What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis is a type of Inflammatory Arthritis that occurs in patients who have the skin disease of Psoriasis. In this condition the immune system attacks healthy cells in your skin and joints resulting in the scaly, red and white patches on the skin and inflammation in the joints.
What are the symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic Arthritis manifests with swollen, warm, red, and painful joints but is also associated with significant fatigue, a specific type of swelling of the fingers and toes called sausage digits, low back pain that is worse in the morning and gets better with activity, nail changes and eye inflammation.
How is Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosed?
A complete history and Physical Examination are important in the accurate diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis such as demonstrating the typical rash of Psoriasis as well as finding the red, warm and swollen joints of the Inflammatory Arthritis in the different typical distributions. Imaging studies and blood tests are often needed to rule out other types of Arthritis and confirm the diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis.
How is Psoriatic Arthritis treated?
The treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis depends on the severity of the disease. Mild disease may be managed with chronic use of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). For more significant disease activity, Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARD’s) may be used such as Methotrexate or Azathioprine. If symptoms persist with this medication regimen then Biologics such as TNF inhibitors or abatacept may be used. Other treatment regimens include the newer medications such as Xeljanz, Stelara or Cosentyx.