What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that encompasses two kinds of symptoms — both joint and skin — people often mistake the symptoms for 2 unrelated conditions.

85% Of People Experience Skin Symptoms First

Of people with psoriatic arthritis develop thick, red patches on their skin before experiencing joint symptoms.

Source: National Psoriasis Foundation

There is no definitive test for psoriatic arthritis, therefore it can be difficult to diagnose. Symptoms can unpredictably interrupt the lives of patients for years until they find the right treatment.

What Does Psoriatic Arthritis Look Like?

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms - swollen fingers
Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms - joint pain and ankle pain

Its symptoms and appearance vary by person, but can include the following symptoms:

  • Joint pain, swelling or stiffness in one or more joints
  • Red or warm joints
  • “Sausage-like” swelling in your fingers and toes
  • Pain in and around your feet and ankles
  • Thick, red, scaly patches on your skin 

Psoriatic arthritis is a progressive disease, which means permanent joint damage can occur. Early treatment and ongoing management is crucial. It’s important to work with your doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment for you.