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PsA and your body

PsA and your body

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or psoriasis might affect different parts of your body, sometimes at different times.1,2 Take a look below for more information, including the different parts of the body that can be affected and how PsA can appear.

Scalp

scalp

Areas affected

scalp

Plaque psoriasis

Plaque PsO can develop before, during or after PsA3 and causes itchy, painful plaques that usually affect the knees, elbows, trunk, scalp, behind the ears, navel, and between the buttocks.4-7 You may have a few, spaced-out plaques, or they can join together to form larger plaques.6

Nails

nails

Areas affected

nails

Nail psoriasis

Psoriasis can cause changes to the nails, such as pitting (deep to shallow holes) or ridges (lines running from the nail bed to the end), crumbling, loss of nails, and the ‘oil drop sign’ – a salmon pink discoloration of the nail bed.6-8 If you have nail psoriasis, you are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis.6


Hands

hands

Areas affected

hands

Dactylitis

When PsA affects the joints and tendons in the fingers and toes, it’s called dactylitis [pronounced dack-till-eye-tis].9 It can give fingers and toes a ‘sausage’ like appearance, which can make them difficult to use and might affect the way you live your life.9,10


Feet

feet

Areas affected

feet

Enthesitis

When PsA affects the part of the body where the ligaments or tendons meet the bones, it’s called enthesitis [pronounced enth-ess-eye-tis].11 It can be painful, and if it affects your feet, especially near the heel, it can make it difficult to walk.11

Knees

knees

Areas affected

knees

Peripheral arthritis

When PsA affects the joints of your arms and legs, like knees, elbows, wrists, hands and feet, it’s called peripheral arthritis.10 People with peripheral arthritis are more likely to develop dactylitis and enthesitis.10 It can be painful and make movement difficult.12


Back

back

Areas affected

back

Spondylitis

Spondylitis [pronounced spon-dill-eye-tiss] is inflammation of the spinal column and can affect the neck, lower back and hips, causing pain and discomfort.12

Want to find out more about PsO?

Explore a website dedicated to psoriasis, including information about treatments.

If you have PsA (psoriatic arthritis) or PsO (psoriasis) and you have any questions or concerns about how you’re feeling, be sure to speak to your healthcare professional. We’ve put together some tips for making the most of each appointment.

You may be interested in:

  1. Creakyjoints. Psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. Available at: https://creakyjoints.org/living-with-arthritis/psoriatic-arthritis-flare-ups/. Accessed: October 2021.
  2. National Psoriasis Foundation. About psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis. Accessed: October 2021.
  3. Ritchlin CT, et al. N Engl J Med 2017;376:957-970
  4. NHS. Psoriasis: symptoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/symptoms/. Accessed: October 2021.
  5. National Psoriasis Foundation. About psoriasis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis. Accessed: October 2021.
  6. British Association of Dermatologists patient hub; Psoriasis: an overview. Available at: https://www.skinhealthinfo.org.uk/condition/psoriasis/. Accessed: October 2021.
  7. DermNet NZ. Nail psoriasis. Available at: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/nail-psoriasis/. Accessed: October 2021.
  8. Creakyjoints. What is dactylitis? Available at: https://creakyjoints.org/symptoms/what-is-dactylitis/. Accessed: October 2021.
  9. Creakyjoints. The different types of psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://creakyjoints.org/symptoms/psoriatic-arthritis-types/. Accessed: October 2021.
  10. Versus arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/psoriatic-arthritis/. Accessed: October 2021.
  11. National Psoriasis Foundation. Classification of psoriatic arthritis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis/classification-of-psoriatic-arthritis. Accessed: October 2021.
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