Psoriatic arthritis

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Psoriatic arthritis is one type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Learn about the symptoms and possible complications of this condition.

Key points

  • Psoriasis is a scaly, red rash, usually on the scalp, behind the ears, on the eyelids, elbows, knees, buttocks, or inside the belly button.
  • Psoriatic arthritis affects 3% to 10% of children with JIA.
  • It can be mild or it can be severe and last into adulthood.

Psoriasis is a skin disease. It is a scaly, red rash, usually on the scalp, behind the ears, on the eyelids, elbows, knees, or buttocks, or inside the belly button. Some people with psoriasis may also have pits or ridges in their fingernails. Children or teenagers with psoriasis may also have arthritis. This is called psoriatic arthritis. Sometimes the psoriasis starts before the arthritis, but sometimes the arthritis begins before the psoriasis. A family history of psoriasis is an important clue to the correct diagnosis.

Psoriatic arthritis Identification of finger, hip and toe joints and illustrations of psoriatic rash, nail splitting and dactylitis
Psoriatic arthritis affects both males and females equally. It is characterized by nail pitting, swollen fingers or toes, soreness in any joint, and red scaly rash.

Quick facts about psoriatic JIA

Here are a few more things you should know about psoriatic JIA:

  • It occurs in 3% to 10% of young people who have JIA.
  • It can occur at any age.
  • It affects both boys and girls equally.
  • It can affect a few or many joints.
  • It may involve the hips or back, similar to enthesitis-related arthritis.
  • When the tendons of the fingers or toes become swollen or inflamed, they may look like sausages. This is called dactylitis.
  • There is a moderate risk of eye disease, called uveitis.

Some children and teenagers have relatively mild psoriatic arthritis. Others have a more severe disease that can last into adulthood.

Last updated: January 31st 2017