Are You at Risk for Psoriatic Arthritis?

More than skin deep.

If you are experiencing joint pain and swelling, especially if you have psoriasis (or a family history of psoriasis), you could have psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This type of inflammatory arthritis affects joints and tendons. Left untreated, PsA may lead to irreversible joint damage.

 
A woman's hands with blue nail polish holds onto a coffee mug.

Know the Signs

About 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop PsA, but the two diseases don’t necessarily follow in order. Not everyone with PsA develops psoriasis first. Some people with PsA never get psoriasis.

For people with psoriasis and/or a family history of psoriatic disease, the medical board of NPF recommends watching for the following symptoms:

  • Pain, swelling or stiffness in one or more joints
  • Joints that are red or warm to the touch
  • Frequent joint tenderness or stiffness
  • Sausage-like 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

If you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your dermatologist or other health care provider. If you have psoriasis, it’s important that you get screened regularly for PsA.

PsA 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 bones.

We have some tips for how to talk with your provider.

A couple sits on the couch looking at a laptop computer screen.

Get Screened

This short screening assessment may help your health care provider make a diagnosis.

Photo of a rheumalologist examining an x-ray with a patient.

Working with Your Doctor

Make the most of your next appointment with tips to help you communicate symptoms and discuss treatment options.

A medical diagnosis chart with psoriatic arthritis written on it.

Diagnosing PsA

What you need to know about a PsA diagnosis, plus what NPF is doing to deliver faster and more accurate PsA diagnoses.

Take Control of Your PsA

Learn how you can mitigate the effects of psoriatic arthritis through physical activity and keep tabs on your flares with our tracker.

Stay in the Know.

Expert tips, can’t-miss events and the latest news, straight to your inbox.

National Health Council Standards of ExcellenceCharity Navigator

Copyright © 1996-2020 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA


Duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).


NPF does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.


NPF does not endorse any specific treatments or medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

We use cookies to offer you a better experience and analyze our site traffic. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.