Psoriatic Arthritis (cont.)

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What are complications of psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis can be complicated by issues within the skin or the joints. The skin of psoriasis can become infected and require antibiotic treatments. The joints can become destroyed, deformed, and functionless. With aggressive treatment, however, these complications are generally avoidable. Psoriatic arthritis with eye, bowel, lung, or heart valve inflammation can be complicated by disease in these areas. The degree of any injury depends on the location, the intensity, and duration of the inflammation.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with psoriatic arthritis?

With aggressive treatment and monitoring of both the skin and the joints, patients can have an excellent outcome. It is particularly important to begin treatments early in the course of the arthritis for best results. Newer biologic medications can be extremely effective for those whose disease fails to respond to methotrexate or who cannot take it.

Can psoriatic arthritis be prevented?

There is no method to prevent psoriatic arthritis. It is best to treat the skin optimally. If treatments are under way and the disease is controlled, recurrence of disease does often occur when treatments are discontinued.

What does the future hold for patients with psoriatic arthritis?

It has been shown that vitamin D might improve the arthritis of psoriatic arthritis. Research has shown this to be a helpful dietary modification. The future treatment of psoriatic arthritis will evolve as more effective and safe medicines are developed. Areas of research involve treatment with medications that can alter the immune systems of patients with psoriatic arthritis. As the immune system changes and genetics are better defined in this illness, the efficacy of medical treatments will improve.

For more information about psoriatic arthritis, please visit the following site:

National Psoriasis Foundation/USA (http://www.psoriasis.org/)

REFERENCES:

Klippel, J.H., et al. Primer on the Rheumatic Diseases. 13th ed. New York: Springer, 2008.

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/2/2013

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