Lifestyle   Wellness
By Lifestyle Team | 01 Sept. 2017

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?


What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a very common type of arthritis that is particularly troublesome among people who are suffering from psoriasis, a condition which causes the development of itchy and dry patches of skin. When you’ve been affected by this type of arthritis, you’ll start to experience an inflammation of your joints. This is a chronic condition, so it will get worse over time. Exercise is one of the most common ways of lessening the severity of your symptoms.

There are several types of psoriatic arthritis that you should be aware of, including symmetric psoriatic arthritis, asymmetric arthritis, DIP psoriatic arthritis, spondylitis, and arthritis mutilans. The first of these will affect several joints on both sides of your body and can range from mild to severe, while the second of these only affects a few joints in one area of the body and is among the mildest form of psoriatic arthritis. DIP arthritis occurs within small joints around the toes and fingers. It’s also very similar in nature to osteoarthritis.

Spondylitis occurs within the spinal column and can affect practically any bone within, eventually spreading to the tissues that connect the muscles to bones. The final type of psoriatic arthritis, known as arthritis mutilans, is the most severe type, as it can eventually cause your toes and fingers to become deformed. Thankfully, this type is also the rarest, so it’s unlikely that you suffer from it.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Given the fact that psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease, the symptoms you experience will vary in severity. At times, you’ll hardly notice the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, while at others these symptoms will be severe enough to be debilitating to your everyday life. Since there are a handful of different types of this condition, the symptoms can be a little different depending on the type that you’re affected by. However, in most cases the symptoms you experience will include swollen toes and fingers, foot pain around the sole of your foot and back of your heel, and pain within the lower back. The last of these symptoms is usually only present with Spondylitis.

Risk Factors for Psoriatic Arthritis

There are several unique risk factors for psoriatic arthritis, the most common of which is the presence of psoriasis. If you have psoriasis, there’s a high chance that you will eventually become affected by psoriatic arthritis, especially if the psoriasis lesions that you suffer from are present on your nails. Another risk factor for developing this condition is if you have a family history of it, such as a sibling or parent who’s affected by psoriatic arthritis. While it’s possible to become affected by this condition at any age, it’s most common among people between the ages of 30 and 50. If you find that one or more of these risk factors apply to you, consider seeing your doctor so that they can determine whether or not you’ve been afflicted with this condition.

Psoriatic Arthritis Causes

Psoriatic arthritis typically occurs within the body due to the attack on healthy tissues and cells by your body’s immune system. This odd immune response will cause your joints to become inflamed and will lead to an overproduction of your skin cells. While it’s known that psoriatic arthritis begins when your immune system attacks these areas of your body, it’s not exactly known why this attack occurs. It’s widely believed that a combination of environmental and genetic factors are part of the reason why someone develops this condition. The risk factors mentioned previously are signs that you could develop such a condition in the future.