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Psoriasis and Joint Pain?

This could mean psoriatic arthritis (PsA)

If you have psoriasis and you've been experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling in and around your joints, you should discuss it with your dermatologist. You may be experiencing symptoms of a related disease called psoriatic arthritis, or PsA. View picture of psoriatic arthritis.

How are PsA and psoriasis related?

  • PsA affects up to 30% of psoriasis patients
  • 80% of PsA patients develop the symptoms of psoriasis first
  • On average, symptoms of PsA don’t appear until 10 years after symptoms of psoriasis

Early detection is key

Even if you're not experiencing joint pain yet, it's important to watch out for it. Psoriatic arthritis is a serious disease, so the earlier it's diagnosed and managed, the better. Early detection and appropriate management can help prevent or limit extensive damage to your joints that may occur in late stages of the disease.

A diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis may result in a change of treatment, so it's important to talk to your doctor. There are different types of treatments for PsA:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including antimalarials, biologic drugs, and traditional systemic drugs
  • Local steroid injections for certain joints

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms

Take a look at the symptom checklist below. If you've experienced any of these symptoms, check them off and take the list to your next appointment with your dermatologist.

Have you experienced any of the following symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

Areas PsA Commonly Affects


PsA can cause pain and stiffness in joints on just one side (asymmetric arthritis) or both sides of the body (symmetric arthritis). While PsA can affect any joint in the body, swelling and pain in the fingers and toes is typical. The lower back, wrists, knees, or ankles may also be affected.

Psoriatic Arthritis FAQs

  • Do psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis appear at the same time?

    In 80% of PsA patients, symptoms of psoriasis appear first. Typically, PsA symptoms don't appear until about 10 years after psoriasis.

  • Is there a cure for psoriatic arthritis?

    While there's currently no cure, there are a number of treatment options.


Psoriatic Arthritis