All you need to know about Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Affecting over 25 million patients in India, Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, multisystem inflammatory disease. It is important to know that Psoriasis, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can also lead to Psoriatic arthritis.Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that affects the joints due to the inflammation spreading from psoriasis. Alarmingly,about 1 in 4 people living with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.The arthritis can start at any age but often appears betweenages 30 and 50.
This makes effective psoriasis management at an early stage crucial to avoid such complications. However, psoriasis treatment becomes challenging when people delay consulting a dermatologist and often considering it as ‘just a skin condition’.With recent advancements, there are several advanced and safe therapy options available for patients. Biologics, for instance, have proven exceptionally helpful in treating moderate to severe cases by disrupting the disease cycle and stopping the spread of the inflammation.
According to Dr.Bikash Kar, Dermatologist, Skin care clinic, Bhubaneshwar says, “I see about 20% of patients get diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis every month. Psoriasis, being an immune-mediated condition, increases the risk of other comorbid disorders. Diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases are serious comorbid conditions, but psoriatic arthritis is by no means less damaging. Monitoring your symptoms and consulting a specialist can ensure intervention at earlier stages, mitigating the risk of arthritis. Regular communication with a dermatologist keeps them updated with the severity of your condition. This also allows them to determine whether to continue with oral medication or consider advanced therapies such as biologics, topical treatments or phototherapy.”
“Flare ups happen due to inflammation which can be triggered by various factors. That is why patients must learn to identify these triggers, especially because they vary from person to person. What triggers a bad flare up in one patient may not have a similar or any impact on another. But there are certain factors that one must look out for, such as, avoid too much exposure to the sun or activities that can cause skin injuries. Moreover, it’s important to let your doctor know, if you’re under medication for some other illness or there are constant flare up due to other external factors.” said Dr.Maitreyee Panda, Professor, Department of DVL, IMS and SUM hospital, Bhubaneswar.
Psoriatic arthritis causes brittle nails, swelling, pain and stiffness in your joints. It can cause excruciating pain in the lower back, foot, and other areas of the body. Therefore, proper management of Psoriasis is crucial to not just control the symptoms but also the manage comorbid conditions that can follow. Adherence to treatment coupled with positive lifestyle changes can enable a patient to lead a better quality of life.