Psoriatic Arthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Learn the Differences

Psoriatic Arthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis: What’s the Difference?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis are two autoimmune diseases that affect different parts of your body. Both disorders cause joint pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, redness and other symptoms. However, RA affects joints more than psoriasis does.

Both RA and psoriasis are chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the skin, joints, muscles, bones and connective tissues. They both involve overactive immune systems. However, there are some differences between them.

1. How

Common Are These Diseases?

The most common form of RA is systemic sclerosis (SS). SS causes inflammation throughout your entire body with no visible signs or symptoms. It may affect any part of your body except the brain and spinal cord.

In contrast, psoriasis usually begins in one area and spreads to other areas. Sometimes it starts out as a mild skin condition called atopic dermatitis (AD), but later develops into severe skin lesions called erythema multiforme (EM). The disease progresses rapidly from mild to severe forms.

About 1% of the population has AD, while up to 10% have EMR.

2. When

Does It Start?

3. What

Are the Common Symptoms?

4. How

Is It Diagnosed and Treated?

5. What

Are the Possible Complications of These Diseases?

6. What

Are the Possible Treatments for These Diseases?

7. Conclusion

Psoriatic Arthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis: What’s the Difference?

Both psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases. This means your immune system attacks your body’s own cells and tissues by mistake. In the case of psoriasis, your white blood cells attack the skin and turn it red and scaly. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, your white blood cells attack the lining of your joints and cause inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects your joints. It also can affect other parts of your body such as your skin, muscles, nerves, eyes, and lungs. Most people tend to experience pain and stiffness in their hands and wrists, but the condition can also cause pain in your feet and ankles as well.

The main difference between RA and psoriasis is where you experience joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Rheumatoid Arthritis normally affects multiple joints throughout the body. It also causes inflammation in your connective tissues, which can lead to further complications.

In comparison, psoriasis usually only affects your skin. This does not mean that it won’t cause pain or discomfort. In fact, psoriasis can be quite painful in areas of active skin growth or “flares.” However, it typically does not cause the same kind of joint pain and swelling that RA does.

On a final note, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis can occur together. This is known as “psoriatic arthritis.” It is estimated that about 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.

Both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis are serious conditions that can have a significant impact on your life. If you think you suffer from either condition, see your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Continue Reading

Psoriasis: Causes and Types

What is Psoriasis?

Sources & references used in this article:

Health‐related quality of life of patients with psoriatic arthritis: a comparison with patients with rheumatoid arthritis by JA Husted, DD Gladman, VT Farewell… – … of Rheumatology, 2001 – Wiley Online Library

Predominance of CD8+ T lymphocytes in psoriatic arthritis. by P Costello, B Bresnihan, C O’Farrelly… – … of rheumatology, 1999 –

… of the Short Form 36 physical function score and the Health Assessment Questionnaire disability index in patients with psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by WJ Taylor, KM McPherson – … College of Rheumatology, 2007 – Wiley Online Library