Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the joints. This causes the joints to become painful, stiff and often swollen. Usually only people who have a skin disease called psoriasis are affected by psoriatic arthritis. Only one or two out of every 10 people with psoriasis will develop this type of arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body and symptoms can vary from person to person. It can develop slowly with mild symptoms,
or come on quickly and be severe.
The most common symptoms are:
The exact cause of psoriatic arthritis is not known. Genetics, the immune system and environmental factors, such as an infection, may play
roles in causing this type of arthritis. This has yet to be proven in research. A certain gene called HLA-B27 is associated with psoriatic
arthritis, especially inflammation of the spine. However this is a perfectly normal gene and there are many more people who have this gene
and do not get psoriatic arthritis.
Currently there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis. However treatment for psoriatic arthritis has improved dramatically, with new medicines that are extremely helpful in controlling the condition. Your rheumatologist will tailor your treatment to your symptoms and how severe your condition is. There is no way of predicting exactly which treatment will work best for you. Your doctor may need to trial several different treatments before finding the one that is right for you and may include medicines, such as: