Who diagnoses and treats psoriatic arthritis?

Different types of doctors can be involved in diagnosing and managing PsA, such as rheumatologists, dermatologists, and even primary care doctors.

Rheumatologists are often the best doctors to see for psoriatic arthritis, as they have additional training to diagnose and treat inflammatory arthritis and related inflammatory diseases that affect the joints, muscles, bones, skin, and other tissues.

Dermatologists have experience with treating chronic skin conditions, and can also screen joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, similar to a rheumatologist.

If you are seeing a dermatologist or primary care physician who suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist.

Whether you see a rheumatologist, a dermatologist, or both, it’s important to work with your doctor(s) to create a treatment plan that’s right for you. If chronic inflammation is not controlled, psoriatic arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage over time.

Make the most of your doctor appointments

Having open and honest conversations with your doctor and setting treatment goals can help you get the most out of your treatment plan. The Doctor Discussion Guide can help you prepare for your appointments and make them more productive. You should feel comfortable discussing your personal goals (which could include walking, traveling, enjoying an active lifestyle) and any future activities that could be impacted by your PsA. To help you reach these goals, a rheumatologist may use an index called MDA (Minimal Disease Activity) to assess how PsA is affecting you.

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Share it with your doctor to help make your next appointment more productive.

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Doctor Discussion Guide for you

If you’ve been diagnosed with PsA:

  • Download and complete this guide and bring it to your appointment.
  • Walk through your answers with your rheumatologist so they understand your symptoms and can review whether you're meeting your treatment goals.

Not diagnosed with PsA? Download the right guide for you here.

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It may be helpful to follow up with your doctor afterwards, too. If you didn’t address every topic you wanted to cover during your appointment, forgot to ask a question, or are confused about something your doctor said, don’t hesitate to contact their office and get the answers you're looking for. Continuous, clear, and open communication with your healthcare providers is essential to getting the care you need.

Quick Poll

Did you know PsA can cause irreversible joint damage if not appropriately treated?

Since you selected yes, you might want to learn more about psoriatic arthritis treatment options.

Since you selected no, you might want to learn about psoriatic arthritis inflammation and disease progression.

PsA Facts

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About 1 in 3 people with psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis.

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About 85% of people with psoriatic arthritis develop skin symptoms like red, flaky patches known as plaques before they develop joint symptoms.

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Joint pain may appear within 10 years after skin symptoms first appear.

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Find a doctor near you who can help you treat psoriatic arthritis.

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