Psoriatic Arthritis has no known cause, but researchers believe it is a combination of immune, genetic, and environmental factors. In most cases, psoriasis precedes the development of arthritis, but there are some cases in which psoriasis does not appear until years into their arthritis. Approximately 10% to 30% of those with psoriasis will develop arthritis as well. If you have a family history of Psoriasis, you are much more likely to develop psoriasis and are that much more likely to develop Psoriatic Arthritis.
In this article, we will discuss some common triggers of psoriatic arthritis and how best to combat it.
- Injuries to the skin. A wound, infection, inflammation and excessive scratching or irritation can lead to the development of plaque psoriasis. This in turn increases the chance of developing psoriatic arthritis somewhere down the road. It is important to treat any issues with the skin immediately and consult with a doctor for the best steps to take.
- Stress and anxiety. Emotional and mental stress can change the chemical composition of the body and aggravate psoriasis symptoms. With worsening psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis may occur.
- Hormonal changes. Psoriasis symptoms increase in severity at times of fluctuating hormone levels in the body. Symptoms may be worse around the time of puberty or menopause in women.
- Smoking. Smoking can worsen psoriasis symptoms and affect the body in many different ways. The chemicals found in cigarettes have negative impacts on the entire body and are incredibly bad for overall health. They also increase your risk of developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as worsen symptoms if you already have it.
- Sunlight. While in some people, a bit of UV exposure and absorption of sunlight’s natural source of vitamin D, long exposure to the sun and sunburns can worsen psoriasis symptoms. This may increase your chance of developing psoriatic arthritis.
If you have been suffering from psoriasis for a long time and have a history of arthritis in your family, you are at a higher risk of developing psoriatic arthritis. Talk to your doctor and make a plan for yourself. Eat healthily, exercise, and take care of your skin and joints. If you start to notice swelling, redness, and pain in your hands or feet, seek help from a doctor immediately. Catching psoriatic arthritis early is the best way to prevent the onset of even worse symptoms and to slow the progression of the disease.