Facts About Psoriatic Arthritis. 

 February 12, 2024

By  Linda Rook

Rash on the arm or psoriasis.


Psoriatic arthritis, or PsA for short, comes under the autoimmune disease in the rheumatoid arthritis group. Psoriatic arthritis is similar to psoriasis, which is a condition that has symptoms like red, scaly patches on the skin.

The most common trusted source has found that Psoriatic arthritis mainly attacks people between 30 to 50 years of age.

Psoriasis usually starts before Psoriatic arthritis, but some people can have joint pain before noticing the redness of psoriasis.

Eleven conditions.

It would help if you look out for the following eleven condition if you think you have Psoriatic arthritis.

1. Pain and Stiffness in the joints.

Psoriasis arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints; this inflammation causes pain, tenderness and stiffness. You may feel this in either one or several joints.

The joints that these disease attacks are:

  • Knees or Hips.
  • Fingers.
  • Toes or Ankles.
  • Lower Back.
  • Wrists.
  • And many more.
Pain at the bottom of spine

The symptoms of these pains and stiffness could disappear called remission, or it could return and get worse, called flare-up.

2. Swelling and or warm joints.

Your joints are connected to the bones in your body, which includes the feet, Knees, Ankles, Hips and much more,

These joints are surrounded by soft tissues which cushion your bones on each side. The swelling occurs when fluid accumulates in the tissue that produces heat so your joint can feel warm.

The swelling of your joints due to inflammation could be accompanied by stiffness, pain and in chronic cases, your fingers or toes can get misshaped.

Treatment for your joints that are inflamed may include your medication, physical therapy.

3. You may find your Nails get pitted.

You could find that your nails have pitting in the early stages of Psoriatic arthritis, where your nail becomes bumpy and dented.

Nail pitting is more likely to be in patients over the age of 40.

The symptoms of pitting nails could include:

  • Fingernails and toenails have depressions in them.
  • Your nail colour may change (discolouration).
  • Your nails could even have a change of shape (deformation).
  • Or the nails could get thicker.
Psoriatic arthritis of the Feet.

A trusted source has also found that the changes of the nails in psoriatic are a prognosis of joint disease and arthritis. Psoriasis also affects the nails, making them look like a fungus infection.

A study has found that fifty per cent of patients with psoriasis and eighty per cent with Psoriatic arthritis develop changes in the nail, or occasionally known as 'nail psoriasis'.

4. Separation of your nails.

Number four is nail separation, where your nails fall off or separate, which could occur when you have Psoriatic arthritis. Separation of the nails is called 'Onycholysis'.

When you experience onycholysis, your nail will first peel off the nail bed, then the nail will become yellow, greenish, purple, white or even grey, and is not usually painful.

You should keep your nails cut short but not too short if your nails are separating. Then, all you do is clip off the affected part of the nail as the new bit comes in.

When the underlying cause is treated, your onycholysis could go away altogether.

5. Pain in the lower back.

Psoriatic arthritis could lead to spondylitis, swelling of the joints, particularly the spine.

The Spondylitis Association of America has found that twenty per cent of patients with Psoriatic arthritis will have psoriatic spondylitis.

The spondylitis can attack the following:


  • Lower back pain or (lumbar and lumbosacral).
  • Body muscle pain will make you feel weak.
  • Hip pain, especially if you sit down for a long time.
  • Fatigue.
  • Eye inflammation, you should see your doctor as soon as possible when you discover you have an inflammation of the eye.

The sacroiliac joint or pelvis can fuse together in some cases. The treatment targets the pain and inflammation with help to reduce the symptoms.

Some treatments include:

  • NSAIDs or (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - including aspirin, ibuprofen or even naproxen.
  • DMARDs or (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) – methotrexate, ciclosporin, etc…
  • TNF-alpha blockers (Timor necrosis factor) - these are considered biologic DMARDs, including Enbrel, Humira, etc…
  • Steroids, either infections or eye drops.
  • You could even have physical therapy.
  • Or if the disease is extreme – you could have surgery on your back or hip.

When you go and see your doctor, they may recommend home remedies or lifestyle measures like:

  • To reduce your pain, swelling and mobility, they may recommend regular exercises.
  • Therapy you can do at home if you have hot and cold packs for the pain.
  • A proper anti-inflammatory diet could be either the Dash Diet or the Mediterranean diet.
  • If you smoke, it would be best if you immediately stopped.

6. Fingers and toes are swollen.

Psoriatic arthritis might start in your small joints like your fingers and toes, then progress from there.

Spondylitis may accompany Swollen toe or finger joints or sausage-like fingers called (dactylitis).

Studies estimated that fifty per cent of people with Psoriatic arthritis has dactylitis. However, the study found that dactylitis is uncommon in other arthritic symptoms except for gout and pseudogout.

When you get dactylitis in PsA, it may cause individual fingers different. For example, the left hand could swell, but the right hand is perfect. In addition, PsA may make the whole finger or toe look swollen instead of just the joints like arthritis.

7. Inflammation of the eye.

If you have PsA, you may have eye problems, like eye inflammation and redness.

Inflammation of the eyes include.

