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Condition. Psoriatic Arthritis

By Editorial Team (Y)
November 24, 2021
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Psoriatic arthritis definition

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that sometimes develops in people who have a condition known as psoriasisThe last is a skin disorder that causes a rash of red, scaly patches, mainly on the ankles, feet, elbows, and knees. Most often, psoriasis develops first, and psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed later, but in some cases, the joint symptoms appear before the rash develops.

Prevalence

Psoriatic arthritis affects men and women equally. People most commonly affected are between the ages of 30 to 50 years old, but the disease can begin at any stage of life. Millions of Americans have psoriasis, and approximately 10 to 30% of these people have psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis risks

Certain factors increase your risks of psoriatic arthritis development. They include:

  • Psoriasis: Having psoriasis is the greatest risk factor for developing the condition. Psoriatic arthritis develops in up to 30% of people with psoriasis. 
  • Family history: The child of a parent with psoriasis has a three times greater chance of developing the skin condition, so the risk of psoriatic arthritis is also greater. Up to 40% of those with psoriatic arthritis have a family member either with the skin disease or psoriatic arthritis. 
  • Age: Psoriatic arthritis can develop at any time, but it is most common in people between 30 and 50 years old. 

Causes of psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking healthy tissues and cells. This causes the joints to become inflamed, and it also causes the body to overproduce skin cells.


Like so many other autoimmune disorders, researchers are not entirely sure what causes the body’s immune system to fight against its own healthy tissue. It could be that factors in the environment, as well as genetic factors, have a part in causing psoriatic arthritis.

A family history of psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis is often present in many people with psoriatic arthritis. Research has shown there are specific genetic markers that are linked to the disease. It is also possible that an injury, an infection, or some other environmental triggers may cause psoriatic arthritis in people who have inherited a tendency toward the condition.

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