Psoriatic arthritis 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 psoriatic 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 psoriatic arthritis 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 is evenly distributed among men and women and usually occurs in the 3rd to 5th decade of life. There are a small percentage of sufferers whose will experience joint problems before the appearance of the skin condition. Usually the degree of psoriatic arthritis is mild and will limit itself to a few joints in the body.
There is no medical cure for psoriatic arthritis. The treatment approach is generally tailored to the individual’s symptoms, to achieve the best treatment outcome. Due to the individual course of the disease it can be very different from person to person, such issues as remission and aggravating factors are important to take into consideration. Every person is different, and a treatment approach should be tailored to your individual needs.
The goal of treatment is to decrease psoriatic arthritis symptoms such as the joint problems and associated pain along with preventing further degeneration. It can be liken to treating two distinct disorders with the arthritis and the skin condition being treated individually. The skin is commonly addressed with topical or oral medications. A key issue is stopping secondary skin infection in individuals with skin irritation due to psoriasis. For those seeking non medical approaches, natural sunlight with it’s UV rays has been noted to assist some peoples skin condition.
The arthritic component of psoriatic arthritis symptoms is addressed like other kinds of arthritis with aspirin, medication and what is called anti-arthritis drugs. Growing in popularity is the use of natural approaches to reduce inflammation. Large doses of fish oils have been shown to be beneficial for reducing inflammation. As have some herbs, most notably cat or devil’s claw and more recently curcumin from the turmeric root.