Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis which is seen in patients with skin psoriasis.
Who gets it?
About 20-40% of patients with skin psoriasis can develop arthritis. While most patients develop joint pains after the onset of skin disease, some may develop arthritis as the first manifestation. Some patients with a family history of psoriasis can also develop arthritis even though they may never suffer from skin psoriasis.
What are the symptoms?
Patients often experience pain and swelling of the foot, ankle, hand and knee joints. They also often develop pain at the insertion of ligaments and tendons into joints or ‘enthesitis’. This presents as heel pain, chest pain, elbow pain, diffuse back pain etc. Some patients may develop swelling and pain in a toe or finger.
Consult the best rheumatologist in Dubai if you experience the symptoms.
How it is diagnosed?
The patient needs to be evaluated by a rheumatologist who will assess the symptoms and clinical examination findings to ascertain the diagnosis and rule out other similar conditions. They may need to undergo blood investigations and X-rays for the same.
How is it treated?
Mild symptoms may only need pain relieving medicines or NSAIDs. Patients with arthritis will also need medications to prevent the progression of the disease or DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications). These include methotrexate, leflunomide and sulphasalazine. Patients with severe skin and joint disease may require injectable medicines known as biologicals.
Always choose the best rheumatology treatment in Dubai.
What are the lifestyle changes which can help the patients?
Patients’ general well-being can be improved with exercise. Regular follow-up and proper medicines can prevent joint deformities. Avoiding alcohol and smoking is also beneficial to patients.
Dr. Anuja Rajan
Aster Clinic, Discovery Gardens