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Psoriasis is a very common chronic inflammatory condition that impacts the joints too!
Approximately 1 out of every 4 Psoriasis patients will eventually develop Psoriatic Arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis is a condition that combines the scaling and red itchy skin characteristic of Psoriasis and the swollen fingers and toes of arthritis. It is aptly described as an ‘inflammatory arthritis that affects the skin and joints.’
However, many people with Psoriatic Arthritis also experience involvement of other organs like eyes.
Psoriatic Arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. This abnormal response leads to overproduction of skin cells and inflammation of joints causing Psoriasis and arthritis-like symptoms respectively.
Viral or bacterial infections or physical trauma are also known to cause Psoriatic Arthritis, especially in people who have a family history of the condition.
In earlier times, Psoriatic Arthritis was considered to be a very benign disease. However recent studies have highlighted the impact that Psoriatic Arthritis can have on the body, in addition to its impact on skin and joints.
In ~30% of the Psoriatic Arthritis cases, Psoriasis is the presenting symptom followed by joint manifestations. Although this is not binding, having Psoriasis may make it easier to detect the onset of Psoriatic Arthritis earlier.
It is hard to generalise the impact that Psoriatic Arthritis can have, since the symptoms vary greatly. However, once the disease has progressed, simple tasks like opening a jar, lifting a bag, typing on a keyboard or using a mobile may become immensely difficult. The combined discomfort of skin symptoms and the physical limitations caused by joint symptoms leads to a lot of emotional distress, causing frustration and finally leading to anxiety and depression.
Understanding your condition will enable you to seek help early and prevent permanent damage.
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