What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Nail changes are another classic symptom of psoriatic arthritis. These changes can include nail discoloration, nail beds that start separating, or pitting.

Many people with psoriatic arthritis also experience chronic fatigue. And some experience symptoms in an unexpected part of the body: the eyes. This can show up as conjunctivitis (pink eye) as well as pain and redness.

In severe cases, joints affected by psoriatic arthritis may become visibly deformed.

Symptoms:

  • Joints that are painful, red, warm, and/or swollen
  • Stiff joints, especially in the morning
  • Fatigue
  • Fingers and toes that are so swollen they look like sausages
  • Pain at the back of your heel (Achilles tendinitis)
  • Pain on the sole of your foot (plantar fasciitis)
  • Difficulty moving
  • Changes in the nails, which can become pitted or lift up from the nail bed
  • Conjunctivitis in the eye
  • Lower back pain

What causes psoriatic arthritis?

Experts aren’t sure what causes psoriatic arthritis, although they do know that having skin psoriasis is the biggest risk factor. As many as 30% of people with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. You may also be more likely to get psoriatic arthritis if you have skin psoriasis that affects your nails. About 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have some kind of nail psoriasis.

Genetics is another risk factor. About 40% of people with psoriatic arthritis have a family member with psoriasis or another form of arthritis. But experts believe that environment can also play a role, and some think an infection such as strep throat may kick-start the immune system, causing psoriatic arthritis to then develop.

Those who were obese in their teens may also have a greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis later. And although psoriatic arthritis can occur in childhood, most people are first diagnosed when they are between 30 and 50 years old.

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