Psoriatic Arthritis, also known as PSA, is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects both the joints and skin. Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis (a skin condition) are commonly overlapping. Around 30% of all people with the skin condition Psoriasis will end up developing PsA. Also, as much as 80% or more of patients with Psoriatic Arthritis will end up developing skin symptoms associated with Psoriasis. This mainly includes the manifestation of red, flaky patches known as plaque, which is most commonly seen on the arms, legs, and trunk of a patient's body.
It sometimes takes as long as a decade for Psoriasis suffers to present with joint pain after the onset of skin symptoms. For this reason, it is imperative that patients with Psoriasis are constantly supervised by a doctor.
Psoriatic Arthritis: Determining Treatment
The exact treatment for PSA varies and is based on several factors. This includes the severity of your symptoms in regards to the skin and joints individually, as well as how you respond to medications, how quickly the disease is progressing, and whether you are current exhibiting difficulties in mobility.
Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Options
Primary Psoriatic Arthritis treatment options usually revolve around medications. This may include:
- NSAIDS, which will help ease pain, and reduce inflammation
- Corticosteroids, which reduce swelling
- Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), which can help to not only relieve joint pain and stiffness but may also slow the disease's progression
- Biological Treatments, which assist by working with the immune system to target the specific causes of inflammation as seen in PsA in order to prevent further damage
Other pain relief medications and drugs which suppress the immune system may also be used, depending on the exact treatment plan you and your doctor have come up with.
Besides medication, physical therapy or mental health “talk” therapy may be used. Exercise, healthy lifestyle changes, diet improvements, weight loss in overweight individuals, topical skin treatments, ice, or heat may also be used – alone, or in conjunction with medications.
Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Outlook
With early detection and aggressive treatment, many individuals with Psoriatic Arthritis are able to live full, productive, happy lives. however, when the disease is left to progress unchecked, it can cause substantial damage to the joints. In turn, this can lead to the necessity of surgery or permanent mobility issues. Some patients who receive Psoriatic Arthritis treatment will end up with mobility issues, but current therapies are often able to hold these at bay for substantial periods of time.
What To Do If You Think You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
If you think you may have Psoriatic Arthritis, make an appointment with your general practitioner today. He or she may refer you to a specialist called a rheumatologist, or maybe an immunologist. Remember that only a certified doctor has the experience and skills necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis. Self diagnosis or information pertained on the web are not able to do this.
As early detection is pertinent to a positive outlook, it is recommended you make an appointment as early as possible.