People who have psoriasis – development of red patches on the skin with a silvery scaly appearance – may also develop arthritis. The combination of these two conditions is referred to as Psoriatic Arthritis. The joint inflammation may develop before the skin is affected, but the presence of Arthritis may be detected much later than Psoriasis.

Psoriatic Arthritis may affect any part of the body such as the hands, fingertips, spine, or legs. The condition is a progressive disorder as it tends to flare up at certain times and eventually subside. Although there is no permanent cure for Psoriatic Arthritis, measures can be taken to curb and manage the symptoms. Lack of treatment may result in a physical disability in addition to an increased chance of cardiovascular diseases.


  • Attacking of the healthy cells by the body’s immune system
  • Faulty immune system results in excessive production of skin cells leading to inflammation
  • Genetic factors
  • Physical trauma to the joint or a skin injury
  • Joint infections
  • Generally affects adults between the age of 30-50 years
  • Smoking, emotional stress, alcohol, hormonal imbalance may aggravate the Psoriasis and lead to Psoriatic Arthritis


The symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis may vary from mild to severe as the condition progresses. These may include the following.

  • Stiffness in the affected joint
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • One or both sides of the body may be affected
  • The skin around the inflamed joint is warm to touch
  • Deformed hands or feet
  • Pain at the points where the tendons and ligaments are connected to the bones
  • Development of Spondylitis in the lower back
  • Visibly deformed fingers or toes
  • Inflammation and redness in the eyes


  • Detailed physical examination of the affected joint to check for swelling, pain, and inflammation
  • Palpation to check for tenderness
  • X-ray imaging to assess changes in the joint structure
  • MRI and CT scan to check the condition of tendons and ligaments
  • A syringe may be inserted into the joint to draw out joint fluid. (it is then tested for the presence of uric acid crystals)
  • Rheumatoid factor (RF) test may be done to rule out the chances of Rheumatoid Arthritis


  • Light exercise to keep the joints flexible
  • Application of hot and cold packs to reduce pain and swelling
  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines and pain killers
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be prescribed to arrest the progression of the disease
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors may be administered to reduce stiffness and pain
  • Prescription of immunosuppressant (Slows down the immune system to prevent the attack of healthy tissues)
  • Injecting steroids into the joint can provide relief
  • Surgical removal of severely damaged joints (These may be replaced by artificial joint parts or prostheses)

Consult the highly skilled physicians at OrthoTexas for diagnosis and treatment of various joint problems.