Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that affects up to 30 percent of individuals with psoriasis, a condition in which red patches and silvery scales form on the skin. Even though having psoriasis is a prerequisite for developing psoriatic arthritis, joint pain and swelling can sometimes present before skin lesions appear. Individuals with psoriatic arthritis often experience a decrease in quality of life due to pain and loss of mobility. Early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is essential for preventing further damage to the joints.
Susan A. Baker, MD, FACR is an experienced rheumatologist and internal medicine doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Baker provides individualized treatment plans for all her patients with amazing, life-changing results. Management for arthritis and diseases of the connective tissue can be complex and long term; therefore, Dr. Baker strives to make each step in the process as simple and stress-free as possible. Learn more about how Dr. Baker can help you by calling (310) 274–7770 today.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly begins to attack healthy cells and tissues, causing inflammation in the joints and an increased production of skin cells. Current research is further investigating the influence genetic and environmental factors on developing psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can appear in any joint in the body, including the fingertips and spine. The main symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include :
- Moderate to severe joint pain
- Stiffness in the joints
- Swelling of the joints and surrounding tissue
- Generalized fatigue
- Morning stiffness
- Swelling of the fingers and toes
- A reduced range of motion in one or more joints
If you have or suspect you may have psoriasis and are currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms, contact and experienced rheumatologist or internal medicine specialist as soon as possible. Consulting with a medical professional could help you relieve your symptoms and return to normal daily activities.
Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis
As with many other types of arthritis, treatment options will be determined by the severity and location of pain. Seeking early treatment for psoriatic arthritis can help slow the progression of the disease and preserve joint function and range of motion. Proper control of the underlying psoriasis can also be valuable for reducing symptoms of pain and swelling. Three main types of drugs are used to treat psoriatic arthritis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) as well as prescriptions products.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help to relieve more severe symptoms, prevent joint and tissue damage, and slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis. Some commonly used DMARDs are methotrexate, cyclosporine, and sulfasalazine.
- Biologics (tumor necrosis alpha-factor blockers) such as adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel), target the T-cells responsible for joint inflammation.
These treatments can also be used in concert with corticosteroid injections to increase effectiveness. Surgery is also an option for individuals with severe joint damage. To learn more about which procedure may be right for you, contact an experienced rheumatologist and internal medicine specialist before symptoms worsen.
To learn more about psoriatic arthritis treatment, visit WebMD.com.
Psoriatic Arthritis FAQs
Q: Who should I consult about my condition?
A: If you think you may have psoriatic arthritis, is important to speak with either a rheumatologist or an internal medicine specialist. During a one-on-one consultation, your physician will be able to assess your condition and recommend a course of treatment.
Q: What treatment options are available?
A: The most effective form of symptom management for psoriatic arthritis is medication. Your physician will determine which medication will best relieve your symptoms.
Contact Beverly Hills Rheumatologist and Internal Medicine Specialist Today
Susan A. Baker is an experienced internal medicine specialist and rheumatologist with a thriving practice in Beverly Hills. Considered an expert in her field, Dr. Baker has helped countless individuals suffering from psoriatic arthritis manage their symptoms and return to everyday activities. To schedule a one-on-one consultation or address any questions you may have, feel free to call (310) 271-7770 at your earliest convenience or fill out the online contact form.
Next, learn more about reactive arthritis.