Q: Does chocolate really cause acne? My teenagers love the stuff -- and they have pretty bad breakouts.
A: Sorry, Mom and Dad. Your dire warnings about Snickers bars are fruitless, because the answer is FALSE. Chocolate has no link to acne (nor do other frequently blamed foods, such as pizza and potato chips).
"There was a famous experiment done many years ago at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Albert Kligman," says Irwin Braverman, MD, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine...
Everyone with psoriatic arthritis has both skin and joints affected, at some point. Most people have recognized psoriasis, followed by arthritis. In about 15% of people with psoriatic arthritis, the arthritis comes first, with no initial skin involvement. Another 15% with psoriatic arthritis have skin lesions diagnosed at the same time as arthritis, but don’t recognize them as psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis varies in severity. In some people, psoriatic arthritis causes mild aches and pains. Others are affected more severely. Psoriatic arthritis can be destructive to joints and even cause deformities or disability. In this aspect, psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis, although usually milder.
Is it Psoriatic Arthritis, or Psoriasis and Arthritis?
Not everyone with psoriasis and arthritis has psoriatic arthritis. People with psoriasis can develop other forms of arthritis, just like anyone else. The most common kinds of arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis overall. This is the “wear and tear” arthritis caused by aging and injury.
Gout, arthritis characterized by attacks that occur when crystals deposit in the joints. Gout attacks are intensely painful, then subside over days.
There is no single test that accurately diagnoses psoriatic arthritis. Instead, doctors make the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis based on all the available information taken together. Some tests a doctor might order to diagnose psoriatic arthritis include:
Lab tests: anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), rheumatoid factor (RF), or anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) may be elevated in psoriatic arthritis.
Joint aspiration: Using a needle to withdraw fluid from a swollen joint can rule out gout and some other forms of arthritis.
Radiology: Plain X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can identify joint damage caused by psoriatic arthritis and help differentiate it from other forms of arthritis.
If a doctor finds typical X-ray findings of psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis on the skin, and no other type of arthritis, it’s enough to make the diagnosis in most people with psoriatic arthritis. A rheumatologist (joint specialist) may be the most qualified to make the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.