NUMBER OF WORDS: 546
KEYWORD: "Psoriatic Arthritis" = 14
A form of inflammatory arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, otherwise known as arthropathic psoriasis, is a condition that causes swelling and pain in the joints. Around 20% of people suffering from the chronic skin condition, known as psoriasis, are affected by this disease. Most patients affected by psoriasis have the tissue type HLA-B27, the disease causing their skin to form scaly rashes, usually on the elbows, knees, and scalp.
Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by pain and swelling in and around the joints, including the elbows, wrists, fingers, knees, toes, ankles, and shoulders. Sometimes, it may even cause pain in the spine as well the joints in the lower back, called sacroiliac joints. In addition to affecting the joints themselves - the region where bones meet, psoriatic arthritis could also cause damage to the surrounding tissues, such as the tendons and ligaments.
In some cases, psoriatic arthritis cause swelling of the whole digit in a condition colloquially termed as 'sausage' finger or toe. It may also cause skin inflammation, particularly on the elbows, knees, and scalp, which leads to development of 'scales' - dead skin tissue.
Who can get psoriatic arthritis?
As mentioned, psoriatic arthritis is often linked with psoriasis. A report has been made that more than 80% of people suffering from psoriatic arthritis develop psoriatic nail lesions. This condition is characterized by pitting of the nails, and in extreme cases, loss of the nail itself (called, onycholysis).
Like most forms of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis can develop at any age. But lab reports show that, on average, the condition tends to appear about ten years after the first symptoms of psoriasis. Majority of patients with psoriasis develop the condition between the ages of thirty and fifty, even as psoriatic arthritis can also affect children.
The onset of the disease makes no distinction between genders. That means, whether male or female, both have the same tendency to develop this type of arthritis.
What are the symptoms?
The easily determined warning signs of psoriatic arthritis include the following:
* Pain and swelling in the joints, usually occurring first in the fingers and toes
* The fingernails or toenails, or both, lift up from the skin and small holes appear on their surfaces. This is known as pitting.
* Pain and swelling over ligaments and tendons.
* Feelings of stiffness and tiredness in the mornings.
What can you do if you have psoriatic arthritis?
As is usual in medical science, the best bet in curing a disease is to identify what causes it and do something about it. Unfortunately, the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis is not known yet so a cure is yet to be found. However, treatments for psoriatic arthritis are designed in such a way as to reduce the inevitable pain that the patient suffers due to the inflammation.
The first step in treating the condition is to establish a correct diagnosis. This is important as this can be used as basis when assessing what can be done to manage the particular form of arthritis that you have. In addition, most therapies for arthritis work best when started early, when the disease has yet to progress. Consulting your doctor as soon as you notice signs of psoriasis can be a good aid in halting disease progression.