Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs in approximately 20 percent of people who have (or will develop) a skin problem called psoriasis.

Joint symptoms may occur before, at the same time or after you get skin symptoms from psoriasis. The arthritis causes joints (like fingers and toes) to become swollen, tender and painful. The body's own defense (immune) system attacks the joints. No specific laboratory test can diagnose psoriatic arthritis, so it is evaluated by clinical features that must be recognized by a qualified healthcare provider.


To relieve symptoms and prevent damage to your joints, treatments include medications as well as physical and occupational therapy. For severe arthritis, many rheumatoid arthritis disease-modifying drugs are used (such as methotrexate) or TNF blockers. New therapies are also being developed, such as the PDE4 inhibitor (Otezla). Steroid injections or pills may also be given to relieve joint pain and inflammation. A physical therapist may help you move and stay active, build your strength, learn to manage daily tasks and reduce overall pain.