- Silver Scaly Spots
When psoriasis plaques (hard, raised, red patches of severely dry skin) are associated with psoriatic arthritis, they can often take on a silver scaly appearance across the top surface of the patch of skin. These scaly spots occur mostly on the elbows, knees, scalp and the tailbone, and they can often be very painful
- Swelling of the Fingers and Toes
Psoriatic arthritis often combines many of the symptoms that are experienced separately with sufferers of both psoriasis and arthritis. One of these shared symptoms is called dactylitis, a severe swelling in either the fingers or the toes, or sometimes in both. This particular form of swelling is very severe, and it can make the fingers and toes almost look like sausages.
- Fatigue ******
Fatigue is a very common symptom of so many health conditions, but it should never be discounted because it is a strong indicator that something is definitely wrong within the body. There are, however, many reasons that a patient suffering from psoriatic arthritis will experience a lethargic feeling. Many of the medications that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of this particular condition are also known to cause drowsiness, plus insomnia may also occur, as that the pain and discomfort may make it incredibly difficult to get any rest, much less a full eight hours of sleep.
- Low Back Pain
Lower back pain may be one of the more severe symptoms associated with psoriatic arthritis, and for many different reasons. Some patients begin to “favor” a certain side of the body, and they may attempt to walk differently so as not to inflict more pain on other areas that are sore and tender. This may cause the lower back to stretch in abnormal ways, causing even more pain. Spondylitis may also occur, which causes inflammation in the joints that are located between the vertebrae of the spine. Sacroiliitis may also occur, which is inflammation of the joints between the pelvis and the spine.
Patients who are suffering from psoriatic arthritis may also begin to experience the effects of tendinitis, due to the inflammation that the condition causes throughout a multitude of areas in the body. When the tendons begin to also become inflamed, then tendinitis can occur, typically severely impacting the back of the heel.
- Rough Nails****(#1)
While this symptom can most definitely apply to many different health conditions, nails with a rough appearance, especially when coupled with one or more of the other symptoms for psoriatic arthritis, can be an early warning sign that something is wrong. Both the fingernails and the toenails can look rough on the surface, with pitting and discolorations and deep ridges. They can also grow unevenly and quite sporadically, sometimes even beginning to peel and crumble in chunks or layers. In severe instances, onycholysis (the separation of the nail from the nail bed) can occur.
Psoriatic arthritis can lead to several different types of vision problems, including conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is when lesions appear on and around the eye due to inflammation. Uveitis can also set in, which is when a section within the center of the eye begins to swell. These conditions can cause the eye to also become red, and bags may appear beneath the eye and down onto the cheek. In very severe cases, psoriatic arthritis can even cause blindness, whether temporary or permanent, so this is not a symptom to ignore. Please make an appointment with a physician immediately.
- Swelling and Pain in the Joints
As with any form of arthritis, swelling and pain in the joints also occur when the patient is suffering from psoriatic arthritis. When the inflammation is chronic, this can weaken the cartilage between the bones, eventually allowing the bones to rub against each other. This can create a weakness in the ligaments, muscles and tendons. Plus, this condition may make it very painful for the patient to move around, so this inactivity makes the swelling and the pain even worse, especially over time. It is very important to engage in some form of exercise or regular activity to avoid permanent damage, including the inability to walk.
- Morning Stiffness
A stiffness in the joints can be especially severe in the morning. After a night’s sleep and inactivity, the joints begin to stiffen, making it difficult to “get up and moving.” This is why, once again, it is very important to attempt to maintain some sort of exercise program. Yoga can be especially advantageous when it comes to stiffness in the joints, as that the flexibility that can be attained through the regular practice of yoga can help. Even when a full session might be too painful, selecting a few poses that might be helpful with the stiffness is definitely better than no activity at all. Also, please be sure to see your rheumatologist for other treatment plans.
As with any form of psoriasis, itching is a very common symptom of psoriatic arthritis. However, with the often painful addition of the silver scaly patches, this itching can become even more intensified. Over-the-counter topical treatments may be used, but a healthcare professional can also prescribe stronger ointments to help with the pain and the itching.