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Approach to therapy of psoriatic arthritis


Skin therapies: dermatologic perspective on the rheumatology-dermatology interface

1, 2


  1. University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI, USA.
  2. Department of Dermatology, Psoriasis, Phototherapy and Skin Treatment Clinic, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

2015 Vol.33, N°5 ,Suppl.93
PI 0078, PF 0081
Approach to therapy of psoriatic arthritis

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PMID: 26472228 [PubMed]

Received: 02/09/2015
Accepted : 02/09/2015
In Press: 15/10/2015
Published: 16/10/2015


Psoriasis is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin condition in which up to 42% of patients may develop psoriatic arthritis. Consequently, dermatologists and rheumatologists frequently manage the same patient for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, respectively. Hence, it is important for the two specialties to understand one another and work together to optimise care of patients with psoriatic disease. This article discusses several areas of clinical concern in which coordination of care is especially critical. First, when selecting a therapeutic modality, it is best to use treatments that improve both the joints and the skin, and exercise caution while using options that can rarely worsen the skin, such as systemic steroids. Second, a close working relationship between the two specialties is critical in making prompt and early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Dermatologists often are on the frontlines for detecting early signs of joint involvement, and the prevalence of undiagnosed PsA among patients with psoriasis is estimated to be 15.5%. Third, in the rare instance of anti-TNF induced paradoxical worsening of the skin disease, it is highly recommended that these patients be referred to dermatologists as soon as possible for optimal management of the skin manifestations. Lastly, dermatologists in the US have a long history of undertreating generalised psoriasis, especially with regards to the use of systemic agents. Therefore, the consideration of systemic agents by the rheumatologist may greatly benefit the patient by treating both the joint and skin manifestations. In summary, this article highlights the importance of interdisciplinary coordination between rheumatologists and dermatologists for which both specialties offer unique and complementary expertise to the care of patients with psoriatic disease.

Rheumatology Article