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How to Deal If Your Psoriasis Leads to Psoriatic Arthritis

ArthritisIf you have psoriasis, you may think getting psoriatic arthritis is unavoidable. While it’s true that about one third of people with psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis, there are a lot of new, effective treatments available to alleviate symptoms.

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic autoimmune diseases (conditions in which certain cells of the body attack other cells).

“In people who psoriatic arthritis, their own immune cells attack their joints as well as their skin,” says rheumatologist and psoriatic arthritis specialist Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center.

Types of psoriatic arthritis

There are five types of psoriatic arthritis:
1. Symmetric (most common): Affects the same joints on both sides of the body
2. Asymmetric: Affects only one side of the body
3. Distal Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP): Affects the distal (closest to the nail) joints in the fingers (the fingertips)
4. Spondylitis: Affects the spine
5. Arthritis mutilans: A rare but severe, destructive form of psoriatic arthritis that primarily affects the fingers and toes, but can also affect         the neck and back

Some people will develop more than one type or switch from one type to another.

Learn more