Psoriatic Arthritis: Diagnosis & Symptoms!

How does psoriasis turn into arthritis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes skin cells to multiply abnormally. An increased number of skin cells means that they accumulate on the surface of the skin, forming a thick, red, scaly, flaky, or crusty layer. Over time, the buildup of psoriasis cells leads to the formation of plaques. These are red, scaly, thick, and flaky skin areas.

Plaque psoriasis occurs without extra signs and symptoms in about 70 percent of people with psoriasis. However, in about 30 percent of people who have psoriasis, there are extra signs and symptoms of the disorder in the joints, where they cause joint stiffness and pain. This is psoriatic arthritis, and while pathogenesis is not fully understood, we know there’s an interplay between genetics, environmental triggers, and immune-mediated inflammation.

Psoriatic arthritis can occur in any joint, but it is most common in the hands, feet, and spine joints. According to the American College of Rheumatology, patients progress to psoriatic arthritis in less than ten years and no more than 20 years. But some patients develop psoriasis without arthritis, and others start right away with arthritis symptoms even before developing the characteristic psoriatic patches and skin manifestations.