Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis services offered in Cranston, RI

Psoriatic arthritis is a rare but potentially serious type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis –– a disease that causes red, itchy, and scaly skin. At RI Rheumatology, in Cranston, Rhode Island, triple-board-certified rheumatologist and internal medicine physician Deepan Dalal MD, MPH, RhMSUS, and his team offer various treatments to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and prevent joint damage. Call RI Rheumatology to request treatment for psoriatic arthritis, or book your appointment online today.

What is psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is an incurable inflammatory disease that affects the joints. It occurs in people with psoriasis and usually develops about 10 years after the initial diagnosis. 

If you have symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, it’s crucial to seek treatment. Working with a rheumatologist can prevent the condition from worsening and improve your quality of life.

What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include the following:

  • Eye inflammation, such as redness or blurry vision
  • Nail changes
  • Low back pain
  • Foot pain

Many people with psoriatic arthritis have swelling in their fingers and toes. As the condition progresses, swelling can be painful and affect your ability to grab or hold onto things. 

Should I see a doctor about psoriatic arthritis?

Yes. If you’ve been diagnosed with psoriasis, meeting with a qualified rheumatologist is crucial. Routine checkups and healthy lifestyle changes can protect your joints and prevent permanent damage. 

How is psoriatic arthritis diagnosed?

Your RI Rheumatology provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. They check your joints for redness or swelling; look at your fingernails for pitting, chipping, or other abnormalities; and gently press on your heels and the soles of your feet to check for sensitive areas.

These tests don’t confirm a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis, but they can rule out other problems that present similar symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. 

Last, your provider orders lab work, including a rheumatoid factor (RF) test and a joint fluid test:

RF test

Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that often occurs in people with rheumatoid arthritis but not in people with psoriatic arthritis. This test helps your provider determine which condition is more likely.

Joint fluid test

During this test, your provider gently draws a fluid sample from a swollen or painful joint. Your provider checks the sample under a microscope to see if uric acid crystals are present. If they are, it means you have gout instead of psoriatic arthritis. 

How is psoriatic arthritis treated?

The RI Rheumatology team uses prescription medications and regular checkups to manage psoriatic arthritis and prevent it from worsening. They might suggest:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Targeted synthetic DMARDs
  • Oral medications
  • Corticosteroid injections

If your symptoms don’t respond to DMARDs or other more conventional treatments, you might be a candidate for biologic infusions. Biologics are a class of drugs that target specific pathways in the immune system.

Call RI Rheumatology to receive treatment for psoriatic arthritis, or make your appointment online today.