Psoriatic Arthritis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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Quick GuidePsoriatic Arthritis Symptoms, Treatment, Images

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms, Treatment, Images

What are psoriatic arthritis complications?

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 prognosis of 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.

Is it possible to prevent psoriatic arthritis?

There is no method for the prevention of psoriatic arthritis. It is best to treat the skin optimally. Treatments that control the disease, in a sense, prevent recurrence of the arthritis. Because when they are discontinued, the inflammatory joint disease typically recurs.

Is there a psoriatic arthritis diet? Are there home remedies for 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. There is no other universally effective diet, or foods to avoid, for psoriatic arthritis. There are also no dependable home remedies for psoriatic arthritis. However, vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for both the skin and joints. In Europe, people have bathed in the Dead Sea for psoriasis treatment.

What types of doctors treat psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is generally treated by rheumatologists, specialists in diagnosing and treating arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Other doctors who may be involved in the care of patients with psoriatic arthritis include dermatologists and primary-care doctors, including family and general practitioners and internal medicine specialists. When surgical treatment is needed for severe joint disease, orthopedic surgeons can be consulted. Other health-care givers can include occupational and physical therapists.

What does the future hold for patients with psoriatic arthritis?

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 (


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 2/4/2016

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