Psoriatic arthritis treatment
Once diagnosed, there are many different kinds of psoriatic arthritis treatments your doctor may discuss with you, including non-pharmacologic treatments such as lifestyle changes and physical and occupational therapies. There are treatments that address only skin symptoms, some that treat just arthritis symptoms, and some that address both.
Some types of psoriatic arthritis treatments are systemic (medications available in oral or injectable forms), so they work from inside the body to treat both skin and joint symptoms. The type of treatment your doctor recommends will depend on several factors, including the severity of your PsA.
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis may include:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs can be over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications. They help reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
DMARDs are used to help relieve joint pain and stiffness and may slow joint damage of psoriatic arthritis. May be used in conjunction with NSAIDs.
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.
Biologics are medications that work with the body's immune system to target the specific causes of the inflammation seen with PsA, and may prevent further damage to bones and joints. They are sometimes taken in combination with other DMARDs.
Other medications may work with the body's immune system to help manage PsA.
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. That's why it's important to see a doctor who can appropriately recognize, diagnose, and treat psoriatic arthritis—not only to relieve pain, but also to help prevent irreversible joint damage. Your current doctor may want to refer you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who is an expert on the diagnosis, management and treatment of psoriatic arthritis.