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Psoriatic arthritis (PA) is a form of arthritis that occurs with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. Symptoms may vary in individuals, and may affect any joint. PA generally affects the skin first, but the symptoms of arthritis may develop before the red and silver scaly patches that generally characterize psoriasis.
Psoriasis is caused when the body starts attacking its own cells, in this case skin cells. In about 30 percent of all cases of psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the body's immune system does not stop with attacking skin cells, but begins to attack the joints as well. This leads to joint pain, inflammation and stiffness associated with arthritis. Over time, the joints can become damaged which may lead to deformities and trouble using the affected joint or joints.
There are five different types of psoriatic arthritis which have slightly different symptoms from each other. These include:
Although different joints are affected and different symptoms may be present in each type of psoriatic arthritis, all of these types can lead to joint damage and deformity if the symptoms of arthritis are not treated in a timely manner.
Although there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, symptoms can be relieved to prevent further damage to the body. As mentioned in an article on the American College of Rheumatology's website, if this type of arthritis is left untreated it can lead to health issues such as:
Psoriatic arthritis can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers or other medications as prescribed by a physician. More natural remedies are becoming popular, such as the use of a safe topical cream like Super Blue Stuff OTC or Super White Stuff OTC to treat symptoms of both psoriasis and arthritis. These topical creams have been shown to reduce symptoms of both the skin and joint aspects of this condition, with very little risk of side effects.