Psoriatic Arthritis

Written by Kimberly Clark
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Probably the worst known side effect of chronic skin condition psoriasis is the development of psoriatic arthritis. This condition is characterized by painful swelling and stiffness in the tissues surrounding the joints. Its effects can be particularly felt in the fingers and toes, but it also develops in the wrists, ankles, knees, and neck.

When Does Psoriatic Arthritis Appear?

The appearance of psoriatic arthritis typically occurs about 10 years after the original emergence of psoriatic lesions associated with psoriasis outbreaks. This is generally around the age of 40 or 50, for most patients. It is estimated that 10 percent of the people who suffer from psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.

Approximately 80 percent of the people diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis previously suffered from some form of the chronic skin condition. In only about 20 percent of sufferers does psoriasis follows the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is generally milder than rheumatoid arthritis, but like that disease, it is also considered to be associated with a defect in the immune system.

Even though the onset of psoriatic arthritis is considered mild and sudden, it progresses rapidly. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to bone loss and deformation of the joints. Other indicators of psoriatic arthritis include limited range of motion, stiffness and tiredness especially in the mornings, discolored nails, and an inflammatory eye condition similar to conjunctivitis (pink eye).

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