Arthritic Psoriasis

What is Arthritic Psoriasis?

The word ‘psoriasis’ often conjures up images of itchy skin rashes and endless ointment treatments. This uncomfortable autoimmune skin disease appears in 1-3 per cent of the population, according to studies by the European League Against  Rheumatism (EULAR).

Psoriasis is characterized by raised, red and scaly patches, most often around the elbow, knees or scalp. It is important to monitor psoriasis, because it can go beyond skin-deep. About 30 per cent of those afflicted are at risk of developing psoriatic arthritis (PsA), another form of the autoimmune disease. The autoimmune classification of diseases occurs when the body’s healthy tissue is attacked by the immune system, causing inflammation.

PsA, unlike psoriasis, is inflammation of the joints. Symptoms of the disease can be swelling, stiffness, joint pain and fatigue. PsA commonly manifests between the ages of 30 and 50. However, diagnose for pediatric onset is between 11 and 12.

A study shows that as many as 50% of PsA patients have a family history of the disease that includes one, sometimes multiple, cases. If you have a psoriasis and a family history of PsA, let your doctor know, however PsA can still occur without initial psoriasis. PsA undetected and untreated can lead to permanent joint damage.

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