5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In Hands

5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In Hands

Are your hands feeling painful and swollen lately? Do you also happen to have psoriasis? There are some chances that it’s psoriatic arthritis behind your problems.

But how can you know for sure? Do you really need to have a medical consult?

Well, there are a few signs that you can notice alone. For this reason, here are the most common 5 symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in hands. In many cases, this condition begins by affecting the hands. So spotting any of these signs early can be crucial for your health.


1. Sausage-Like Swelling

5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In HandsInflammation appears in any type of arthritis, but in psoriatic arthritis it’s a bit different. In this case, hands are the ones that suffer first.

Before you notice any joint pain, your fingers may start to swell. It all begins with a minor inflammation, which you may not even notice. However, it grows gradually, and after a few days, one or more of your fingers can grow twice in size. They look just like a sausage, large, red and sometimes even warm.

This is the typical swelling of psoratic arthritis, and it’s the best symptom to diagnose this condition. This sausage swelling can make the difference between psoriatic and all the other forms of arthritis. You will never see this sign in a person with rheumatoid arthritis, for example.

So if your fingers are swollen and they look like a sausage, it’s probably psoriatic arthritis behind your hand pain. In this case, the best thing you can do is to get an appointment to your doctor and he will take care of the rest.


2. Stiffness

5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In HandsThough it’s not a certain sign of psoriatic arthritis, stiffness is usually one of the first symptoms that appear.

When you’re dealing with stiffness, your hands feel very hard and almost impossible to move. Besides, every small movement feels much more painful. That’s why stiffness and pain always go hand in hand.

Believe it or not, arthritis stiffness doesn’t always appear in the morning. Yes, it is the most common period, because you’ve been in the same position for a longer time. However, if you’re sitting down for an hour at 2 pm, you might also experience stiffness when getting up. So the moment doesn’t matter as much as the previous activity.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell you have psoriatic arthritis just because you have stiff hands. This symptoms appears in every form of arthritis, especially in auto-immune forms. So you usually need another clear sign to get a diagnosis.


3. Nail Changes

Have you had fungal infections in your nails lately? Believe it or not, psoriatic arthritis may be the responsible.

5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In Hands

What does it have to do with fungus? Well, psoriatic arthritis produces some nail changes that look identical to fungal infections. In fact, there’s no fungus behind. That’s why your so-called infections don’t go away with any medicine. It’s simply not a fungal infection, but a sign of psoriatic arthritis. 

So how exactly do these nail changes look? At first, they may simply lose color or have indentations, so no major differences. However, without the proper treatment, these discoloration can transform into depressions. You nails will go from smooth to unequal, but things can get even worse. 

In final stages, your nail can even separate from the nail bed, which means the damage is irreversible. For this reason, see your doctor whenever you notice the smallest change in your nails.

If you already have psoriasis, pay extra attention to the condition of your nails because you have more chances to develop arthritis. 


4. Red Patches

5 Most Common Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In HandsThis is  a very clear symptom if you want to make the difference between psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis.

Most psoriasis patients have lesions on their elbows, knees and scalp, but hand patches are pretty rare. That especially in easy forms. But what if you recently saw some lesions on your hands as well? Does this mean you’re developing psoriatic arthritis?

Well, it’s hard to tell for sure. This is a clear sign that your psoriasis is getting worse and that you have a more severe form. However, this doesn’t mean you will surely develop arthritis too. 

If  you also have other symptoms like morning stiffness, nail changes and swollen fingers, it’s probably arthritis behind. Also, this is what produced the psoriatic patches from your hands. But otherwise, you can’t really tell. 

So the red hand patches alone aren’t a sign of psoratic arthritis, only of psoriasis. 


5. Warm Finger Joints

That’s not a basic symptom for psoriatic arthritis, but it can show there’s something wrong. 

As you fingers get more swollen, they should also become red, painful and most importantly, warm. This is a clear sign that there’s an inflammation inside, and most likely it’s arthritis behind. 

However, you can’t really tell what kind of form your’re dealing with. 

If your fingers are very swollen and they look like a sausage, it’s probably the psoriatic type. But if there’s simply pain and a minimal inflammation, it might be rheumatoid arthritis behind. So the best way to know is to check what other symptoms you have and draw the conclusions afterwards. 


So Is Psoriatic Arthritis Behind Your Hand Pain?

You can’t always tell the cause of your pain for sure, but you can guess it. And if you believe it’s arthritis behind, there are some ways to make the difference between the psoriatic and rheumatoid form.

If you have psoriatic arthritis, sausage-like are a must in 80% of the cases. The fingers are very swollen, red and pretty warm. Also, your nails should also be affected, as they would turn yellow and change their shape. And last but not least, if you have a form of psoriatic arthritis, hand patches will appear sooner or later. 

In case you don’t have nay of these symptoms, it’s probably not psoriatic but rheumatoid arthritis behind.

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Erikka says:

    Hi. My mom has some sort of patches in one of her fingernails. She first thought it was a fungal infection, but it wouldn’t go away with anything. We tried almost any lotion possible but it just seems to help for a while, then her infection gets back. It’s not like it’s hurting her, but it’s not aesthetically displeasing.

    Do you think it could be psoriatic arthritis? The nail of my mom looks very similar to the symptom you mentioned. But she doesn’t have any psoriasis or any form of arthritis, she’s just healthy overall. Do you think it’s something more serious? Thank you.

  2. Heather says:

    Hey Erikka, from what you’re saying I don’t think it could be psoriatic arthritis.

    1. Your mom has never had psoriasis or any type of arthritis, so it’s quite unlikely that she starts developing PA out of the sudden. I assume she doesn’t have any family history of this condition either.

    2. You didn’t mention any other symptoms, like sausage swelling, warm or stiff joints. So I will also assume she doesn’t have any of this. In this case, it’s almost impossible that she has psoriatic arthritis. Besides, if she really had it, she should have got other symptoms meanwhile. You’re saying she’s had these nail patches for a while now. Well, if she had PA, she would have got other symptoms too in the meantime.

    So in my opinion, she shouldn’t worry too much because it’s not psoriatic arthritis. But what is it then? It really sounds like a fungal infection, but if it doesn’t go away with anything, maybe it’s not. I can’t really tell because I don’t know much about that topic. So I recommend you to see a dermatologist, even though the “infection” doesn’t bother your mom in terms of pain. Hope this helps.

  3. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the advice. I had psoriasis and I noticed some days ago that my nails started to get some white small spots. It’s not like anything I’ve seen before. I’m thinking that maybe my psoriasis could turn into psoriatic arthritis. Only the thought of it freaks me out, I’ve had my granny with arthritis and I remember she was in deep pain.

    Do you think I should see a doctor? I have my regular appointment next month, but maybe I should go earlier. Thanks for all this great info, it’s so helpful.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi Trevor. So first of all, if you have psoriasis you’re somehow at risk for psoriatic arthritis. But I don’t mean to scare you because maybe it’s not the case.

    Your nail problems could be a real fungal infection, but they could also an early sign of psoriatic arthritis. Is it only one nail that’s having those small spots? If it’s just one (or 2-3 at most), then it could be a fungal infection. But if you have most of your nails with those spots, then it could be something more serious, like psoritic arthritis.

    Do you also have stiffness or any red patches (not psoriasis)? That would help me get a better idea about what’s behind.

    Either way, I do recommend you to see your doctor sooner than next month. Nothing major will happen if you don’t. But if you really have psoriatic arthritis, the time you diagnose it is very important. That’s why I would recommend you to go now and not to wait for another month.

    If you can, keep me in touch with how things go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *