West Houston Dermatology

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The Connection Between Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Unfortunately, psoriasis can be more than skin deep.  One of the risk factors for psoriasis patients is developing a special form of chronic, inflammatory arthritis called psoriatic arthritis (PsA).  Not every psoriasis patient will develop PsA, but in those who have psoriasis, PsA typically presents between 5-10 years after the onset of psoriasis.  However, it is possible to develop PsA and psoriasis at the same time, or develop PsA first.  While the prevalence of PsA is unknown, PsA occurs in 0.3%-1.0% of the population according to the research articles published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.  The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can be:  stiffness upon waking; painful, swollen joints; back pain; decreased range of motion; and/or pitting or changes in the nails.  If you have psoriasis, you should pay special attention to your joints and let your dermatologist know if you notice any changes or pain.  PsA can start out with something small, like a swollen finger or toe joint, but it can progress and become severe.  Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether psoriasis patients will develop PsA, and if you already suffer from psoriasis it seems intensely unfair to also have to deal with PsA.  However, the good news is there are treatments that can lessen its impact on your life.  Treatments can include physical therapy, arthritis friendly exercise, and medications.  Neither psoriasis nor psoriatic arthritis has to control your life.  Seek the advice of a board certified dermatologist with experience in treating psoriasis.  West Houston Dermatology offers treatment for psoriasis patients ranging from mild, moderate, to extreme cases.  Contact West Houston Dermatology today for an appointment.