Psoriatic arthritis affects some people who have psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the immune system that manifests itself as patches of red or silvery skin lesions. Most people develop psoriasis before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, but joint issues sometimes appear before skin lesions. Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness are the common signs of psoriatic arthritis. These symptoms can occur in any part of the body, including the spine and fingertips, and can range from mild to severe. Psoriatic arthritis usually alternates with periods of remission.
Psoriatic arthritis cannot be cured at this time, but it can be controlled or treated. If you are at risk, it is advisable to watch for symptoms such as painful and swollen fingers and toes. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can be mild or severe, but getting treatment at the first sign of the condition can help you prevent permanent joint damage. Without appropriate treatment, psoriatic arthritis may be disabling, so it is important to be aware of psoriatic arthritis risk factors.
- Psoriasis – If you have psoriasis, you are at risk of developing psoriatic arthritis. Anyone with psoriasis should watch for joint trouble. In rare cases, some individuals develop psoriatic arthritis before the skin condition is visible. People who have earlier onset psoriasis should watch out for arthritis symptoms.
- Family history – In some cases, there may be a genetic component to developing psoriatic arthritis. If you have a sibling or parent with psoriatic arthritis, you are more likely to develop this type of condition, but only if you also have psoriasis. It is not yet clear which genes make a person susceptible to psoriatic arthritis.
- Injury – Some experts speculate that a joint injury may trigger the condition in some people who are at risk. It is important to practice safety in order to protect your joints. It is believed that there is an inflammatory reaction following trauma that triggers the arthritis.
- Strep throat – There has been some speculation that streptococcal bacterial infection might trigger psoriatic arthritis. According to some dermatologists, a reaction to the infection triggers the arthritis. A number of dermatologists actually prescribe antibiotics to control the psoriasis.
When to Seek Treatment
If you have psoriasis, make sure you tell your doctor if you experience joint pain. Psoriatic arthritis can appear suddenly or slowly. In either case, the disorder can severely damage the joints if left untreated. Treatments are available to help manage the condition, and your doctor will evaluate your situation and make recommendations.
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease that gets worse over time, but you may experience periods of symptom relief or remission. It is a good idea to look for ways to reduce stress in your life, as this can help cope with psoriatic arthritis. Experts recommend exercises such as yoga, walking, or swimming. Eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a normal body weight can also be helpful. Make sure you consult with a qualified physician for proper treatment and guidance in dealing with the condition.
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