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Types of Psoriasis (cont.)

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a disease in which a person may have both psoriasis and inflammatory arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a potentially destructive and deforming form of joint disease.

Picture of severe psoriatic arthritis involving the finger joints.
Picture of severe psoriatic arthritis involving the finger joints.

Psoriatic arthritis, like psoriasis, is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune cells damage one's own tissues. Rarely, a person can have psoriatic arthritis without having skin psoriasis. Usually, the more severe the skin symptoms are, the greater the likelihood a person will have psoriatic arthritis.

Picture of psoriatic arthritis. Severe deformity of the joints at the ends of the fingers.
Picture of psoriatic arthritis. Severe deformity of the joints at the ends of the fingers.

Psoriatic arthritis affects 10%-30% of people with psoriasis. A recent survey by the National Psoriasis Foundation indicated that approximately 1 million people in the United States have psoriatic arthritis. Often people who have psoriasis are unaware that they have psoriatic arthritis.

Systemic Disease in Psoriasis

It is important to recognize that patients with psoriasis are predisposed to a number of systemic conditions that can adversely impact their general health, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It seems that the inflammatory process is not limited to the skin. These diverse problems are sometimes lumped together as "metabolic syndrome." It is often prudent for all psoriasis patients to be closely followed by their primary-care doctors as well as their skin specialist.


Ladizinski, Barry, et al. "A Review of the Clinical Variants and the Management of Psoriasis." Advances in Skin & Wound Care June 2013: 271-284.

Soriano, Enrique Roberto. "Treatment Guidelines for Psoriatic Arthritis." International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology July 7, 2009.

Weigle, Nancy, and Sarah McBane. "Psoriasis." American Family Physician 87.9 May 1, 2013: 626-633.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/14/2016

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