Everyone with Psoriasis Should Know These Early Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis

Sponsored by Novartis
By Colleen Travers
Reviewed by Ethan T. Craig, M.D.
December 13, 2022

Living with psoriasis means you’re probably no stranger to discomfort, especially during flare-ups. And along the way, perhaps you’ve had other aches, pains, and symptoms that you may have ignored as you focused your efforts on your psoriasis symptom management. But some symptoms—especially if they occur in the joints—deserve attention, as they may be a sign of a related condition: psoriatic arthritis.

“Many people living with psoriasis will see a dermatologist to treat their skin condition, but they don’t mention they have joint pain because they don’t believe it’s connected,” says Diana Girnita, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified rheumatologist in Irvine, California. “For joint pain, they may see their primary care physician or an orthopedist, but don’t mention their psoriasis, especially if it’s under control. This means that a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis is frequently missed or misdiagnosed for a long time.”

Approximately 1 in 4 people living with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, which may be treated by a rheumatologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Catching and treating psoriatic arthritis early can help you prevent further pain and complications, such as joint damage.