What are the Early Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

What are the Early Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Are you experiencing undefined tenderness, pain, and discomfort in your joints? Along with red, scaly patches on the skin? You might be having early warning signs of Psoriatic arthritis. This silent yet complex disease not only affects your joints. But it also interferes with your overall well-being. Psoriatic arthritis is a serious health complication. Identifying what are the early warning signs of psoriatic arthritis can help in its early detection. 

For that purpose, you can consult our best rheumatologist in NJ who are specialized in diagnosing and treating bone and joint-related problems. 

Want to learn more about psoriatic arthritis. What are early signs of psoriatic arthritis, its risk factors, and how you can treat it. Then, continue reading! 

Psoriatic Arthritis: Introduction

Psoriatic arthritis is a joint disorder that leads to rigidity, pain, and discomfort in the joints. The main cause of psoriatic arthritis is psoriasis. Using a study from National Center for Biological Information, the prevalence of psoriatic arthritis is more in people with a history of psoriasis (skin disease). 

Psoriatic arthritis is a prolonged joint condition that can get worse over time. And if it’s severe, there is a risk of complete joint damage, and you may require surgery. Hence, proper diagnosis and treatment are necessary to slow down its progress. 

What are the Early Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disorder that affects the joints and skin. It is often linked to psoriasis (skin disease). It is important to identify warning signs of psoriatic arthritis. So, you can cope with it effectively. The most common symptoms of PsA as stated by National Psoriasis Foundation, may include: 

What are the Early Warning Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis?

Joint pain and swelling

  • Pain Psoriatic arthritis can cause mild to severe pain in the joints. 
  • Swelling and stiffness are among one of the common psoriatic arthritis early symptoms. The affected joint becomes swollen and felt hard when touched. 

Skin changes

  • Psoriatic arthritis cause red, and scaly patches on the skin The areas where the patches mostly occur are the knees, elbows, or scalp

Eye defects 

  • PsA affects the protective layer of the eyelid and leads to inflammation. This can cause redness, irritation, and tearing of the eyes
  • Another eye defect psoriatic arthritis cause is the inflammation of the iris. This condition causes blurred vision and eye sensitivity toward light

Fatigue and malaise 

  • People with psoriatic arthritis feel tired, even after having the proper rest and sleep
  • Psoriatic arthritis causes a feeling of unwellness. It also drains out self-motivation and energy

Nail changes

  • Nail changes are important early signs of psoriatic arthritis in the hands. It makes nails appear weak and decolorized. They become so weak that even a small bump into something can break it easily

Early signs of psoriatic arthritis in feet

  • The feeling of aches in feet or ankles 
  • Swelling of the feet due to inflammation  
  • The feet may feel hard when touched Redness around the affected joint of the feet 

Early signs of psoriatic arthritis in hands

  • Recurring pain in hand, wrist, or finger joints 
  • Swelling around the fingers  
  • Decrease in hands grip 
  • Change in nail color  
  • Stiffness of the hand 

What parts of the body does psoriatic arthritis affect?

PsA mostly affects the joints of the finger, toe, knee, and ankles. Sometimes, it can also affect large joints like the hip, and shoulder. 

Psoriatic Arthritis: Risk Factors

Psoriatic Arthritis: Risk Factors

Recognizing the risk factors of psoriatic arthritis is important, particularly for people who have psoriasis. Because they are more susceptible to psoriatic arthritis. The actual causes of psoriatic arthritis are yet unknown. But it is considered to involve various environmental, physical, and immunological factors. The common risk factors of psoriatic arthritis may include: 


Psoriatic arthritis majorly affects people around the age of 30-50. However, children and older adults can also get affected by psoriatic arthritis. 


This disease is not gender specific. It significantly affects males in their early life. And women in their older age. 


Being overweight increases the chance of getting psoriatic arthritis. As extra weight puts additional stress on the joints, causing psoriatic arthritis. 

Family history

If anyone in your family has psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis. You can get it at any time of your in life. 


Most infections particularly staphylococcus infections interfere with psoriasis. That further leads to the formation of psoriatic arthritis. 


Smoking is the major risk contributor to psoriatic arthritis. Smokers having a history of psoriasis are most likely to get psoriatic arthritis.  

Immunological factors 

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease. When it occurs, immune cells shows abnormalities and destroy health cells of the joints, causing joint dysfunction. 

