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What Makes Psoriatic Arthritis Different?

If the joints in your feet are inflamed, you’ll know it. The pain and stiffness will be evident with every step. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month and here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want to give your patients the facts about how this disease can affect your joints. Although most people when they think of psoriasis think of a skin condition (red, scaly dry patches that itch and burn), another condition associated with this autoimmune disease is psoriatic arthritis. Here are some important facts about this condition and your feet:

  • Psoriatic arthritis usually affects joints closest to you toe and finger nails (distal joints) and that is why it often develops in the feet.

  • Psoriatic arthritis affects up to 30% of patients that have been diagnosed with psoriasis.

  • In approximately 85% of cases, psoriatic arthritis shows up after psoriasis but in 15% of the cases the arthritis precedes the skin condition.

  • The severity of your psoriasis does not correlate with the development of psoriatic arthritis—patients with very few skin lesions can still have their joints affected.

  • Some symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are similar to other types of joint disease: pain, stiffness and reduced range of motion. There are, however, often additional symptoms that are different: general fatigue, changes in the appearance of your toenails—nails may be pitted or separate from the nail bed and you may also experience redness and pain in your eye.

  • Psoriatic arthritis may appear slowly over time or come on suddenly with severe symptoms.

  • Sometimes the arthritis will develop in a joint that has been injured.

Perhaps the most important fact to know is that psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage in as little as six months. That’s why early detection and treatment is essential. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, especially if you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis, contact our Reading office for an appointment as soon as possible. Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will do a complete examination of your foot and will help determine the cause and appropriate treatment of your joint pain.

Contact Us

New England Foot & Ankle Specialist

30 New Crossing Road

Suite 311

Reading, MA 01867 US

(781) 944-4044