Psoriatic arthritis treatment

Once diagnosed, there are many different kinds of psoriatic arthritis treatments your doctor 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 doctor 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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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.

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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. One example of an oral small molecule is a JAK-inhibitor.

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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 doctor about options that may be right for you.

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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. To help people with PsA reach their goals of living with as few symptoms as possible, some doctors may use an index called MDA (Minimal Disease Activity) to assess you. This index is a tool for PsA specialists like rheumatologists and dermatologists to gauge how the disease is affecting you across several key measurements, including joint pain and swelling, skin symptoms, ability to do daily tasks, and more.

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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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Learn About a
Treatment Option

PsA treatment information you can discuss with your doctor.

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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.