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Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints that occurs in association with the skin condition psoriasis. In most cases, the skin symptoms of psoriatic arthritis appear before the joint problems. However, only about 15 percent of people with psoriasis ever develop psoriatic arthritis. The condition typically arises in people ages 30 to 50, but can also begin in younger and older people, affecting men and women at roughly equal rates. Scientists do not fully understand why psoriatic arthritis develops. They believe that genetic, environmental and immunological factors all play a role.

Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness where tendons and ligaments connect to bones (e.g. at the back of the heel)
  • Scaly red and white patches on the skin
  • Pitting or other changes in the nails
  • Pain or inflammation of the eye

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease whose symptoms can wax and wane over time. The joints of the fingers and toes are common sites of inflammation, but the condition can also affect other areas including the wrists, knees, ankles and back. Mild cases might involve only one or a few joints. In severe cases, psoriatic arthritis can significantly impair daily functioning and quality of life.

At Indiana University Health, we diagnose psoriatic arthritis using a combination of medical history, physical examination, laboratory testing and imaging procedures. Although there is no cure for the condition, current treatments can control pain and preserve mobility in most people. Additionally, early diagnosis and treatment may help to prevent permanent damage to the joints.

We provide treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and prevent the long-term damage this condition can cause to the joints. Psoriatic arthritis is a complex disease where symptoms can mimic other problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis (arthritis that develops in response to an infection) and gout. Because there is no definitive test for psoriatic arthritis, accurate diagnosis relies on your healthcare provider’s skill, experience and access to tools for ruling out other conditions. Our expert rheumatologists use the most advanced methods to identify and manage psoriatic arthritis at the earliest stages. With proper treatment, most of our patients are able to maintain high levels of functioning and enjoy active lifestyles.

We care for patients with psoriatic arthritis in all of its variations at our network of hospital-based and satellite offices. Additionally, we use the comprehensive referral system of IU Health to connect patients with specialists in dermatology, orthopedics and other fields for additional care when appropriate. Through our affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine, we carry out research to find new treatments for rheumatic conditions such as psoriatic arthritis and we help to train the next generation of physicians. This partnership also ensures that our patients benefit from the latest innovations in diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic disorders.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment Information

IU Health arthritis and rheumatology specialists offer various types of treatment for psoriatic arthritis based on current care guidelines and your symptoms and preferences. Options include:

Psoriatic Arthritis Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Psoriatic Arthritis Support Services

Several national organizations provide information and resources on psoriatic arthritis. They include: