full sunlight may diminish skin lesions. Dermatologists routinely prescribe ultraviolet light therapy combined with psoralens, which are drugs that make the skin more sensitive to light.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 40 million people suffer from some type of arthritis. Researchers are looking for new types of treatment to diminish the most damaging effects. One of those treatments is antibiotic therapy, which was developed due to the discovery of a possible link between arthritis and bacterial infection. The most promising drug is considered to be an antibiotic called minocycline, a member of the tetracycline family.



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