Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis: The Different Types Explained

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some individuals with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition. PsA can cause joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. There are several types of PsA based on the pattern and location of joint involvement. Here are some common types:

1. Symmetric Psoriatic Arthritis

Symmetric PsA affects joints on both sides of the body in a symmetrical pattern. It closely resembles rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in terms of joint involvement. Multiple joints, such as the wrists, knees, elbows, and hands, are often affected simultaneously.

2. Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis

Asymmetric PsA affects joints on one side of the body or in an asymmetric pattern. It can involve any joint, such as the fingers, toes, knees, or ankles. Asymmetric PsA does not affect the same joints on both sides of the body simultaneously.

3. Distal Interphalangeal Predominant Psoriatic Arthritis

Distal interphalangeal predominant PsA primarily affects the small joints at the ends of the fingers and toes, known as the distal interphalangeal joints. It can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain in these joints.

4. Spondylitis

Spondylitis is a form of PsA that primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints, leading to stiffness and pain in the lower back, neck, and pelvis. It can cause difficulty with mobility and flexibility.

5. Arthritis Mutilans

Arthritis mutilans is a severe and rare form of PsA. It can cause rapid and severe joint damage, leading to deformity and disability. Arthritis mutilans primarily affects the small joints of the hands and feet.

These are just a few examples of the types of PsA. It’s worth noting that PsA can vary significantly from person to person, and individuals may experience a combination of different patterns and symptoms. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of PsA.