Types of Psoriatic Arthritis

Types of Psoriatic Arthritis


There are five main types of psoriatic arthritis, categorized by the type of joint impacted.


People can have one type initially only to develop another type later on.


Asymmetric oligoarthritis

Also known as asymmetric psoriatic arthritis, this type of PsA typically impacts less than five small or large joints in your body.

It is called “asymmetrical” because the joint symptoms like pain and redness don’t occur on both sides of your body.

You can have pain in the right knee but not in the left, for example.

Roughly 35 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis have asymmetric oligoarthritis.


Symmetric polyarthritis

As the name applies, “symmetric” polyarthritis affects five or more joints on both sides of your body (e.g., the right and left elbows); similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

This is the most common type of PsA, occurring in roughly half of people with the condition.


Distal arthritis

This type of PsA impacts the end joints of your fingers and toes (the distal interphalangeal joints); and can cause nail changes like spotting, pitting, or separating from the nail bed.

Less than 20 percent of people with PsA have distal arthritis alone; it often occurs alongside other kinds of psoriatic arthritis.


ALSO READ: Arthritis: All you need to know



Arthritis mutilans

This severe type of psoriatic arthritis can deform and destroy the joints in your fingers, hands, wrists, and feet.

Arthritis mutilans prevent your bone cells from breaking down and rebuilding; which can cause your fingers to look like the opening of opera glasses (“opera glass hand”) or like a telescope (“telescoping finger”).

Other symptoms of arthritis mutilans include stretched, shiny, and wrinkled finger skin; stiffness and immobility of the joint due to fused together bones (ankyloses); and wearing down of joints and bone tissues in the feet and hands.

Thanks to growing advancements in treatment for psoriatic arthritis, arthritis mutilans is rare, occurring in less than 5 percent of people with PsA.



Psoriatic arthritis is considered a type of spondyloarthritis; which is an umbrella term for different types of arthritis that have some traits in common.


(Ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis are also types of spondyloarthritis, for example.)


In spondyloarthrits, people experience inflammation in the joints of the spine, which can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, lower back, and sacroiliac joints (located on each side of your spine).


If left untreated, the vertebrae in your spine can fuse together.


Your hands, feet, legs, arms, and hips may also be impacted.


Psoriatic arthritis with axial involvement is a distinct condition that is different from having ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis at the same time, a new study found.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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