Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a particular type of inflammatory arthritis that affects roughly twenty percent of those suffering from the chronic skin condition called Psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis occurs much more frequently among those that have a particular tissue type. The tissue type most affected by psoriatic arthritis is HLA-B27.

For the most part, treatment of psoriatic arthritis is quite similar to treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Mostly treatment involves treating patients with anti-inflammatory drugs, though I believe that an advantage to natural medicine therapies are that the same relief is effected, yet that a deeper cause is more fully addressed as well.

For example, rubbing emu oil into the affected areas, brings ant-inflammatory medicine directly to the affected areas, particularly where the joints do not lie very deep beneath the skin’s surface. It has been shown that a combination of emu oil applied topically, along with nutritional supplements of glucosamine, chondroitin and/or MSM, can keep arthritis very much under some semblance of control.

One of the more unique characteristics of psoriatic arthritis is that about eighty percent of those suffering with psoriatic arthritis will develop psoriatic nail lesions which are known by pitting of the nails, or even the complete lack of a nail. When a person loses a whole nail, this is called onycholysis.

Of course onycholysis is a very general term meaning simply disease of deformity of the nail. These can include everything from   ingrown  toenails to all kinds of odd and rare  nail  fungus and other deformities of the nails.

Psoriatic arthritis can develop at any age, yet the average age that psoriatic arthritis usually appears is about ten years after the first signs of psoriasis. For most people with psoriatic arthritis, this condition makes an onset between the ages of thirty and fifty, yet it can occur in children and those of other ages as well.

Women and men seem to be pretty equally affected by psoriatic arthritis, whereas osteoarthritis affects nearly twice as many women as it does men. One in seven cases of psoriatic arthritis involve the arthritic symptoms occurring much earlier than any skin problems or skin involvement of the condition.

There are some different types of psoriatic arthritis. There is symmetric psoriatic arthritis where joints on both sides of the body are affected simultaneously. This type accounts for about fifty percent of all psoriatic arthritis cases.

Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis affects around thirty-five percent of people suffering from the disorder. This type of psoriatic arthritis tends to be more mild and does not occur in the same joints on both sides of the body.

Less than five percent of psoriatic arthritis patients suffer from arthritis mutilans which is characterized by severe joint damage and is known to progress over months and years until some type of severe damage is noticed.

Spondylitis is a type of psoriatic arthritis characterized by stiffness in the neck or spine and can also affect the feet or hands. Distal interphalangeal predominant arthritis is characterized by pain and stiffness in joints located closest to the tips of fingers and toes.

The main treatment used for psoriatic arthritis is the administering of anti-inflammatory drugs and nutitional supplements. When psoriatic arthritis does not respond to such treatment, sometimes immunosuppresants such as methotrexate may be used to treat the psoriasis in addition to the arthritis.