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
Inflammation 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.
Though 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.
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
This 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.