Psoriasis Home > Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that occurs in up to 8 percent of people who have psoriasis (a skin condition that is characterized by scaling and swelling). In a person with this type of arthritis, the joints (and sometimes other areas of the body) become inflamed. Joint pain and tenderness do not occur as often with this form of arthritis as they do with other types of arthritis. Treating this condition can involve lifestyle changes, medications, and routine monitoring.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects people with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterized by scaling and swelling. It is caused by a malfunction in the immune system. Similar to other types of arthritis, psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation of joints. It can also affect other areas of the body.


Who Gets It?

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that affects up to 8 percent of people with psoriasis. While it can happen at any age, it is more common in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Men and women are equally as likely to develop it.
Most often, it develops after a person has had psoriasis for several years. However, in 15 percent of people, psoriatic arthritis symptoms develop before the skin symptoms of psoriasis appear. In another 15 percent of people, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are diagnosed at the same time.

What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?

Scientists do not know the exact cause or causes of psoriatic arthritis. They do think that it is caused by a combination of environmental, genetic, and immune system factors. At this point, however, they aren't sure how these factors tie together.
(Click Psoriatic Arthritis Causes for more information.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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