Most people have heard of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. But for some, psoriatic arthritis is the new kid on the block. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it affects approximately 1.3 percent of Black Americans compared with 2.5 percent of white people.
Here’s what you need to know about psoriatic arthritis, including symptoms, types and treatments.
What is psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a progressive inflammatory condition of the joints and enthuses (places where the tendons and ligaments attach to bones), occurs when the immune system goes into overdrive and creates inflammation.
This leads to pain and swelling. It is related to the skin disease psoriasis. Most people with psoriatic arthritis suffer from psoriasis first, although some don’t have skin issues until after the other symptoms begin.
Psoriatic arthritis types
Psoriatic arthritis comes in five forms, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine:
- Affects small joints in fingers and/or toes
- Asymmetrical arthritis in the hands and feet of one side or the other
- Symmetrical polyarthritis: similar to rheumatoid arthritis and affects both sides equally in multiple joints
- Arthritis mutilans: rare, destroys and deforms joints
- Psoriatic spondylitis: arthritis of the lower back and the spine.
Psoriatic arthritis causes and risk factors
While the causes of psoriatic arthritis are not completely understood, there are several known factors, according to the American College of Rheumatology.
- Genetics: 40 percent of people with PsA have a family member with psoriasis or arthritis
- Strep throat: It is suspected that the strep infection may be a trigger.
Some other factors that may put people at high risk or trigger PsA include:
- Severe psoriasis
- Stressful events
- Trauma to the joints or bones
Some scientists believe genes and an environmental trigger such as a trauma or virus might have a part in the development of PsA, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
According to a study published recently in the journal JAMA Dermatology, there seems to be a causal effect between