It is unfortunate for many people living with the chronic skin condition psoriasis that one of the symptoms is often to develop arthritis.
Around 20-25% of all people with psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis and the two conditions are very closely linked. The top rheumatologists that patients can be referred to have a lot of experience in handling the specifics of psoriatic arthritis. This ensures arthritic symptoms are handled in a way which is manageable alongside the skin condition.
What causes Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriasis and Arthritis are both inflammatory conditions. They are caused by the processes of inflammation. These processes effect the skin and joints in a similar way. Unfortunately, we do not yet know exactly what triggers the inflammation involved in psoriatic arthritis, but there are genetic links which make some patients more likely to develop it than others.
Research has shown that there is sometimes a trigger, often an infection, which leads to the development of the condition in those who are predisposed due to their genes. There has been no location of the singular infection which triggers the condition, as it may be a number of different infections, such as the bacteria that can live and grow in psoriasis patches.
How can Psoriatic Arthritis Be Treated?
A lot of the treatment provided for psoriatic arthritis is similar to other arthritis conditions. It can be quite difficult to manage which is why a team of healthcare professionals including skin and joint specialists should be involved in your care. You may be referred to a London rheumatology centre for the best treatment. Specialist nurses and healthcare assistants may also be involved in your care and treatment. Alongside the drug treatments involved in handling your psoriatic arthritis you may also see a physiotherapist and/or occupational therapist to ensure you can remain mobile and reduce the strain on your joints. Dependent on your condition you may also be referred to a podiatrist.
How will the Condition Progress?
Psoriatic arthritis varies a great deal from person to person, often due to the genetic links but also dependent on the severity of both conditions. The consultant rheumatologist London or other UK-based rheumatologist chosen by patients should be able to provide specific advice.
On a more general level, around a third of people living with the condition have a mild to moderate version which remains stable and manageable. Others will have a more severe version which requires life-time medication and treatment. The severity of the arthritis appears to have no link to the severity of the psoriasis.
As scientists are now able to scan human genetic material and focus in on the genes which may play a key role in the likelihood of the development of this condition, there could be hope for finding an exact cause. There is hope this will lead to developments within the next few years.
Have some questions about Psoriatic Arthritis?
Contact Dr Stephanie Barrett to discuss Psoriatic Arthritis.