Psoriasis is a skin disease and arthritis is a disease which is associated with inflammation of the joints. If a person suffers from both the diseases at one time, then it is called psoriatic arthritis.
It is a chronic inflammatory arthritis. In this disease, a person’s own immune system (antibodies and cells) fight against his/her own body cells. This disease is generally considered to be an inherited disease. A person between the ages of 15 to 35 can suffer from this disease. Both men and women can suffer from this chronic disease. In men arthritis normally affects the spinal cord, which is called Spondylitic form of Psoriatic Arthritis and in women it generally affects the joints, which is called rheumatoid form of Psoriatic Arthritis.
A person suffering from psoriatic arthritis can try various treatments, which can be done either by going to a doctor or easily at home.
Treatments of Psoriatic Arthritis Involves
1. Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) –
These are anti-inflammatory medicines. NSAIDs react with a specific type of chemicals produced in the body, called Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins promote inflammation, fever and pain on the body. So, Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs reduce the prostaglandin production in the body, and thereby reduces the problems associated with its production. There are many examples of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like sulindac (Clinoril), aspirin, ibuprofen, celecoxib, naproxen and tolmetin sodium.
These medicines can reduce the inflammation and pain in the arthritis affected area temporarily. One should be careful about using NSAIDs, because these may affect the stomach and can cause gastric ulcers, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, headache, kidney failure, liver failure and bleeding.
These are anti-inflammatory steroids, which reduces inflammation, severe pain of joint and swelling. One should take this medicine, only after consulting the doctor. Corticosteroids can only reduce the problems associated with psoriatic arthritis, but it cannot prevent arthritis.
Short term side effects of corticosteroids may be high blood pressure and mood swings. Whereas, long term side effects of corticosteroids can be increased risk of infection, thinning of bones, skin thinning and cataract.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D not only aids in growth of bone, but it also anti-inflammatory. One should consult doctor before taking doses of vitamin D. Vitamin D also helps in relieving psoriasis.
It prevents abnormal cell maturation and normalizes growth of cells and also helps in regulating and maintaining the immune system. Calcipotriene is a source of Vitamin D and can be applied on skin in the form of ointments or solutions.
4. Coal Tar
This is a black coloured liquid, which is either obtained from coal or wood. This is used as a primary medication for psoriasis. Apart from other medicines, many people find it useful. Coal tar is used in many lotions, ointments and shampoos. Coal tar is an anti-inflammatory substance, which is used to reduce the redness, inflammation and abnormal growth of cells.
5. Disease Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
These are special types of medicines which are given to the psoriatic arthritis patients. They work by reducing the extra active immune system and reduces inflammation. Apart from this, DMARDs also prevent against damage of joints. DMARDs are used in combination with other Non-Steroidal Inflammatory Drugs to reduce joint damage.
Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis
1. Water Therapy
The force of water reduces pain in the joints or other arthritis affected areas. Dermatologists recommend Bokek Dead Sea salt baths to patients of psoriatic arthritis. This treatment helps in relieving pain and relaxing the muscles. Patients of psoriatic arthritis should take this therapy thrice a day:
A) In the morning, before starting daily activities,
B) In the afternoon, and
C) In the evening before going to bed.
Patients of psoriatic arthritis can use splints to relieve themselves from pain and swelling. Splints help to maintain the position of joints and also support them.
3. Ice Bag
Psoriatic arthritis patients can use ice bag on the affected areas to get relief from swollen, inflamed joints.
4. Regular Exercise
Psoriatic arthritis patients should regularly maintain an exercise routine. Patients of psoriatic arthritis should never undergo any strenuous exercise. Light exercises that do not have much impact on the joints should be performed. Exercises in warm water are a very good option for psoriatic arthritis patients.
5. Calcium and Vitamin D Supplement
Calcium is very important for bone formation and maintaining the strength of bones. Various calcium supplements are today available in the market which can be taken by psoriatic arthritis patients.
Vitamin D is not only anti-inflammatory, but also helps in bone formation and aids in its growth. Most patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis are diagnosed to have low Vitamin D level in their body. So it is very essential for them to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D