What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

You may be familiar with arthritis and even psoriasis, but have you heard of psoriatic arthritis? While not frequently discussed, psoriatic arthritis affects many individuals. In fact, even the popular reality TV star Kim Kardashian West suffers from this autoimmune skin condition. Kim openly speaks about her struggle with psoriasis to help others manage their condition. However, a recent article in New Beauty discloses the incident that led to the celebrity’s diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Kim Kardashian West states, “I woke up that morning and I still couldn’t pick up my phone. I was freaking out—I couldn’t even pick up a toothbrush, my hands hurt so badly.”

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that can destroy joints. It is commonly (but not always) associated with classic psoriasis, which involves red, itchy, bumpy flare-ups of skin lesions. Most people develop psoriasis first and are later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. However, joint problems can also begin before skin lesions appear. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.

Symptoms and Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis. Warning signs include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, which may be worse in the mornings but subside later in the day. Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune conditions, which means that they involve systemic health and can be worsened or improved through diet and lifestyle. In fact, diet seems to play a large role in psoriatic arthritis flare-ups and can mean this condition is often better managed with a more controlled nutritional intake.

If you currently have psoriasis and begin to experience joint pain, a dermatologist can help. There are a variety of treatments for this condition, including those that involve addressing the skin as well as the joints, including exercise, joint protection, NSAIDs, steroids and biologics. Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition in which there is currently no cure. However, there are available therapies to help stop the disease progression, decrease pain and protect the joints. Keep in mind that psoriatic arthritis can cause permanent joint damage if it is ignored or left untreated.

At Olansky Dermatology, we understand the struggle that comes with managing psoriasis, especially if you also battle psoriatic arthritis. Our dermatologists are equipped to treat psoriasis, which includes helping patients manage disruptive skin flare-ups as well as working with rheumatologists to help prevent painful joints associated with PsA. Schedule your consult in Atlanta today!

Posted on behalf of Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics