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Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms and Causes

About Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis associated with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease characterized by red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. The disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in symptoms, characterized by joint inflammation. However, psoriatic arthritis tends to affect fewer joints than rheumatoid arthritis and does not produce the typical rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. The arthritis associated with psoriatic arthritis comes in five forms:

  • Arthritis that affects the small joints in the fingers and/or toes
  • Asymmetrical arthritis of the joints in the extremities
  • Symmetrical polyarthritis, a type of arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis mutilans, a rare type of arthritis that destroys and deforms joints
  • Psoriatic spondylitis, arthritis of the sacroiliac sac (in the lower back) and the spine

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

The following are the most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. The skin condition, psoriasis, may actually precede or follow psoriatic arthritis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Inflamed, swollen, and painful joints, usually in the fingers and toes
  • Deformed joints from chronic inflammation

Psoriatic Arthritis Causes

Although the cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown, factors such as immunity, genetics, and the environment may play a role.