4 Things to Know About Psoriatic Arthritis

Mar 09, 2020

According to the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, 1.5 million people in the United States suffer with psoriatic arthritis. For most people, this rheumatologic disease starts with psoriasis, a condition characterized by red, itchy patches on the skin. A person can have psoriasis between 10 to 20 years before it develops into psoriatic arthritis.

To learn more about the disease, here are four things you should know about psoriatic arthritis.

1. Know What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis

Nobody knows the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis. There are certain risk factors, however, that can increase one’s chances of getting psoriatic arthritis. One of these risk factors is having a family member with the disease. In fact, over 40 percent of people who have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis has a family member that has it.

Being overweight is also a possible cause. When someone is carrying extra weight, it puts added stress on the tendons, which causes inflammation. This inflammation can lead to psoriatic arthritis.

When someone has psoriatic arthritis, certain triggers can cause the symptoms to become worse. Common triggers include:


  • Cigarette smoke
  • Infections Stress
  • Cold weather
  • Alcohol


Certain medications can also trigger the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.

2. Know About Possible Complications of Psoriatic Arthritis

If the psoriatic arthritis is severe, the disease can cause deformity in the joints. Besides affecting the joints, psoriatic arthritis can cause vision problems, such as uveitis, glaucoma, and cataracts. Those with psoriatic arthritis are also at a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that puts people at risk for heart disease and diabetes.

People with psoriatic arthritis are at a greater risk of developing an autoimmune disease called Crohn’s disease. This condition affects the colon and can cause severe diarrhea and malnutrition. One more complication of the disease is another type of arthritis called arthritis mutilans. Known as a severe type of arthritis, it wears down the joints and bone tissue in the hands and the feet.

3. Know About Treatment Options for Psoriatic Arthritis

Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. There are, however, treatment options that help to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. Most people who get diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis start out by trying various medications.

Some of the most common medications include:


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Steroid injections


Another type of medication is called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). This type of medication helps to slow the progression of the disease and save the joints from permanent damage.

In cases where the joints are severely damaged, a person with psoriatic arthritis may need joint replacement surgery. During this type of procedure, the damaged joints get replaced with an artificial joint made from metal or plastic.

Some people have had success treating their symptoms with light therapy. This type of therapy uses ultraviolet B (UVB) light, which decreases inflammation, suppresses autoimmune reactions by promoting regulatory T-cells, and reduces itching. UVB also stimulates the production of Vitamin D, which helps to reduce psoriasis-inducing cytokines.

Lifestyle changes can also help those with psoriatic arthritis to manage their symptoms. This includes not overusing the joints, finding different ways to open jars and do other tasks, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding overexertion, quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and limiting alcohol use.

4. Know Where to Seek Help for Psoriatic Arthritis

If you suffer with psoriatic arthritis and you live in Sarasota or Manatee County in Florida, contact Sarasota Arthritis Center. We have locations in Sarasota, Englewood, Bradenton, and Venice.

Our physicians are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases, including psoriatic arthritis . We have been serving Sarasota and Manatee counties for over 40 years.

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