You can reduce the pain and inflammation of psoriatic arthritis with medication and lifestyle changes. This article helps you understand what to expect from treatment and when to ask your doctor about trying a new drug.
What is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriatic arthritis (say sor-ee-AT-ik ar-THRY-tus) is a type of arthritis that sometimes occurs in people who have a skin problem called psoriasis. The arthritis causes joints to become swollen, tender, and painful. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's own defense (immune) system attacks the joints. An infection or a serious joint injury may trigger the arthritis in people who have psoriasis. There is no specific test to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. Your doctor may do a physical exam to look for swelling in your joints and changes in your skin and nails. You may also have imaging tests, such as X-rays, and blood tests.What are the symptoms? Psoriatic arthritis causes swelling, stiffness, and pain in your joints, such as in the fingers and toes. Other joints can also be affected. Some people may have pain in the back of the heel. Some people may have problems with their fingernails and toenails. The nails may form pits,