Psoriasis Rheumatism – Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis rheumatism or psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is a member of a group of diseases called spondyloarthropathy, which has some common features. It usually affects people with psoriasis. In psoriasis, there are redness and swelling in certain areas of the skin and silvery white scales. In psoriasis rheumatism, joint symptoms sometimes occur first, and skin symptoms can be seen much later. Even rheumatoid psoriasis / psoriatic arthritis may develop rarely without any skin findings.

Both psoriasis and psoriasis rheumatism are autoimmune diseases. The immune system, or the immune system, normally protects us from disease and infection. In autoimmune diseases, it reacts against the body’s own tissues. Most rheumatic diseases develop as a result of autoimmunity.

Psoriasis and psoriasis rheumatism can affect people of all ages. One in five people with psoriasis develops psoriasis rheumatism. Also, people with rheumatoid psoriasis are likely to develop osteoarthritis (arthritis of the joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (another inflammatory rheumatism) like other people. These diseases are independent of psoriasis.


Psoriasis rheumatism causes various symptoms in the body. One of the most important symptoms is joint inflammation (arthritis), that is, pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Normally, inflammation occurs to fight germs, while rheumatic diseases do not have any germs. Waist, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knuckles, knees, ankles, toes can be involved. The stiffness is usually worse in the morning and lasts longer than 30 minutes. Stiffness can also occur after being inactive.

The places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones are called entheses. Enthesitis is inflammation here and is another symptom of psoriasis rheumatism. The pain associated with enthesitis is not limited to the joints, but can occur in different places. It most commonly develops on the back of the heel or sole of the foot. Hip, knee, elbow and chest (ribs) are other places that are frequently involved.

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Swelling may occur in the fingers or toes. This is called dactylitis. It is also referred to as “sausage finger” in the literature. One or two fingers can be held at a given moment.

Another common symptom of rheumatism is severe and persistent fatigue that does not go away with rest.

There are different types of psoriasis. The most common is the chronic plaque-forming type. White and silvery scales form on the raised, reddened skin. It can occur in any region. It most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees, back, buttocks, and scalp. Small pits may appear on the nails. It can also cause symptoms such as thickening and discoloration of the nails.

Other Symptoms

Psoriasis rheumatism can also lead to signs outside of the skin and joints. Inflammation of the eye, called uveitis, may occur. In this case, redness, pain, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light may occur in one or both eyes. Symptoms may appear suddenly or within a few days. If left untreated, it can cause permanent visual impairment, so it is necessary to be examined by an ophthalmologist without delay.

The risk of heart disease increases. For this reason, people with psoriasis rheumatism should be careful not to smoke, maintain a normal weight, exercise regularly, eat healthy and not consume excessive alcohol.

Crohn’s disease, a disease involving the intestines, can develop in people with psoriatic arthritis. It can cause symptoms such as blood in the stool, diarrhea lasting longer than 7 days, constant abdominal pain and cramps, fever, and unexplained weight loss.

Fatty liver may occur.

What Causes Psoriasis Rheumatism?

It is thought that environmental factors such as infection, trauma, obesity, smoking on a genetic basis trigger this disease. Often the cause of the disease cannot be said.

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There is no specific test to diagnose psoriasis rheumatism. People with suspected psoriasis rheumatism can be referred to physical therapy and rehabilitation or rheumatology doctors. Diagnosis is made on the basis of questioning the complaints and physical examination. It is not difficult to diagnose if joint symptoms develop in a person known to have psoriasis. However, the disease does not always follow this order. Some tests may be required to differentiate it from diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. Imaging of the joints and spine with methods such as X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI can aid in diagnosis.


Starting the right treatment early after diagnosis increases the chance of controlling joint inflammation. Since there are many subtypes of the disease, the treatment is shaped according to the person’s affected state. Some drugs help control symptoms such as pain and swelling, while other drugs can reduce disease activity.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections (cortisone injections), disease-modifying drugs, and biological therapies are the main drug treatments for joint inflammation. Creams and ointments, retinoid tablets, phototherapy (ultraviolet light therapy) can be used for skin involvement. Disease-modifying drugs and biologic drugs can be beneficial for skin symptoms as well as arthritis.

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