What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis, PsA is a type of arthritis but is inflammatory in nature. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immunity attacks the skin and causes scaly red patches. People who have psoriasis can develop this type of arthritis which leads to stiff and swollen joints. Psoriasis location and symptoms vary from one person to another and if not treated by a dermatologist, can affect the joints and damage the tissues. There are two types of psoriatic arthritis:
- Oligoarticular which is a milder form
- Polyarticular which is a more severe form
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
PsA symptoms vary from one person to another and can be mild or severe. The symptoms also depend on the type of PsA you suffer from and sometimes it goes to remission and you have no signs of this condition at all. Generally, this inflammatory condition manifests itself as:
- Swollen toes and fingers
- Stiffness in the joints in the morning
- Tender joints on one or both sides of the body.
- Skin patches are red and scaly and get worse when the joints are inflamed
- Scalp and skin becomes scaly
- Painful tendons and muscles
- Eye Redness and/or pain
- Nail gets separated from the bed
- Weakness in the hips, feet, knees, elbow, and ankles
- Can lead to deformation and shortening of fingers and toes
Who is at Risk?
Psoriatic arthritis risk factors are:
- People who have a family member or relative with psoriasis.
- People who have psoriasis which is active or dormant.
- Anxiety, depression, and emotional disorders patients.
- People who have had upper respiratory infections like strep throat, sinusitis, tonsillitis are at a higher risk.
- People who are infected with HIV/AIDS
- People who are obese and overweight
- People who have had skin injuries or even mild cuts or burns
- Certain medications can also trigger psoriasis
- Alcoholism can also increase the likelihood of psoriasis.
Psoriatic Arthritis Causes
The exact reason for psoriatic arthritis is not known but a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible. It is an autoimmune disease and happens as the healthy tissue is attacked by the body’s immune system:
- People with psoriatic arthritis have a common gene that is found in most patients.
- Changes in the immune system can also cause this inflammation.
- In people with AIDS, the decline in T cells results in the development of PSA.
- Many infections like upper respiratory infections can also trigger it.
- It can also be caused due to dry and cold climatic conditions.
- Stress or even physical trauma can trigger this condition.
How is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?
Psoriatic arthritis diagnosis is done by using a combination of tests to rule out other causes of arthritis. The psoriasis doctor will order the following tests to look for damage to the tissues and joints:
- X-Ray: Inflammation and damage to the joints and bones is checked and helps to analyze the type of arthritis.
- MRI: The images captured help in checking the damage to the ligament, tendon, or joints.
- CT scan and ultrasound: It helps to determine the stage of PSA.
- Blood tests: C-reactive protein is a psoriatic arthritis test to know the inflammation in the body. The Rheumatoid factor to determine if it is PsA or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Culture test: To check if the fluid in the knee or other joints have uric acid crystals.
How is Psoriatic Arthritis Treated?
The main focus of psoriatic arthritis treatment is to improve the symptoms like joint pain, inflammation, and skin rash. The doctor has many different treatment options and can do the following:
- By using NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), to reduce swelling and pain. OTC medicines are provided, in case it does not improve the psoriatic arthritis doctor prescribes other high dose medications.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, DMARDs: It is a medicine for psoriatic arthritis which helps in preventing joint damages and slow the progression.
- Biologics: There are 5 types of drugs based on what they can block and target.
- Steroids: If the above does not help, these are used to reduce inflammation.
- Topical treatments: To relieve itch
- Light therapy: To treat skin rashes
Taking treatment from qualified professionals is essential to prevent it from progressing. Contact our specialists at Cure.fit for the best Psoriatic arthritis cure.
How can Psoriatic Arthritis be Prevented?
Prevention of psoriatic arthritis before it starts and also soothing the symptoms can be done by doing a combination of things, like:
- Low impact exercises like walking, swimming, or biking should be done so that you keep the body moving. It also helps to ease the symptoms of arthritis.
- Ensure that you maintain your body weight so that there is no extra pressure on the joints.
- Do relaxation exercises like medications as that helps to control mood swings.
- Take the help of a physical therapist to relieve symptoms of joint pain.