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Psoriatic Arthritis Specialist

Valdosta Specialty Clinic

Rheumatology & Endocrinology located in Valdosta, GA

Up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Like other types of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis can cause serious joint damage if you don’t start treatment early. At Valdosta Specialty Clinic in Valdosta, Georgia, the highly educated and experienced specialists offer the most effective methods of treatment to prevent psoriatic arthritis from causing significant joint damage. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

Psoriatic Arthritis Q&A

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that may affect people with psoriasis, a skin condition causing patchy and scaly skin.

Psoriasis occurs when your immune system mistakenly destroys healthy skin. In much the same way, psoriatic arthritis destroys joint tissue. Typically, people experience psoriasis first and then develop psoriatic arthritis around a decade later. However, it can happen oppositely too.

With both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, symptoms usually come and go. Flare-ups can range from mild to severe and may occur in different areas over time. 

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

The main symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are:

  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint tenderness
  • Restricted joint movement
  • Swelling, especially in fingers and toes
  • Pain where tendons and ligaments connect to joints

Your psoriasis skin symptoms might be mild, while your psoriatic arthritis symptoms are severe, or just the opposite. 

Who gets psoriatic arthritis?

Researchers aren't sure what causes psoriatic arthritis. However, heredity may be a potential cause. Four in 10 people with psoriatic arthritis have a relative with psoriasis or arthritis. 

Another possible cause is an infection, particularly streptococcal (strep throat) infection. Physical trauma, like an injury, may also trigger psoriatic arthritis in people who have a genetic predisposition.

How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed?

Your rheumatologist at Valdosta Specialty Clinic assesses your joints along with your skin and nails to look for the telltale symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Imaging tests are usually part of the diagnosis because they reveal joint damage in detail.  

Psoriatic arthritis often has symptoms similar to those of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. You may need blood tests to rule out other types of arthritis and other diseases.

How is psoriatic arthritis treated?

Psoriatic arthritis treatment can't reverse existing joint damage, but it can effectively control symptoms and prevent further damage. 

For mild psoriatic arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may manage your symptoms effectively. 

For more severe symptoms, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, immunosuppressants, biologic response modifiers, and other drugs can help to control your flare-ups. You take some medications orally, but biologics are injections or infusions that you receive in the Valdosta Specialty Clinic office. 

If you have severe swelling, corticosteroid injections can decrease inflammation and pain.

Psoriatic arthritis treatment works best when combined with regular walking or other types of exercise that don't stress the joints. Physical and occupational therapy can help, as well.   

For psoriatic arthritis help, call the experts at Valdosta Specialty Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.