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How to treat psoriatic arthritis?

Q: I have been suffering from Psoriasis for the last ten years. I have gone through all sorts of medicines viz allopathy, homeopathy and ayurvedic but all in vain. Psoriatic arthritis has also developed in the year 2000. In winter, I suffer from artheritic joint pain. Please advise.

A:About 10% of the patients with psoriasis may develop a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. This may cause redness and swelling, primarily on the hands, feet, knees, hips, elbows and spine. It may cause stiffness, pain and joint damage.The condition affects men and women evenly and generally appears between the ages of 30 and 50. In approximately 15 percent of the patients the appearance of psoriatic arthritis can precede the onset of psoriasis. The progress of psoriatic arthritis is generally mild in most people and can affect only a few joints.Usually the treatment of psoriatic arthritis includes three elements: medication, education and physical or occupational therapy.Typically, a physician will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or salicylates to reduce the pain and inflammation of the area. If a patient experiences a reoccurrence of psoriasis, an entimalarial drug may be helpful in treating the condition. Treatment for psoriasis will continue while treating the arthritis. Cortisone shots directly to the affected joint may also be prescribed to treat the symptoms.Because the skin is actively involved with psoriasis over the joint, infection is a great concern in giving cortisone shots or surgery.Rest and exercise may be recommended to help alleviate the symptoms. Physical or occupational therapy can help provide flexibility and strength to the joints. In addition, using applications of hot or cold therapies can prove useful. Occasionally, surgery may be recommended to repair or replace damaged joints.

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