There are several types of arthritis, but psoriatic arthritis is one of the most difficult to manage and detect. Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the skin, joints and other organs. It is often difficult to recognize the early symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, and it can take a long time to make a diagnosis. However, there are early signs and warning signals that indicate you may have psoriatic arthritis. If you think you may have this form of arthritis, read on to learn more about the early stages of this chronic disease so you can stay healthy and manage your symptoms.
In addition to the typical symptoms of inflammation, joint pain and joint swelling, there are other signs to watch for.
One of the first signs of psoriatic arthritis is swollen red fingers. These symptoms are often mistaken for a fungal infection or a form of arthritis that affects the hands. However, this is actually a symptom of psoriatic arthritis that can be treated with medication and self-care measures. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible.
Psoriatic arthritis causes skin changes and sometimes thickening of the skin on the hands and feet. The skin may be dry or itchy and may appear darker than normal before fading due to thickening or scarring (which is another sign of psoriatic arthritis).
Psoriatic arthritis causes damage to the skin and joints of the throat, mouth and jaw (maxillofacial). This can cause pain in the throat, mouth and jaw (maxillofacial) when you swallow or speak. You may also notice that you feel like you have a lump in your throat or that you feel like something is stuck in your throat.
Joint pain in the legs
Another early sign of psoriatic arthritis is joint pain in the legs or feet. The joints in these areas may be swollen and tender, especially when you bend at the knees or ankles.
Swelling of the ankles and knees
Other types of arthritis are more likely to cause swelling under the skin, but psoriatic arthritis can also cause swelling of the joints and tendons in the ankles and knees.
Joint stiffness is another early sign of psoriatic arthritis. It is not uncommon for people with psoriatic arthritis to experience mild joint stiffness that may be relieved by movement or activity during the day (this is called “frozen shoulder”). You may also experience severe joint stiffness that limits movement in one or more joints (this is called “swollen joint syndrome”). This is another sign of psoriatic arthritis that requires immediate medical attention.
Fatigue is a common symptom of chronic illness. However, if you are experiencing fatigue that is not normal for you, it may be a sign that your body is fighting an infection or other illness. If you have fatigue and joint pain at the same time, it could be a sign of PsA.
Dry mouth/dry eyes/dizziness
Psoriatic arthritis causes damage to the skin and joints of your face (cheeks, forehead, nose), lips, tongue and mouth (oral mucosa). These areas are very sensitive to temperature changes. Psoriatic arthritis can cause a change in temperature, which can lead to dryness in these areas. Psoriatic arthritis also damages the tiny blood vessels that go to this area. This can lead to dryness in these areas and cause itching in the eyes, mouth and tongue.
Swollen fingers (or joints)
Psoriatic arthritis can also cause joint swelling, which is sometimes mistaken for arthritis because it is similar to the symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pain and stiffness. This type of swelling can be caused by an injury or a reaction to a medication used to treat the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, such as joint pain and inflammation.
Skin changes under the nails
Psoriatic arthritis can cause changes to the skin under your nails, including thickening of the skin or nails. You may also feel itching or burning in these areas.