Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects about 30% of people who already have psoriasis, a chronic skin disease. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly starts attacking healthy joints and skin. The faulty immune response causes inflammation that can trigger joint pain, stiffness and swelling, as well as red, scaly skin patches called plaques.
For some people, symptoms can be mild with occasional flare-ups. For others, they can be continuous. Over time, psoriatic arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage in some patients, so the earlier you receive a diagnosis, the better.
Identifying where your symptoms are occurring and their severity can help your doctor determine which type of psoriatic arthritis you may have.