Keep in mind that your treatment options could change as new research is done and new therapies become available. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.
Your immune system misunderstands healthy cells when you have an autoimmune condition, such as psoriasis.4Sometimes, it can cause strange symptoms that are difficult to diagnose. There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases that can affect different parts of your body, from multiple sclerosis to arthritis and celiac disease all the way to type 1 diabetes.4.
People with psoriasis are more susceptible to some of these diseases. For example, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both autoimmune conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract, are more common in people with psoriasis compared to those without it. However, researchers don’t know why this happens, and with many of these conditions, it is impossible to say which came first or if one caused another.
“There’s no specific answer to the ‘chicken-and-egg’ question,” Shivani Kaushik5SELF was told by Dr. Kaushik, M.D., assistant professor at Rutgers Center for Dermatology. One possible theory, according to Dr. Kaushik, is that many autoimmune conditions, including psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, may be linked because they all cause inflammation in the body. “For many patients who have extensive psoriasis, there is no doubt that they have inflammation going on inside as well,” she says, as opposed to the inflammation you only see on the outside of the skin.
There is no way to prevent multiple autoimmune disorders. However, you can keep your psoriasis under control by taking your medications regularly. Also, if you experience new or worsening symptoms, you can talk to your doctor to help you develop a plan to reduce inflammation.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is technically an autoimmune condition.6This is a more specific connection to the autoimmune disease psoriasis than other conditions. Psoriatic arthritis usually develops 7-10 years after the onset psoriasis symptoms.7This is when the immune system attacks healthy joints and/or tendon, causing inflammation, pain and swelling in the hands, knees and wrists, ankles, feet, ankles, ankles, and wrists.
The two conditions are inextricably linked, but the connection isn’t totally clear to experts yet. Having psoriasis doesn’t necessarily cause psoriatic arthritis. About 20-30% of people with psoriasis eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.8Some people with psoriatic disease have no preexisting psoriasis symptoms.9.
“We do know certain kinds of psoriasis patients tend to have higher chances of developing psoriatic arthritis,” including scalp psoriasis and inverse psoriasis, according to Samar Gupta11Dr. Judith A. Sullivan, associate professor at University of Michigan Medical School, and chief of VA clinical and rheumatology as well as medical education.
So, it’s crucial to communicate any joint pain to your doctor if you have psoriasis, since early detection can help you start treatment sooner, which can help prevent psoriatic arthritis-related joint damage.
There’s a lot of research showing that chronic inflammation may cause fat and cholesterol buildup, called plaques, in your arteries12. Plaques can build up over time and eventually cause a stroke or heart attack. Dr. Menter suggests that it is important to reduce inflammation in order to lower your risk of heart disease. One way is to manage your psoriasis by taking medication.