Could you have psoriatic arthritis? Know the signs.

If you have psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis and you are experiencing joint pain and swelling, you could have psoriatic arthritis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints and tendons. Left untreated, psoriatic arthritis may lead to joint destruction and disability.

Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, but the two diseases don't necessarily follow that order in every patient. Not everyone with psoriatic arthitis has psoriasis first. Some don't have it at all. 

For people with psoriasis and/or a family history of the disease, the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical board recommends watching for the following symptoms. If you experience one or more, contact your health care provider:

  • Pain, swelling or stiffness in one or more joints
  • Joints that are red or warm to the touch
  • Frequent joint tenderness or stiffness
  • Sausagelike swelling in one or more of the fingers or toes
  • Pain in and around the feet and ankles
  • Changes to the nails, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed
  • Pain in the lower back, above the tailbone

It's important to work with your dermatologist or other health care provider to be regularly screened for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is typically diagnosed and treated by a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bone).

Learn more about the signs of psoriatic arthritis with this free kit

Get more information on treatment options and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, along with a flare tracker to help you monitor your disease and understand your unique triggers. Request your free psoriatic arthritis kit today.

Last updated on  by the National Psoriasis Foundation