Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is a disease that happens to some individuals that suffer from the skin problem psoriasis. It affects the joints of the body similar to rheumatoid arthritis, usually in a milder way. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are characteristic of both the problems with joints and skin, there can also be other psoriatic arthritis symptoms too. During this present time there is no known cure for the arthritis or even psoriasis, however, numerous treatments exist for helping with the symptoms. It must be remembered that it is a chronic disease and can lead to other complications in health if not managed appropriately.
The most common psoriatic arthritis symptoms affect the tips of the fingers or toes. However approximately 20 percent may experience problems with the spine. A very rare type of PA is names 'psoriatic arthritis mutilans' and focuses on the joints resulting in more severe destruction.
The skin condition called psoriasis presents as scaly and rough usually on the parts of the knees, elbows and scalp. The scaly areas are red or silvery gray in their color. Of the people who experience the skin condition psoriasis, which is approximately 30 million people in America, about 8 percent of them will experience psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
The condition evenly affects men and women and in general occurs between the ages of 30 to 50 years old. In about fifteen percent of people the onset of PA can happen before the appearance of psoriasis. Usually the progression of psoriatic arthritis symptoms is mild in most and will only affect a few joints.
Modern medicine does not have a cure for arthritis associated with psoriasis. The approach of treatment is usually individualized for the person's symptoms, to achieve the best possible outcome. The disease can vary from individual to individual with variance on factor such as remission and flare ups, so these facts must be taken into consideration. Every individual is different and an approach to treatment should be tailored to your individual requirements.
Treatment focuses on reducing the psoriatic arthritis symptoms of inflamed joints, pain and further degeneration. An approach of almost treating two separate disorders, the arthritis and psoriasis, is often the best way to approach it. Topical and oral medications are used for the skin such as antibiotics. It is important to prevent secondary skin infection in people with psoriasis due to skin irritation. There is some discussion of UV light therapy, obtained naturally from the sun or artificially as being beneficial for the rash. It is certainly an avenue worth exploring.
The psoriatic arthritis symptoms of the joints are treated like any other forms of arthritis with aspirin, anti-arthritis drugs and other medications. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs as they are commonly referred to, are used to manage pain and swelling of the joints. There are a whole range of natural substances that have been shown to be helpful in inflammation. High doses of fish oil have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The use of curcumin which is a derivative of the root turmeric has been showing good anti-inflammatory responses in the body, along with the long time used devils claw or cats claw herb.