Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease that is a combination of the skin disease, psoriasis, and inflammation of the joints, arthritis. Psoriasis characterizes with red, scaly skin patches, usually on the elbows, knees, the scalp, navel, and around genitals. Psoriatic arthritis develops equally in men and women, and it usually appears between 30 and 50 years of age.

Patients that develop psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis firstly appears and arthritis later. It may happen that a patient has psoriasis in years until arthritis develops.

Psoriatic arthritis is considered a systemic rheumatic disease that can also cause inflammation in other parts, such as in the eyes, mouth, heart, lungs, spine, and kidneys.

There are five types of psoriatic arthritis: symmetrical, asymmetric and few joints, spondylitis, distal interphalangeal joints, and arthritis mutilans (severe form, characterized by resorption of bones and soft tissue collapse).



The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:

  • painful, swollen, tender, red or stiff joints, either on side or both sides of the body
  • swelling of a finger or toe
  • pain in the lower back due to inflammation of the spine
  • tendinitis (inflammation of tendons), causing difficulty in walking

These symptoms may get worse, although there are periods of remission.

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are alike the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.



The cause of psoriatic arthritis is not exactly known. It is known that the immune system attacks the body’s healthy cell, but why this happens is not quite clear. The following factors are considered to be possible causes:

  • family history
  • environmental factors
  • viral/bacterial infection
  • compromised immune system


Risk Factors

The risks of developing psoriatic arthritis include:

  • having psoriasis
  • family history
  • age – psoriatic arthritis develops between 30 and 50
  • stressful situations, although it is not known how are those associated to this condition



The complications of psoriatic arthritis is to develop arthritis mutilans — the most severe form of the disease. This condition is painful, and disabling, destroying the small bones in the hands; it can deform and disable the fingers.