THE EFFECTS OF PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS ON THE BODY

Integumentary system (skin, hair, and nails)

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that causes rough, red patches to form on the skin. It sometimes looks like silvery scales. Symptoms include tenderness and itching. The patches can form anywhere, but tend to show up around the elbows, knees, hands, and feet. The skin around the joints can appear cracked. In some cases, skin lesions or blisters may form. A skin biopsy can be used to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis and topical medications may offer relief.

Patches on the scalp can range from what resembles a mild case of dandruff, to quite severe shedding. Scratching may cause flakes in your hair and on your shoulders. Fingernails and toenails may become thick, ridged, or discolored. They can grow abnormally, develop pits, or even separate from the nail bed (oncycholysis).

Psoriasis can be mild or it can be severe enough to impact quality of life. Symptoms may flare up periodically and then go into remission.

Eyes and vision

Studies have found that psoriasis can also lead to vision problems. Inflammatory lesions such as conjunctivitis are the most likely side effect. In very rare cases, psoriasis might cause a loss of vision. Uveitis, a condition in which the middle layer of the eye (uvea) swells, can occur in those with psoriatic arthritis.

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