What Are the First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

What Are the First Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis? 

People suffering from PsA may develop painful swelling in their fingers or toes. This symptom is called dactylitis and affects up to 40% of people who have the disease. In addition, their nails may also change, with thickening, pitting, or separation of the nail bed. 

Symptoms 

People with psoriatic arthritis may experience pain in the joints. Inflammation of the joints can also cause pain in the neck and mid-back. Other symptoms of the disease can include blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Fatigue is another common symptom. Patients with psoriatic arthritis should take measures to minimize the effects of the disease. Symptoms may come and go, and the best way to manage them is to see a dermatologist. 

Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the bones and tendons. The joints affected by the disease may be stiff and painful, and it can also result in bone deformities. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to fuse joints and relieve pain. People with psoriasis and autoimmune diseases are at risk for developing psoriatic arthritis. Some genetic mutations contribute to the development of multiple autoimmune disorders. 

Diagnosis 

Diagnosis of psoriasis can be difficult, but a physician can make the right diagnosis using a series of tests. The doctor may use a blood test to check for a substance known as C-reactive protein (CRP), which indicates inflammation. High levels of CRP are suggestive of psoriatic arthritis. However, CRP results may vary from lab to lab. 

Psoriatic arthritis develops in 30% of psoriasis patients. It can come on suddenly or develop gradually over time. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, it is important to see a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis. Diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is a complex process and can involve several physician visits. 

Treatment 

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, progressive condition that can lead to severe joint destruction. In some cases, it may be triggered by environmental factors or by a genetic factor. The disease usually affects adults aged 30 to 55 years. Treatment depends on the severity and location of the symptoms. Arthritis mutilans, the most severe form of psoriatic arthritis, can destroy the small bones in the hands and fingers. It can be severe enough to cause permanent disability. 

Treatment options for psoriatic arthritis include lifestyle changes and medications. For more severe cases, a doctor may recommend surgery. In some cases, steroid injections may be necessary. While there is no definitive evidence that steroids cure psoriatic arthritis, they can often help manage symptoms. 

Related health conditions 

Because psoriatic arthritis affects different parts of the body, it is important to get a multidisciplinary approach to treating the condition. A psoriatic arthritis treatment plan can include biologics to inhibit the inflammation and slow the progression of the disease, as well as vitamins to prevent bone deformation. 

People with psoriatic arthritis are at higher risk for developing other health conditions, including diabetes and obesity. Because of this, regular screening is important. These comorbid conditions are often difficult to detect, but can be treated by lifestyle changes or medications.