Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that is unique in that it can affect both the joints and the skin.
Inflamed joints in arthritis can be swollen and painful while patches of inflamed skin called psoriasis can be itchy and scaly.
Psoriatic Arthritis can also affect other parts of the body including tendons in the feet, knee, hips, or ribs.
Psoriatic Arthritis belongs to a family of diseases called the seronegative spondyloarthropathies. Other members of this family include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis and enteropathic arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that it occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. The reason why it does this is not well understood. When the body's immune system is "activated" in this way, it can make a person feel very tired, similar to when they have the flu.
Who Gets Psoriatic Arthritis
About 1 in every 3 people who get psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic Arthritis tends to run in families, which means that genetics likely is a big factor in terms of who gets Psoriatic Arthritis. If a person has family members who have Psoriatic Arthritis, they have a higher risk of getting it themselves.
People who get Psoriatic Arthritis usually start experiencing symptoms between 30 to 50 years of age.