Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are joint pains and stiffness. It affects both men and women eqaully.
Psoriasis is an annoying skin condition; some people have to live with. People with this troublesome disease can have a condition called Psoriatic arthritis. Characteristic symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are pain and stiffness of the joints. In addition this disease affects both men and women equally. Usually this condition starts in 4th and 5th decades of life.
What causes psoriasis and the associated psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriasis is categorized as an autoimmune disease. That means body’s own immune system starts to recognize various tissues in the body as foreign and attacks them. Psoriatic arthritis is caused, when the body’s immune system starts to attack its own joints in a patient already having psoriasis.
It is transmitted genetically; even though there is no direct parent to child transmission, as seen in hemophilia. In addition, various other environmental causes have been noted, but they are not proven.
What are the characteristic symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Characteristic feature of psoriatic arthritis is stiff and painful joints. Some people with this condition may not have skin lesions at the time of diagnosis. However, most people can have at least one skin lesion at the time of diagnosis.
Symptoms mostly occur in distal joints such as joints in fingers and toes (joints situated far from the trunk). In addition some patients can have nail lesions such as pitting. Sometimes loss of nails can occur.
Distal finger joint (last joint in toes or fingers) involvement is a classic and unique feature specific to the psoriatic arthritis. Affected fingers can become painful, hot, swollen and red similar to a sausage.
Rarely, some patients can have significant destruction of the joints associated with destruction of the surrounding bone. This condition is called arthritis mutilans. In addition, small number (5%) of male patients can have the psoriatic arthritis in the spine.
Apart from above lesions, some patients can have inflammation away from the joints. They are eyes, heart and lungs. When the disease is present in the eyes, it is called iritis. It’s a painful condition that can be aggravated by bright light. When the heart is involved, patients can get myocarditis. It can lead to heart failure. Rarely some people can get acne, due to psoriatic arthritis.
What are the types of psoriatic arthritis?
Types of psoriatic arthritis can be classified as Asymmetrical and Symmetrical. In Asymmetrical disease, patients get stiffness and pain only in one half of the body. Usually fewer than five joints are affected. Usually toes and digits are affected first.
In symmetrical disease, pain and stiffness affect joints in both half of the body. Usually hands, wrists, ankles and feet are involved.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease of joints associated with the skin condition called Psoriasis. It cause joint pain and stiffness. Rarely, it can cause significant joint destruction.