Psoriatic Arthritis

Bone scintigraphy showing left elbow affected by psoriatic arthritis. Photo by P Kitsoulis et. al. Courtesy BioMed Central.

Bone scintigraphy rear view showing left elbow with psoriatic arthritis. Photo P. Kitsoulis et. al. Courtesy BioMed Central.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a joint manifestation of psoriasis, a systemic autoimmune disease, characterized by asymmetric involvement in one or more joints, especially affecting the distal phalangeal joints of fingers and toes (joints nearest nails).

In some patients, psoriatic arthritis can occur only with peripheral enthesitis which is inflammation where tendons insert into bone, particularly Achilles tendinitis and plantar fascitis, and/or dactylitis. Dactylitis is inflammation of the entire toe, also called “sausage toe.”1

Early treatment is crucial to symptom control. Even a 6-month delay from symptom onset to the first visit with a rheumatologist contributes to the development of peripheral joint erosions and worse long-term physical function.2

Q: Does psoriatic arthritis get worse when skin symptoms get worse?

A: Joint symptoms may coincide with exacerbations and remissions of skin symptoms.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Salvarani C, Cantini F, Olivieri I, Macchioni P, Niccoli L, Padula A, Ferri S, Portioli I. Isolated peripheral enthesitis and/or dactylitis: a subset of psoriatic arthritis. J Rheumatol. 1997 Jun;24(6):1106-10. []
  2. Haroon M, Gallagher P, Fitzgerald O. Diagnostic delay of more than 6 months contributes to poor radiographic and functional outcome in psoriatic arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Feb 13. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204858. []