Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed and Treated by Mercy Rheumatologists

Rheumatology at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

The rheumatologists of Rheumatology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, offer treatment of rheumatic diseases and conditions including psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis that generally occurs in people who already have psoriasis.

About the Condition

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when your body's immune system begins to attack healthy cells and tissue. This abnormal immune response causes inflammation in your joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Psoriatic arthritis generally occurs in people who already have psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that results in red, irritated patches on the body.

The cause of psoriatic arthritis is not entirely clear, and much like psoriasis, there is no cure.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may alternate between remission and severe flares, but in general, worsen over time. The most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis occur in the joints, including:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

Other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may include:

  • Swollen fingers and toes
  • Foot pain
  • Lower back pain

Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis may require a combination of tests, including a physical examination, imaging tests and blood tests.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

There is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, so treatment is focused on reducing pain and maintaining joint functionality. Your doctor will most likely begin with conservative methods of treatment, including medications to reduce symptoms. In more severe cases, surgery or injections may be required to relieve pain and help with joint mobility.

The rheumatologists at Mercy are experienced in the care of patients with psoriatic arthritis and can help you create a health management plan that is right for you.