Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is related to the skin condition known as psoriasis. Skin psoriasis is an overproduction of thickened scaly skin which can appear in different parts of the body and sometimes the nails. It tends to come and go with flare ups over the years but there is a small risk that affected individuals will also develop sporadic swelling of joints – most commonly the hands, wrist, elbows and feet but sometimes the knees and other joints.
Skin psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are thought to have an immunological basis and can be classed as a chronic condition, although individuals affected can remain symptom free for long periods of time. Skin psoriasis usually responds well to topical psoriasis creams and UV light therapy or immune suppressing medications, if needed. Psoriatic arthritis usually responds well to a medication called methotrexate but there are a variety of other drug options too. Psoriatic arthritis patients normally remain under ongoing review with their rheumatologist, although if the symptoms have been quiet for some time it is possible he may be discharged back to his GP.
As with most joint conditions, it is important that you maintain good muscle structure and joint function, so advice from a physiotherapist as to the best exercise regime would be helpful.
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