Psoriatic arthritis is a joint disease associated with a skin condition called psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin and nail condition associated with redness, scaling rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. The children develop a characteristic swelling and pain of a finger or toe called dactylitis. The cause is unknown, but an autoimmune nature of the disease is suspected.
Pain is the most common complaint in psoriatic arthritis. The inflammation in this arthritis can cause long-term damage to joints. It can make the joint more sensitive to pain as well. The arthritis symptoms can be treated with exercise, ice application, medication and surgery.
Stiffness is also a characteristic finding in psoriatic joints. The fingers of a joint affected by psoriatic arthritis are described as sausage fingers. This is because when the joints are swollen, it is difficult to move them effortlessly.
Inflammation induces swelling in the small joints of the fingers and toes. A characteristic symptom of psoriatic arthritis is red, hot swollen joints with a decreased range of movement.
10% cases of psoriatic arthritis start with a systemic onset. This will present as repeating bouts of high fever sometimes even up to 103°F or higher. When fever is the predominating symptom, it may cause inflammation of the internal organs but joint inflammation may not begin for months or even years after the fevers start. The arthritis may persist long after the fevers and other systemic symptoms disappear.
The predominant skin symptoms in psoriatic arthritis show up as a raised scaly salmon colored rash. This rash is scaly in nature and presents as a patchy red and white surface. For most people, these psoriatic symptoms begin 5 to 10 years before the onset of arthritis.