A non-contagious inflammatory skin disease characterized by inflammation of a joint, usually with ache, swelling and hardness as a result of any infection, trauma, degenerative change or metabolic disturbance is referred to as Psoriatic Arthritis. It shows reddish patches covered with silvery scales. Psoriatic arthritic is a type of arthritis that affects such a person who is already suffering from skin condition psoriasis. The affected skin area feels itchy and inflamed with pain which needs a prescribed medicine; its symptoms vary from patient to patient. There are various symptoms that most patients experience at any point in their life. It is not necessary that all the patients have the same symptoms. Generally speaking, the following are some symptoms of psoriatic arthritis;
- Pain swelling or stiffness near joints
- Pain around feet and ankle
- Pain in the area of lower back or above tailbone
- Disfiguration of the fingers and toes
- Swelling in fingers and toes
It is to be remembered that it is not necessary that this disease progress speedily, it may remain mild or increase to more destructive joint disease. It is important to start treating it as soon as possible. The doctors classify psoriatic arthritis in five classes as under;
Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
This is not so severe and first noted at early stage and affects about 30 to 50 % of psoriatic arthritic patients. It does not occur on same joints on both sides of the body.
Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
It appears and affects on both sides of body and commonly fingers and toes are affected. It is one of the common conditions of psoriatic arthritis and affects 30% to 50% of the patients.
Distal Interphalangeal Predominant
When fingers and toes start showing inflammation and stiffness near and around them, it is referred as the type of psoriatic arthritis. It changes in nails including pitting and degeneration nails.
This condition progresses fast resulting in severe joint damage and may be seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Stiffness of spine or neck is common sign of this type, but the effects can also be seen in hands and feet.
Typically doctors prescribe the medications like methotrexate or leflunomide. These drugs can reduce the symptoms or psoriatic arthritis, but the continuous and long term use may lead a patient to damage kidneys and cardiovascular system. In such case, self-care or herbal treatments work well having no after or side effects. Many workable herbs in psoriatic arthritis include black cohoes, celery seeds and chaparral which are relaxants. Regular exercise is recommended to arthritic patients to help maintain flexibility and strength. Biking, swimming and walking are also important.
Psoriatic arthritis usually occurs during the age of 30 to 50 years and is a strong reason of joint destruction if not diagnosed at early stage and not treated properly. 2-3% of the earth population suffers from psoriasis.