As if having a skin disease, such as psoriasis, were not enough, there are further complications that can arise in five to seven percent of patients who suffer from this disease. Skin rashes are not the only complication about which psoriasis patients have to worry. In some cases, a further complication is psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis can be debilitating and extremely painful to the sufferers but there are some rays of hope. There are medicines that can help ease the pain and inflammation but first there has to be education about the disease itself.
The factor that causes psoriasis is unknown. Scientists and the medical community believe that heredity does play a role in whether or not the patient will develop psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition in which the immune system produces too many skin cells. The skin cells build up and a red rash develops, which is made up of different forms of lesions. It may be a plaque build up or it could be pustules. The treatment options involve a topical ointment psoriasis medication and perhaps photo chemotherapy, depending on the location and the severity of the outbreak. There is no known cure for the condition though and without constant treatment, the psoriasis will return.
Treatment for psoriatic arthritis is one that treats the inflammation of the joints. With arthritis, the joints become painfully swollen and inflamed. The first line treatment for arthritis is to reduce the inflammation of the joints by using NSAID’s and other anti-inflammatory medicines. The goal is to reduce the swollen and inflamed joints so that movement is possible; hopefully, movement without the chronic pain that accompanies this form of arthritis.
This form of arthritis usually appears within ten years of the outbreak of psoriasis but there have been cases where the arthritis was the first symptom and manifested itself before the actual psoriasis outbreak occurred. There are also other problems that can arise from this form of arthritis, such as swollen digits and tendonitis. As you can see, it can be a very painful disease, very much like rheumatoid arthritis.
The good news is that psoriatic arthritis and cures for psoriasis are constantly being tested. Even though there is no known cure at this time, the medical community continues to work on this issue. The goal is to eradicate the disease and then work on the problems that have arisen because of the initial outbreak of psoriasis.