Psoriatic Arthritis Pictures Slideshow: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR on Thursday, October 06, 2011

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis).

American professional golfer, Phil Mickelson, was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010.

A combination of genetic, immune, and environmental factors is likely involved in psoriatic arthritis.

In most patients, psoriasis precedes the arthritis by months to years. The arthritis frequently involves the knees, ankles, and joints in the feet.

There are five types of psoriatic arthritis, and it is important to know which type you have so that it may be treated properly.

Symmetric psoriatic arthritis affects the same joints -- usually in multiple matching pairs -- on opposite sides of the body.

Asymmetric psoriatic arthritis typically involves one to three joints in the body -- large or small -- such as the knee, hip, or one or several fingers.

Distal interphalangeal predominant psoriatic arthritis involves primarily the small joints in the fingers and toes closest to the nail.

Spondylitis affects the spinal column and may cause inflammation and stiffness in the neck, lower back, spinal vertebrae, or sacroiliac region (pelvic area).

Arthritis mutilans is a severe, deforming, and destructive form of psoriatic arthritis that primarily affects the small joints in the fingers and toes closest to the nail.

Psoriatic arthritis is a diagnosis made mainly on clinical grounds, based on a finding of psoriasis and the typical inflammatory arthritis of the spine and/or other joints.

Generally, the treatment of arthritis in psoriatic arthritis involves a combination of anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and exercise.

While there are drugs that can stop the progression of the disease, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis.

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