Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis associated with the skin condition psoriasis. Psoriasis lesions usually appear as dry, red, scaly patches and may occur anywhere on the body. Arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints. Psoriatic arthritis is a persistent condition characterized by inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis).
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. It can develop at any time, but for most people it appears between the ages of 30 to 50.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect a number of joints including the fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees, neck, shoulder joints, the spine, hips, and joints in the lower back (called sacroiliac joints).
The immune system plays an important role in psoriatic arthritis. An abnormal immune response causes inflammation in joints as well as the overproduction of skin cells.
Without treatment, psoriatic arthritis can be potentially disabling. Early diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis can help prevent progressive joint damage.
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