What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects about a third of patients who suffer from the skin condition psoriasis. Psoriasis usually presents with red, silver, scaly patches on the skin. Most patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) develop psoriasis skin rash first and then arthritis, however sometimes arthritis develops first, before psoriasis. A family history of psoriasis is an important clue that a patient may have psoriatic arthritis, in the appropriate clinical situation, when they do NOT have a history of psoriasis.
Who can develop psoriatic arthritis?
About 30% of those who suffer from psoriasis are known to develop psoriatic arthritis. It occurs equally in men and women and is most commonly present in middle-aged populations. Psoriatic arthritis can occur in early childhood as well and appears to affect whites more than other races.
Where does psoriatic arthritis occur?
Psoriatic arthritis can occur in any joint but is most commonly seen in larger joints but can occur in many different locations - such as where bones and tendons or ligaments join, known as enthesis. Enthesitis, or inflammation of the enthesis, is one of the hallmark signs of psoriatic arthritis. Dactylitis (sausage digits) is the other hallmark sign of PsA. Examples of the most common locations in the body seen with psoriatic arthritis include: