What is a rheumatologist?

Rheumatologists are often the best doctors to see for psoriatic arthritis, as they have additional training to

and treat inflammatory arthritis and related inflammatory diseases that affect the joints, muscles, bones, skin, and other tissues. If chronic

psoriatic arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage over time, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis and work with your rheumatologist to manage your condition.

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

It is important to talk to your specialist—whether a dermatologist or rheumatologist—about both your skin and joint symptoms to help with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Make the most of your doctor appointments

Having open and honest conversations with your rheumatologist 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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Get a personalized Doctor Discussion Guide

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

Get the right
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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Don’t forget to follow up with your rheumatologist. 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 rheumatologist said, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor’s 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.

Pie chart representing 85%

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.

Psoriatic Arthritis doctor

Find a Psoriatic
Arthritis Doctor

Find a rheumatologist, an expert on both the diagnosis and management of psoriatic arthritis. 

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Sign up to get a helpful resource with easy recipes, tips, symptom tracker, and more to help you fight PsA.

Sources: 1. Gottlieb A, Merola JF. Psoriatic arthritis for dermatologists. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;1-18. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1605142. 2. Gottlieb A, Korman NJ, Gordon KB, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: section 2. Psoriatic arthritis: overview and guidelines of care for treatment with an emphasis on the biologics. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58(5)851-864. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.02.040. 3. Psoriatic arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. Updated March 2019. Accessed August 15, 2020. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Psoriatic-Arthritis