What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that's associated with psoriasis, a chronic skin and nail disease characterized by red, scaly rashes and thick, pitted fingernails. The disease is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in symptoms, characterized by joint inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis tends to affect fewer joints than rheumatoid arthritis, however, and does not produce the typical rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. The arthritis associated with psoriatic arthritis comes in five forms:

  • Arthritis that affects the small joints in the fingers and/or toes
  • Non-symmetrical arthritis of the joints in the arms and legs
  • Symmetrical polyarthritis: A type of arthritis similar to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis mutilans: A rare type of arthritis that destroys and deforms joints
  • Psoriatic spondylitis: Arthritis of the sacroiliac sac (in the lower back) and the spine