Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic condition involving both joint and skin inflammation. 10-30 percent of people with psoriasis develop the condition, usually between 40 and 50 years of age. Two percent of Caucasians in the United States suffer from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

While the cause of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is unknown, it is believed to be a combination of environment, immunity and genetic factors.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis symptoms include skin inflammation with raised, red or scaly patches. When psoriatic arthritis develops, the following symptoms can occur:

  • Swollen, hot, red, stiff and painful joints, especially in the morning
  • Inflammation of cartilage, tendons, eyes, lung lining, heart and kidneys
  • Nail changes, including pits and nail separating from the skin

Types of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis can be categorized into five types:

  • Symmetrical: Affects matching joints on both sides of the body; can cause destructive, disabling disease in half of the individuals with this type
  • Asymmetric: Does not affect both sides of the body with similar joint inflammation; often involves a hip, a knee and one or more fingers
  • Spondylitis: Vertebral inflammation affecting any section of the spine, causing difficulty with movement
  • Distal Interphalangeal Predominant: Inflammation of finger and toe joints
  • Arthritis Mutilans: Severe, destructive and deforming type affecting less than five percent of patients