Information on PsA and RA. 

 December 18, 2021

By  Linda Rook

RA of the hand.


The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are both autoimmune disorders.

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms can develop in the joints also rashes on the skin (psoriasis).

While they share some similarities, they also have important differences such as their causes, symptoms, and treatment approaches.

In this blog, we shall explore the valuable information about both PsA and RA to help you better understand these conditions and how they can be managed.

We shall start with psoriatic arthritis.

Understanding Psoriatic arthritis.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in a subsection of people living with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is considered to have red, scaly skin patches, and while not everyone with psoriasis develops PsA, the two conditions are closely linked.

PsA mainly targets the joints and, in some cases, can cause inflammation in tendons and surrounding tissues.

The symptoms could be:

  • Joint pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Fatigue
  • Skin condition.
  • Tender or pain of the tendons and ligaments.
  • Also, a range of movement.
Rash on the arm or psoriasis.

Causes and risk factors.

The exact cause of Psoriatic Arthritis is still unclear, but it is thought to be a result of a combination of genetic and environmental triggers and infections.


Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis can be challenging because its symptoms often overlap with other forms of arthritis. Rheumatologists, who specialize in autoimmune conditions, has a crucial role in diagnosis.

Living with Psoriatic Arthritis.

While Psoriatic Arthritis is a chronic condition without a known cure, many individuals with PsA can lead fulfilling lives with proper treatment and management.

Regular check-ups with a rheumatologist and adherence to prescribed treatments are essential for controlling the disease.

In addition, adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a balanced diet can help reduce the impact of PsA.

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What is rheumatoid arthritis.

Whereas Rheumatoid Arthritis is also an autoimmune disorder.  When you develop RA the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium

The synovium is the lining of membranes that surrounds the joints. This autoimmune response leads to chronic inflammation, which over time can damage joints and cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.

The Symptoms could be:

  • Your joints will be painful and stiff.
  • Swelling and warm to the touch.
  • Fatigue.
  • Joint deformities.
  • Rheumatoid nodules.
  • Fever and weight loss.

Causes and risks.

As with psoriatic arthritis, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown.

Some risk factors could be genetics, the environment, or if you smoke, you can increase the risk.

Also if you are elderly and you are on cancer drugs, you are also at high risk of developing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.


Diagnosing RA requires a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, typically a rheumatologist.

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Living with RA presents unique challenges, but it is possible to lead a fulfilling life with the condition in.

Keeping up with your prescribed medication and treatment plan, do physical activities every day, find a support from healthcare or support groups.

Also it will help if you managed your stress through doing relaxation techniques. Last one is promoting a healthy diet.

Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Both PsA and RA are autoimmune disorders and affect the joints.  The difference is how the joints are affected, in PsA the joint is caused by inflammation, pain and swelling.  With RA the synovium of the joints is attacked leading to inflammation and joint damage.

Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joints in the body, but mainly the fingers, toes, knees, and spine.  Rheumatoid arthritis can attack any joint in the body and can be in both sides of the body at the same time.

Both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms could be joint pain and swelling, but RA it can be in multiple joints, typically symmetrical.  Morning stiffness and fatigue.

But with PsA you may have changes in the nails such as pitting or separation, also you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis and skin symptoms like psoriasis.

RA you may also have Joint deformities, loss of joint function, Rheumatoid nodules (firm lumps under the skin) or Systemic symptoms, including fever and weight loss.

Key Differences Between PsA and RA

1.    Psoriatic Arthritis is related with psoriasis, whereas Rheumatoid Arthritis is not linked to any specific skin condition.

2.    Psoriatic Arthritis tends to affect the joints in an uneven pattern, while Rheumatoid Arthritis usually affects joints together (on both sides).

3.    Psoriatic Arthritis may involve nail changes and skin symptoms, whereas Rheumatoid Arthritis mainly affects the joints.

4.    The treatment approach for both conditions may involve similar medications like DMARDs and biologics, but specific treatment plans differ based on the condition's features.

inflammation of the knee


Rheumatoid Arthritis may be a lifelong condition. By understanding the disease, seeking early diagnosis and treatment, making healthy lifestyle choices, people with RA can take control of their condition and continue to live meaningful, active lives.

Whereas psoriatic arthritis is a complex and challenging condition that affects not only the joints but also the skin and other body systems.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing the disease and improving the quality of life for those affected.

By understanding the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options, people with PsA can take control of their condition and continue to live active and fulfilling lives.

Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are complex autoimmune conditions that can have a profound impact on a person's life.

Early diagnosis and appropriate management are essential to minimize joint damage.

If you suspect you may have symptoms of either condition, consult a rheumatologist for a proper evaluation and personalized treatment plan.

With the right medical care and lifestyle adjustments, individuals with PsA or RA can lead fulfilling and active lives.

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.


More Information.



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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