Differentiating Psoriatic Arthritis from Other Conditions

Most people confuse psoriatic arthritis with other joint disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. However, they all are different. Correct identification of disease is important for its proper treatment and care. The key differences between psoriatic arthritis and other joint disorders are listed below: 

  • Psoriasis The presence of psoriasis is the key identification of psoriatic arthritis. But sometimes psoriasis doesn’t show any symptoms at all. It can make diagnosis more challenging. 
  • Imaging During the X-Ray study psoriatic arthritis shows pencil in cup-like joint deformation. However, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis show varying visualizations. 
  • Clinical presentation A complete review of signs and symptoms of joint problems can help in the accurate detection and treatment of psoriatic arthritis. 
  • Inflammation The swelling around areas where tendons and ligaments meet is another important identification of psoriatic arthritis. 

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment

Although, there is no proper cure available for psoriatic arthritis. Identifying what are the early warning signs of psoriatic arthritis, makes treatment of psoriasis arthritis easy. Some medications, physical, and conventional therapies can help manage its symptoms. According to National Health Service, the most common approaches for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis involve: 


Drugs that are available for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis include, 

  • NSAIDs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work as pain relievers. It helps in reducing inflammation and supports joint health. 
  • JAK inhibitors These are oral medications that target specific enzymes involved in inflammation. It helps in reducing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. 
  • Corticosteroids provide short-term relief from symptoms. Various types of corticosteroids are available in the market. You can administer it orally, topically, or in the form of injections. 
  • DMARDs help slow down disease progression and prevent joint damage. It targets immune cells and reduces joint inflammation. 
  • Biologic DMARDs TNF inhibitors, IL-17, and IL-23 are biological DMARDs. It works by targeting certain molecules involved in the inflammation of the joints. They are highly effective medications to cure psoriatic arthritis symptoms. 


If the pain doesn’t go away with medications. Your healthcare advisor will recommend you certain therapies. As they provide long-term relief from symptoms. 

  • Steroidal injections The drug is injected into the affected joint to reduce inflammation. 
  • Joint replacement therapy If your joint is damaged completely, your healthcare advisor will replace the damaged joint with an artificial joint. It will restore the proper function of the joint. 

Lifestyle Adaptations and Self-Care: You can administer it orally, 

Apart from physical treatment, there are certain lifestyle changes that you can opt for to manage psoriatic arthritis. The best self-care practices you can opt for may include, 

  • Weight management Extra weight puts additional stress on the joints. So, it is necessary to have a normal weight. 
  • Joint protection Protect your joint from injury and physical trauma. As it can increase pain, and stiffness in the joints. 
  • Healthy eating Eat a balanced diet. Must include nuts, avocados, and green leafy vegetables in your diet. All these foods are good for joint health. 
  • Supporting devices Use assistance devices like jar openers, and long-handled teachers. They can help in minimizing joint strain.  
  • Physical activity Must involve yourself in mild exercises such as walking, cycling, or yoga. It will help in restoring joint movements, and muscle strengthening. 
  • Hot and cold therapy Hot baths are a good alternative to reduce joint stiffness. A cold compress can also be used to reduce joint inflammation. 

How is Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosed?

How is Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosed?

Physical examination The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis starts with physical examination. Where healthcare advisor will ask for your detailed medical history and type of symptoms you experience.  

Imaging test Second important diagnostic technique is Imaging. X-ray and MRI are the two most widely used imaging techniques for identification of psoriatic arthritis. 

Blood tests Erythrocyte sedimentation rate test (ESR), and C-reactive protein are the two important, test for psoriatic arthritis. 

Skin biopsy Psoriasis is the precursor of psoriatic arthritis. A skin biopsy can be helpful in the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. 

CASPAR diagnosis It is another important diagnostic criterion for psoriatic arthritis. In this procedure, various features such as the occurrence of psoriasis, joint mobility, nail changes, and family history are studied. 

How SNS Rheumatology is Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

Are you suffering from psoriatic arthritis or any other bone disorder? Finding any reliable healthcare advisory to get answers to your health-related queries? Contact SNS rheumatology, we have a team of expert rheumatologists with more than 20 years of experience in treating various types of joint disorders.  


Psoriatic arthritis is a joint disorder characterized by pain and stiffness. The most concerned areas of psoriatic arthritis are the hands, feet, ankles, and knee joints. Psoriatic arthritis can have mild to severe consequences. 

Having know-how of what are the early warning signs of psoriatic arthritis, can help you better understand the disease and its proper treatment. 

Dr. Qaisar Usmani

Meet Dr. Qaisar Usmani, a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the field, currently serving as Section Chief at Monmouth Medical Center and GPHA, Inc. in Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of various Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal diseases.

Dr. Sadia Ghafoor
Dr. Sadia Ghafoor

Meet Dr. Sadia Ghafoor, a board certified specialist in rheumatology who completed her medical training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry School of Osteopathic Medicine and her fellowship in rheumatology at the State University of New York Stony Brook campus, with additional board certification in internal medicine.

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