People with psoriasis have an increased risk of developing gout. Researchers do not fully understand this connection, but the data suggests that people with psoriasis have high uric acid levels.

These high uric acid levels are a risk factor for gout, meaning psoriasis may increase a person’s risk of gout.

Additionally, psoriatic arthritis can cause symptoms similar to gout. A person may assume the pain of psoriatic arthritis is gout, or may not promptly get a gout diagnosis because they think they have psoriatic arthritis.

Read on to learn about the link between psoriasis and gout, how to tell the difference between each, and more.

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Doctors do not fully understand why some people develop gout, but they know that high uric acid levels are a risk factor.

People with psoriasis tend to have high levels of uric acid. This may be because the rapid skin cell turnover of psoriasis creates uric acid as a byproduct, or it could be the result of chronic inflammation. At present, experts do not know for sure.

It is also unclear if psoriasis causes gout, produces complications that lead to gout, or if similar risk factors lead to both conditions.

Although researchers do not fully understand the link between the conditions, they do know that people with psoriasis are more likely to have gout. A 2022 study found that people with psoriasis had a 1.3-fold increase in the risk of developing gout.

The symptoms of gout and psoriasis are distinctly different. Some signs of psoriasis include:

  • plaques on the skin
  • silvery, peeling patches on the skin
  • skin flaking
  • skin dryness
  • painful or itchy skin
  • dry or itchy eyes

Learn more about psoriasis symptoms.

Gout causes symptoms that affect more than just the skin. Some signs of gout include:

  • a sudden flare of intense joint pain, usually beginning at the big toe
  • chronic joint pain that flares up and then disappears
  • limited motion in the affected joints
  • redness or swelling in the affected joints

It is easy to confuse gout with psoriatic arthritis because they share common symptoms. Psoriatic arthritis causes skin symptoms, as well as:

About 30% of people with psoriasis develop it. However, researchers do not know if psoriasis causes gout.

Uric acid levels may explain a link between the conditions. People with psoriasis usually have elevated uric acid levels, and high uric acid is also a gout risk factor. Several factors may explain this:

  • Psoriasis can cause chronic inflammation, which is a gout risk factor.
  • The two conditions may have similar disease pathways. For example, the same risk factors may cause the diseases, or they may share genetic or biological risks.
  • The disease process of psoriasis may lead to uric acid accumulation, increasing the risk of gout.

While high uric acid levels are an important risk factor for gout, most people with elevated uric acid levels do not develop gout. Some other risk factors include:

  • eating animal products such as meat and dairy, especially in large quantities
  • alcohol and sweetened beverages such as soda
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • male sex
  • older age
  • having other diseases, such as diabetes
  • obesity
  • certain medications, including cyclosporine and low dose aspirin

There is no surefire strategy for preventing gout, and doctors do not fully understand why some people get the condition and others never do. However, gout shares some risk factors with other diseases, so adopting a healthy lifestyle may reduce the risk and improve overall health:

  • Eat fewer animal products.
  • Remain physically active.
  • Manage chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.

Learn more about preventing and managing gout.

A person should contact a doctor if:

  • their psoriasis or gout symptoms get worse, or treatment does not help
  • they develop psoriasis for the first time
  • they have intense joint pain or mobility problems
  • they develop side effects or complications from treating psoriasis or gout

A person should also contact a doctor to discuss options for reducing the risk of psoriatic arthritis and gout if they have psoriasis.

Psoriasis causes skin symptoms, while gout causes joint pain that can be intense. However, psoriasis may also cause psoriatic arthritis, which triggers symptoms that may mimic gout.

Doctors do not fully understand the relationship between the two conditions. However, people with psoriasis should know they have a higher risk of gout. Both conditions are treatable, and early treatment may help prevent symptoms from worsening.