What is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriasis arthritis is a form of arthritis experienced by a number of psoriasis sufferers. Arthritis itself is an inflammation of one or several joints of the body. While psoriasis is an autoimmune condition characterized by the appearance of red spots on the skin with a whitish crust on top, due to the formation of excessive and very rapid skin cells.
Psoriasis arthritis disease can be divided into five types based on the affected body parts, namely:
- Psoriasis asymmetric arthritis, usually only about a few joints on one side of the body, either large or small joints, for example on the fingers or feet.
- Symmetrical psoriasis arthritis, which affects several joints on both sides of the body, such as both elbows or both knees. This condition can damage the joints and make joints not working.
- Arthritis mutilans, the most severe and most destructive type of psoriasis arthritis, can cause form changes.
- Spondylitis, which affects the spinal joint and can cause inflammation and stiffness between the bones of the neck, back, and pelvis. It can also attack the ligaments that connect the muscles to the bones and other connective tissues.
- Distal interphalangeal predominant (DIP), regarding small joints at the tips of fingers and toes, and nails.
Symptoms of Arthritis Psoriasis
Psoriasis arthritis can cause joints swelling and pain. In addition, the inflamed joints feel warmer.
People with psoriasis arthritis can also complain of joint stiffness during waking and the body feels tired. Patients are generally more easily experienced obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.
Causes of Arthritis Psoriasis
A person may be exposed to arthritis psoriasis when his immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissues. Abnormal immune system response is called autoimmune disorder. In psoriasis arthritis, the body tissue that is attacked is a joint, causing inflammation.
Until now the cause of the abnormal immune system response is still unknown. Genetic, psychological and environmental factors are suspected as triggers.
Some factors may increase a person’s risk of developing arthritis psoriasis, among which are:
Psoriasis. This is the biggest factor that increases a person’s risk of developing arthritis psoriasis.
Age. Arthritis pore is mostly found at age 30 to 50 years, although this disorder can also occur all age groups.
Genetic. Most people with arthritis psoriasis have family members who also suffer from this disorder.
Diagnosis of Arthritis Psoriasis
Some of the checks that a doctor can perform to diagnose arthritis psoriasis are:
Physical examination. To check for signs of inflammation in the patient’s joints, then check for other abnormalities on the skin and nails.
Imaging test. Inspect using X-rays or MRI to get detailed images of the inflamed joints.
Laboratory test. Conducted examination of blood samples and joint fluid.
Treatment of Arthritis Psoriasis
Until now there has been no cure for psoriasis arthritis. Treatment is given to patients only aims to suppress inflammation in the joints, so as to reduce pain and prevent disability.
Drugs that are usually given are:
Immunosuppressant, to suppress the immune system response of uncontrolled patients.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
TNF-alpha inhibitors, to reduce pain, swelling of the joints, and stiffness during wakefulness.
Disease-modified antirheumatic drugs (DMARD), which are able to slow the development of arthritis psoriasis and avoid permanent damage to joints and other body tissues.
Some new drugs such as apremilast, ustekinumab, and secukinumab can relieve the symptoms of arthritis psoriasis.
Some of the following measures can also be done in the treatment of arthritis psoriasis:
- Hot and cold therapy.
- Steroid injection, to reduce inflammation quickly.
- Replacement of joints. Joints that have been severely damaged by arthritis psoriasis will be replaced with artificial joints through surgery.
Complications of Arthritis Psoriasis
Complications that can occur when psoriasis arthritis is not handled properly, among others:
- Permanent damage to joints
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis or uveitis.