  • Red and itchy eyes.
  • Dry eyes - feeling like grit or sand in your eyes.
  • Blurred vision or difficulty in focusing
  • Sensitive or pain to light.
  • In your field of vision, you may have what is called floaters; these are small specks, lines or they could be other shapes.
Blood shot eyes

When the floaters are new or developed larger with flashing lights in the field of vision, it could be a signal of emergency medical attention. When this happens, you must get medical help from a professional.

Your eye could have inflammation in the middle layer called uveitis. But the percentage of people with PsA is very low, around 7 and 25 per cent.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it's essential to get medical care right away. Initial finding is crucial in avoiding complications like

Glaucoma: This is damage to your optic nerve.

Cataracts: This is a dense, cloudy area that forms on the eye's lens.

Optic nerve damage – the optic nerve carries information to your brain when this optic nerve becomes inflamed.

The following symptoms that you must be aware of are:

The pelvis.

The main treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation, including oral medication and eye drops.

8. Pain in the feet.

When you get pain in your feet or ankles, it may indicate PsA.

You could experience pain in places where your tendons are attached to your bones called 'Enthesitis', known as Enthesopathy.

Your joints appear as pain, swelling and tender. The prominent locations include:

  • Feet or knees.
  • Elbows or shoulders.
  • Also your pelvis.
  • The symptoms of Enthesopathy include:

    • Movement of the joints are impaired.
    • If you don't use the joint for a long time, your joints will be stiff.
    • The joints will also swell.
    • When you move, you will have a grating sound sensation.

    The treatment could be the same as for all of the arthritis diseases:

    • NSAIDs drugs. – but with all drugs, they all give you side effects.
    • DMARDs medication – such as Azulfidine.
    • Steroid injections – this can also have side effects.
    • Exercise – you should move around and get your joints working.
    • Surgery – if your disease becomes chronic, the doctor may give you surgery.

    There is also a free psoriatic arthritis app to help you with your stress, where you can ask questions about your PsA.

    PsA Healthline on the App Store (apple.com)

    Elbow Joint

    9. Pain in the Elbow.

    Your elbow can also develop enthesitis, which is similar to tennis elbow. The symptoms include pain, tenderness and moving your elbow could cause difficulty.

    The symptoms of your elbow include:

    • Your elbows slowly gets worse.
    • The pain will form on the outside of the elbow and travel to the forearm and wrist.
    • You will have a weak grip - opening jars, lifting things or using tools will be difficult.
    • When you squeeze an object or shake hands, it will increase the pain.

    The treatment can include:

    • Get a rest period throughout the day.
    • Put an ice pack on the area (but DO NOT put ice cubes on your skin).
    • Your doctor may advise you on ultrasound therapy or shockwave therapy.
    • Steroid injections – but this can cause side effects.
    • PRP injections (platelet-rich plasma).
    • Exercise or your doctor could also advise you to go to physiotherapy.

    When you begin a new treatment with an exercise program, ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

    Exercise walking the dog.

    10. You could have a reduction in your movement.

    You may find that you may have a reduced range of motion in your joints. The reduction could be that you find it difficult to reach your arms out, bend your knees or bend forward.

    There is another problem with people working with their hands with typing, drawing or even using the mouse. When your condition becomes worse and unable to move your joints beyond a certain point, it's called contracture deformity, which can lead to difficulties like:

    • In your hand or wrist, you may get a thickening layer of tissue under the skin.

    • Or a lack of blood flowing to the forearm, which could cause muscle shortening.

    To prevent this, it would help if you did a range of flexibility and function exercises such as:

    An exercise ball that you squeeze and relax.

    11 Fatigue.

    Fatigue is common for those of you with PsA. You may need asleep through the day.

    A study found that fifty per cent of people with skin conditions had moderate to severe fatigue problems, and twenty-five per cent had intense levels.

    Fatigue could be due to symptoms or problems, for example.

    • Inflammation and chronic pain.
    • Anaemia and diabetes.
    • Sleep problems.
    • Lack of energy also increases weight or even obesity.
    • Anxiety and depression.
    anxiety sign


    In some cases, when you have psoriasis, it does not mean that you develop PsA, but it's vital to know and be aware of the symptoms.

    It would be best to treat your PsA early; this can help avoid joint damage. Also, make sure that your doctor knows of any new or unusual joint differences from the last visit.

    I hope this article has helped you. Please subscribe to my website, and I will keep you updated on new blogs. Also, if you need to know anything about arthritis, please go to my contact page and leave a message, and I will get back to you.

    In the meantime, if this post is informative, I’d be very grateful if you’d help your friends or family if they have a similar condition to tell them. So please share it on Twitter or Facebook or send them an email.

    I am not a medical professional, and this blog is for information only. If you have any worries you should consult your doctor.

    I hope this blog has helped.

    If you want to understand more about psoriatic arthritis just click the button below for your FREE eBook.


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    Linda Rook

    Linda is now retired and has suffered from Osteoarthritis for about 40+ years.  She struggled with her weight until she found the correct one that also helped with her arthritic pain.  Linda was in terrible pain until the physician thought her right hip needed replacement. 

    Now Linda has an artificial right hip, which has left her with the left leg shorter than the right.  Therefore, her spine is now wonky, and has arthritis of the lower back, also it seems to be going all over the body, her pain is now in the knees, elbow, wrist, fingers and both hips.

    Linda now spends her days writing information to help others with the same conditions, so they do not suffer like Linda.

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