Psoriatic arthritis symptoms

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that can cause irreversible joint damage and affect other parts of your body, so it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your rheumatologist. The sooner psoriatic arthritis is

the sooner it can be managed appropriately.

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include skin symptoms like red, scaly skin patches known as plaque psoriasis(Ps), as well as joint symptoms like joint pain and swelling. Because joint symptoms in PsA can appear after skin symptoms, some people who actually have PsA may be diagnosed with Ps. Additionally, psoriatic arthritis symptoms usually flare and then diminish, vary from person to person, and can change locations in the same person over time.

 

Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may include:

Swollen fingers and toes (dactylitis)
Swollen fingers

“Sausage-like” swelling along the entire length of fingers and toes—also called dactylitis—is often a telltale sign of psoriatic arthritis, as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis, in which the swelling is usually confined to a joint. In PsA, it is possible to have swelling in your hands and feet before developing joint symptoms.

Tender, painful, or swollen joints
Red, scaly skin patches known as plaques
Reduced range of motion
Morning stiffness
Back and neck pain
General fatigue
Changes to nails
Foot, ankle, and heel pain
Eye pain

The impact of psoriatic arthritis symptoms

The pain and discomfort of red, scaly skin patches as well as the joint pain, swelling, and stiffness of psoriatic arthritis can have a negative impact on your

—making even your regular, daily activities difficult. PsA can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Upon waking up in the morning, some patients experience stiffness that can last more than 30 minutes. Additionally, if the joints of the feet, ankles, or knees are affected, routine tasks like walking or getting out of a chair can be painful.

If you've experienced any of the symptoms above and/or are having trouble doing things like getting out of bed, cutting your own food, combing your hair, brushing your teeth or buttoning your clothes, tell your doctor.

Watch This 15-Second Video – Then Take the PsA Symptom Quiz

View Transcript

Find out if your skin and joint symptoms could have something in common: psoriatic arthritis.

Quick Poll

Have you been diagnosed with PsA, Ps, or neither? Select one.

Since you selected PsA, you might want to learn more about PsA inflammation and disease progression.

Since you selected Ps, you might want to know that 1 in 3 people diagnosed with Ps may develop PsA. Could you have PsA?

Since you selected "neither," find out if your skin and joint symptoms could be psoriatic arthritis.

PsA
FACT

About 1 in 3 people with psoriasis may develop PsA. People with PsA may also have other conditions involving the eyes, heart, and/or GI tract.

Other conditions that are associated with psoriatic arthritis

In addition to psoriasis, some people with PsA may have diseases that have been shown to be associated with PsA, including:

Heart with bandaid icon

Heart disease

Obese person icon

Obesity

Eye icon

Eye disease (uveitis—an inflammatory condition)

IBD icon

IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)

If any of these symptoms seem familiar, talk to your doctor.

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

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

Sources: 1. Comparing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Updated December 9, 2019. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/special/comparing-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-osteoarthritis/aa19377.html. 2. Difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. University of Michigan Health. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/cmc/difference-between-osteoarthritis-and-rheumatoid-arthritis. 3. 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. 4. Gottlieb A, Merola JF. Psoriatic arthritis for dermatologists. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;1-18. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1605142. 5. Hammadi AA. Psoriatic arthritis. Medscape. Updated July 15, 2020. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2196539-overview. 6. Lee S, Mendelsohn A, Sarnes E. The burden of psoriatic arthritis: a literature review from a global health systems perspective. P T. 2010;35(12):680-689. 7. McKenna SP, et al. Development of the PsAQoL: a quality of life instrument specific to psoriatic arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004;63:162–169. doi: 10.1136/ard.2003.006296. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1754880/pdf/v063p00162. 8. Psoriatic arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. Updated March 2019. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Psoriatic-Arthritis. 9. Psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/psoriatic-arthritis. 10. Psoriatic arthritis: symptoms & causes. Mayo Clinic. September 21, 2019. Accessed August 10, 2020. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20233899.

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