Psoriatic arthritis treatment

Once diagnosed, there are many different kinds of psoriatic arthritis treatments your rheumatologist may discuss with you, including:

  • Medications
  • Modifying lifestyle and diet
  • Physical and occupational therapies

There are treatments that address only skin symptoms, some that treat just arthritis symptoms, and some that address both. The type of treatment your rheumatologist recommends will depend on several factors, including the severity of your PsA.

Treatment for psoriatic arthritis may include:

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Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs can be over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications. They help reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain and stiffness.

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Corticosteroids

These medications can be taken by mouth or injection. Local injections of steroids can help relieve symptoms when few joints are affected. Steroids are not recommended for the long-term treatment of PsA, and in some circumstances may be used for relief of acute, severe joint inflammation and swelling.

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Topical treatments

Topical treatments are medications that treat skin symptoms of PsA and are often the first treatment recommended to someone presenting with psoriatic plaques. Topicals slow down cell reproduction and reduce the skin inflammation caused by psoriatic plaques.

Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

DMARDs are used to help relieve joint pain and stiffness and may slow joint damage of psoriatic arthritis. 

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Oral small molecules

Oral small molecules target immune cells and help to correct the overactive immune response that can cause inflammation, thereby helping reduce joint pain, swelling and preventing further joint damage.

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Biologic treatments

These treatments work by targeting a specific part of the immune system in order to help reduce inflammation, thereby helping to reduce joint pain as well as may help prevent further joint damage in PsA. Biologic treatments are sometimes taken in combination with other DMARDs.

Additional therapies

Besides medications, exercise such as walking, biking, yoga, swimming, and stretching are ways to be active and/or reduce joint pain and stress. Talk to your rheumatologist about options that may be right for you.

Learn even more ways to help manage PsA. SIGN UP FOR A PSA LIVING WELL KIT NOW

Why early detection of psoriatic arthritis is important

The joint inflammation caused by psoriatic arthritis can result in joint and tissue damage that can get worse over time. If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and experience PsA symptoms, it could be a sign you have

in your body. That’s why it’s important to

who can appropriately recognize, diagnose, and treat psoriatic arthritis—not only to reduce signs and symptoms including joint pain, but also to help prevent further irreversible joint damage.

Your current doctor may want to refer you to a

a doctor who is an expert on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

Quick Poll

Do you see a rheumatologist to treat your PsA?

Since you answered “yes,” you might be interested in a guide to help make each appointment more effective.

Since you answered “no,” consider seeing a rheumatologist—an expert at diagnosing and treating psoriatic arthritis.

Things to know when considering treatment options

Be prepared to discuss the following with

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The severity of your symptoms

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Your medical history

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How long you’ve had your condition

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Your past treatments

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Insurance and payment

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Your age

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Learn About a
Treatment Option

PsA treatment information you can discuss with your rheumatologist.

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Get a Guide to Help Talk About Your Symptoms

If you’ve been diagnosed with PsA but still have symptoms, a Doctor Discussion Guide can help you ask your doctor about PsA management and treatment options.

Sources: 1. 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. 2. Gottlieb A, Merola JF. Psoriatic arthritis for dermatologists. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;1-18. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1605142. 3. Psoriasis: diagnosis & treatment. Updated May 2, 2020. Accessed August 15, 2020. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355845. 4. 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. 5. Psoriatic arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2020. https://www.arthritis.org/diseases/psoriatic-arthritis.

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