Different Forms of Psoriatic ArthritisPsoriatic arthritis is most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can develop in anyone, even children. Psoriatic arthritis only affects people with psoriasis. There are five different forms of psoriatic arthritis:
Asymmetric ArthritisThis form which makes up about 70% of all cases of psoriatic arthritis, and often affects one or few joints, like knee, hip or fingers. Although more often mild, sometimes it can be debilitating. Inflamed joints may be red and hands and feet may be swollen.
Symmetric ArthritisThe second most common forms of psoriatic arthritis, and often causes symptoms in the same joints on both sides of the body. The symptoms are the same as rheumatoid arthritis and can also cause permanent damage.
Distal interphalangeal predominant (DIP)Affects the joints close to the fingernails and toenails, and the nails are often affected too but is a less common form of psoriatic arthritis.
SpondylitisA form of psoriatic arthritis that makes movement painful especially in the neck and back. The spinal column can also become inflamed.
Arthritis MutilansThis form of psoriatic arthritis is seldom but is often destructive. It can result in permanent deformity, often affecting the hands and feet and sometimes the back and neck.
Symptoms of Psoriatic ArthritisSymptoms are similar to those other kinds of arthritis, that include:
- Stiffness of the joints
- Swelling in the joints
- Redness of the eye
Treatments of Psoriatic ArthritisIf you have psoriatic arthritis, you should have a treatment that will work on both the joint pain and the skin lesions caused by the condition. Some common treatments include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a common class of painkiller medications that are usually the first choice for treating psoriatic arthritis. These include pain killer drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, others available by prescription.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are more powerful medicines that are used for severe cases of psoriatic arthritis. Methotrexate and cyclosporine are both powerful drugs that help fight psoriasis by suppressing the immune system. They may also cause side effects and increase the risk of infection.
- Biologic therapy they work by targeting the immune system response that causes the symptoms of psoriasis, preventing the joints from becoming inflamed. So far, two drugs have been approved to treat psoriatic arthritis, Enbrel and Remicade. The evidence so far shows that they may be safer than many systemic medications. One drawback to the biologic medications is that they have to be injected or administered intravenously, and may also increase the risk of susceptibility to infections of the immune system.
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