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Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis may sound incredibly similar and produce very similar symptoms, but how close are they in terms of their root causes, symptoms and manifestations? There are literally thousands of articles available online discussing the link between the two conditions, making it easy to get confused by their relationship, so we’re here to reveal all.
Before we dive into the details and reveal the link between the two, here’s a quick summary of what we know:
So where’s the connection? Well, both conditions are rooted in inflammation occurring in the body. Put simply, if you have PsA or psoriasis then you have super-charged immune system; this may sound really impressive, but in reality means that your immune system goes into overdrive incredibly easily and ends up attacking the body itself. When this happens, PsA or psoriasis symptoms occur.4 Scientists don't know which genes are responsible for the immune system going into overdrive, but cracking this mystery is likely to be the key to discovering new treatments for the conditions.
Some research suggests that people with severe psoriasis could have a greater chance of getting psoriatic arthritis, although there isn’t any conclusive evidence on this. The good news is that the severity of your psoriasis doesn’t link to how strong PsA flare ups can be, so suffering from severe skin problems doesn’t necessarily mean experiencing strong arthritis symptoms.
Overall, the evidence is pretty clear that although two separate conditions, PsA and psoriasis often go hand in hand. So if you experience psoriasis then it’s important to look out for the signs of PsA. Symptoms can either develop slowly over time or appear rapidly; much like everything else related to PsA, it varies depending on the individual, but speak to your physician if you experience any of the following:
And remember, the Ask Alia community is always here for you – through your good days and your bad.
1Website: WebMD. Psoriasis. Last accessed 25 July 2019. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics#1
2Website: Mayo Clinic. Psoriatic arthritis. Last accessed 25 July 2019, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/home/ovc-20233896
3Mease, P. et al. Managing Patients with Psoriatic Disease: The Diagnosis and Pharmacologic Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis in Patients with Psoriasis. Drugs 2014; 74: 423-441
4Website: WebMD. The Link Between Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis. Last accessed 25 July 2019. http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis/link-between-psoriasis-and-psoriatic-arthritis
5Website: Rheumatoid Arthritis. PsA Facts: What are the Statistics behind Psoriatic Arthritis? 2018. https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/psoriatic-arthritis/facts-and-figures/
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