What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

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Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis which affects the spine, joints and entheses (areas where tendons, ligaments and joint capsule attach to bone).

It belongs to a group of conditions called “spondyloarthritis” where there is inflammation of the spine and joints. Other conditions in this family include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease-related arthritis.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease which causes red patches of skin with overlying white flaky skin. Around 30% of patients with skin psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis in their lifetime but it can be up to 10 years after the diagnosis of psoriasis.

Some patients with very minor skin disease can develop quite significant arthritis but on the other hand, some patients with severe skin disease never develop arthritis.  Nail changes of psoriasis do predict a greater chance of developing arthritis.