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Video:What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

with Dr. Bob Lahita

Psoriatic arthritis is a painful condition that combines the skin issues of psoriasis with the joint pain of arthritis. Here's a short video overview of psoriatic arthritis.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Hi! I'm Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Hospital and Professor of Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The question today is: What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Meaning of Psoriatic Arthritis

Well, all of you must have heard of psoriasis, but if you haven't, it's a chronic skin condition which can present in a number of ways. It's very disfiguring, it can result in very unsightly scaly, itchy rashes in a a variety of places on the body such as under the arms or at the elbows or on the fingers or in the scalp and on the face. It can be very, very difficult to control. Now, for some patients that have psoriasis there is even more trouble and that is arthritis. The arthritis of psoriatic arthritis, or the arthritis of psoriasis, is a real problem.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Because what one develops is pain in a variety of joints, most commonly the distal joints of the fingers which develop something called dactylitis, or 'sausage like' digits. These can be all of the fingers or just a few of the fingers. The same thing occurs in the toes: sausage like digits. Now that coupled with what we call enthysopathy - or inflammation of a variety of tendons, such as the Achilles tendon of the feet. And more commonly, something called sacro-illiitis which is in the lower part of the back - both sides of the back for that matter. The sacro-illiitis can be exquisitely painful and can be a symptom not only of psoriatic arthritis, but of other kinds of specific arthritis.

Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

But psoriatic arthritis is treatable with many, many of the newer agents we have developed to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, psoriatic arthritis responds and as the arthritis responds, the psoriasis gets better. Now some have noted that when the psoriasis improves as a result of skin care, the arthritis actually gets better and goes away.

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