Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the skin and nails. About 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis and of these about 20% go on to experience some spinal involvement.

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis:

  • Scaly skin patches
  • ‘Sausage’ fingers and toes caused by swelling
  • Pain and swelling in joints
  • Pain and stiffness in the spine, especially at rest
  • Discolouration of fingernails and toenails, together with pits, indentations and crumbling
  • Iritis or red, painful eyes

Diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis

A rheumatologist is best placed to diagnose psoriatic arthritis. Diagnosis can be difficult because PsA can mimic other conditions. A physical examination, individual and family medical history, blood tests and X-rays can all help in the diagnosis. If ‘sausage’ fingers or toes and fingernail or toenail discolouration and abnormity are present, the diagnosis is easier to make.

Management

Learn about the management of psoriatic arthritis.