Psoriatic arthritis often occurs with psoriasis. The exact cause is unclear, but it may result from faulty immune activity. Some triggers and risk factors such as an infection, may increase the risk.
In this article, we will look at some possible causes, triggers, and risk factors for PsA.
Experts do not yet know precisely why PsA occurs.
Link with psoriasis
Research suggests a link between psoriasis and PsA, although the exact link is not yet clear. PsA is far less common among people who never develop psoriasis.
Both psoriasis and PSA seem to involve problems with the immune system. The immune cells attack healthy joint tissue, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain.
However, it is unclear why PsA affects some people with psoriasis and not others.
Genetic factors appear to play a role.
Some environmental factors may make some people more susceptible to PsA, such as a mechanical injury or an infection.
As well as IL-23, the cytokine IL-17, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and specific immune cells also contribute.
PsA can occur at any age, but it is more likely to appear between the ages of 30 and 50 years.
There is evidence that the following factors may play a role in both the onset of PsA and the occurrence of flares:
- some gut issues, such as subclinical colitis and reduced diversity in the gut microbiome
- having scalp psoriasis, severe skin psoriasis, and psoriatic nail changes
A flare is a time when symptoms worsen. Between flares there may be times of remission, when there are few or no symptoms.
Possible triggers for a PsA flare include:
- stopping PsA medications, such as steroids
- infections or wounds
- stress or depression, which
can leadto inflammation
Understanding the potential triggers of PsA flares increases the chance of preventing them. Keeping a journal may help a person identify and avoid their triggers.
Sharing this information with a doctor can help a person identify effective treatments or simple lifestyle changes that could improve symptoms.
Here are some questions people often ask about the causes of PsA.
What are the main causes of psoriatic arthritis (PsA)?
PsA is an inflammatory disease that often affects people with psoriasis. Genetic features appear to play a role, and environmental factors — such as an injury or infection — may contribute.
Where does PsA usually start?
Is PsA serious?
Without treatment, PsA
Not everyone will experience PsA in the same way, but it is essential to see a doctor early if a person may have PsA, as medication
The exact causes of PsA are not yet clear. However, many scientists and medical professionals believe that it develops due to a faulty reaction in the immune system.
Genetic factors appear to play a role in the development of PsA, but environmental factors, such as an injury or infection, may increase the risk in those who are already susceptible. Risk factors for PsA include age and family history.
Early treatment can help manage PsA and slow its progression.