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Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: What’s the link?

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are related autoimmune conditions.

Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness, and psoriasis is a common cause of psoriatic arthritis. However, people can also develop psoriatic arthritis without psoriasis.

Psoriatic arthritis is a possible complication of psoriasis. An estimated 10–30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.

Both conditions are long-term and can get worse over time, though treatments can relieve the symptoms and slow down disease progression.

This article explores the link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It also looks at the causes, symptoms, and treatments of each condition.

The link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are related, but they are separate conditions.

Psoriasis causes skin cells to renew too quickly, resulting in a red, scaly rash on the skin and characteristic silvery plaques.

Psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation in the joints. This makes the joints feel stiff, swollen, and achy, and it may cause long-term damage to them. Psoriatic arthritis may affect one or multiple joints.

Though the diseases are related, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis do not necessarily predict one another. Many people with psoriasis will never develop psoriatic arthritis, while some people have psoriatic arthritis without having psoriasis.

The severity of psoriasis also does not predict whether someone will develop psoriatic arthritis.

Still, the two conditions have links and similarities. Immune responses that lead to inflammation in the body cause the symptoms of both conditions. This inflammation causes the rash or joint pain.

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