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The Psoriasis and Arthritis Connection

By HERWriter Guide
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Psoriasis related image Photo: Getty Images

Sufferers of psoriasis know the symptoms all too well -- dry, scaly skin, inflammation and lesions that can cause severe discomfort, as well as an unsightly skin appearance. The head (scalp), nails, knees, elbows and trunk are the most affected areas but all parts of the skin can see symptoms.

Sufferers can have flare ups with no warning and then go into a kind of remission for days or weeks. Many live with the symptoms day to day.

There is no known cause for psoriasis but living in a cold climate can exacerbate the problem, and a family history of psoriasis can also show a connection. Also, a compromised immune system can increase the risk.

With reference to the immune system, a survey this year, conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has shown that many people living with psoriasis were also, unknowingly, living with arthritis.

A group of 477 psoriasis patients were involved in the study and 22 percent of them showed distinct signs of arthritis, including inflamed joints and tendons. This condition is known as psoriatic arthritis. The study was funded by drug companies.

There are many symptoms that are signs of having psoriatic arthritis. They include nail problems , including separation from the nail bed, and pitting. In addition, according to an EmpowHER article on the condition, "... signs that you may have developed psoriatic arthritis include:

• Swelling and pain of joints and tendons
• Stiffness and difficulty moving the affected joints
• Swollen toes and fingers
• Tiredness
• Changes in your toenails that look very similar to a fungal nail infection
• Some sufferers develop sticky eyes

There are different types of psoriatic arthritis which may vary the symptoms. These are:

Distal interphalangeal joint predomination
Arthritis mutilans"

These kinds of arthritis are explained in more detail in the source linked below.

People who have psoriasis and are also feeling the symptoms of arthritis listed above should consult their doctors.


EmpowHER.com. All About Psoriatic Arthritis. Web. December 12, 2011.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Another tell-tale sign of psoriatic arthritis is pitted fingernails. I found it helpful to show family members a couple of videos explaining this condition because sometimes it's hard for them to realize how painful it is before the outward signs become visable.

August 17, 2013 - 9:39am
EmpowHER Guest

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


January 31, 2012 - 7:01am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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