It may seem strange that a form of arthritis is associated with an itchy, painful skin disease called psoriasis.
It is true, however. Psoriatic Arthritis is classified as an inflammatory type of arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis can mimic other types of arthritis, so distinguishing it from other types is the focus of diagnosis.
It is sometimes confused with and misdiagnosed as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis.
The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have Psoriatic Arthritis.
While there is no single test which identifies Psoriatic Arthritis, diagnosis can be based on your medical history, physical examination, and x-rays or other imaging studies which look for evidence of joint damage caused by inflammation.
Basically, patients with Psoriatic Arthritis have musculoskeletal aspects of arthritis and skin manifestations in the form of psoriasis.
Criteria which serves as evidence of Psoriatic Arthritis includes:
- Inflammatory arthritis with joint and/or spine involvement.
- X-ray evidence of new bone formation, especially near or around joints of the hand or foot
- Generally, the x-ray progression of Psoriatic Arthritis in its early stages occurs slowly. Aside from typical involvement of the spine and joints of the fingers and toes, Psoriatic Arthritis typically affects the large joints of the body.
- Evidence of psoriasis (current, as part of your medical history, or as part of your family history) which includes:
1. Plaques of red skin, typically on the knees, elbows, palms and soles of the feet, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales. These lesions may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed.
2. Disorders of the fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting of the nails; the nails may also begin to crumble or detach from the nail bed.
3. Plaques of scales or crust on the scalp
4.Swelling of the entire finger or toe.
Source: About Health/ Carol Eustice