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.

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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.

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Get Screened

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

Take the PEST test
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Working with Your Doctor

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

Get tips
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Diagnosing PsA

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

Learn more

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.

Request your free PsA e-kit today

Last updated on 10/01/20 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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