Rheumatoid arthritis can cause a variety of skin complication symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis and skin complication symptoms range from mild to severe, causing lesions. Although rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the joints, it can involve organs and the skin, too. Many rheumatoid arthritis patients will experience skin manifestations and symptoms can vary greatly. On the severe side, skin complications can even result in lesions.
Rheumatoid nodule: Causes and treatment
Roughly 10 to 40 percent of patients will develop nodules, which can vary in size and are commonly found on the extensor surfaces (the skin on the opposite side of a joint). Nodules are quite common in rheumatoid arthritis patients, but some factors may increase one’s risk of developing them, such as testing positive for rheumatoid factor and smoking. Majority of nodules are asymptomatic, meaning, they do not require treatment, but for nodules that interfere with physical function, injections or surgical removal may be required.
Treatment for rheumatoid nodules is usually the same as for rheumatoid arthritis – DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). These medications can help reduce the size of rheumatoid nodules, but if patients take methotrexate (a type of DMARD), nodules may actually grow in size. Some patients undergo steroid injections, but in cases where nodules become infected surgery may be required to remove them.
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