• Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis. Psoriasis tends to appear first before the onset of arthritis, though in a small number of people, the joint disease can appear before the psoriasis. Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that causes a scaly skin rash.

  • Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a progressive disease. This means that without proper treatment, it will get worse over time and may cause permanent joint damage that can be disabling. This damage starts early, usually within the first year after diagnosis. PsA occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the joints and the tissues around the joints.

  • The main symptom of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is pain and swelling of the joints. The joints may also be tender or stiff, or feel warm when touched. PsA may affect any joint in the body, but it usually affects the fingers and toes. It can also affect the wrists, knees, ankles, and lower back (see Figure 1).

  • There is no single test for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. The doctor may also order tests, such as: blood tests radiographic tests: X-rays (see Figure 1) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; the use of a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to view tissues and organs inside the body - see Figure 2) Figure 1 X-ray of human hand.

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