Some examples of professionals who treat psoriatic arthritis are dermatologists and rheumatologists. These professionals are highly trained to use various methods in an effort to diagnosis and treat psoriatic arthritis effectively. In some cases, you may be referred to counselors and physical therapists. These professionals that can provide you with useful information that will aid you in dealing with the emotions and physical ailments that are associated with psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis is usually detected by dermatologists. It is important that dermatologists pay careful attention to their patients that are affected by the skin disease psoriasis, because they may eventually develop psoriatic arthritis. Although this type of arthritis only affects about one or two out of ten people with the inflammatory skin condition known as psoriasis, once symptoms occur then it can become quite severe.
Highly trained dermatologists are aware of possible symptoms such as pain, swelling or stiffness that could occur in one or more of the patient’s joints. In order to properly diagnosis psoriatic arthritis, it is important that your doctor conduct a physical examination on you. There are no psoriatic arthritis specific tests, however your dermatologist can request that an erythrocyte sedimentation test (ESR) be performed to properly detect inflammation. Other blood test may also be performed in order to make sure that you do not have another type of arthritis. Once your doctor is fairly sure that you have psoriatic arthritis, you will most likely be referred to a rheumatologist.
A rheumatologist specializes in providing treatments and effective care for patients who have arthritis. Your rheumatologist will also conduct various tests to see if you have psoriatic arthritis. Usually to confirm this type of arthritis, a skin biopsy may be performed. Once confirmed, your doctor will customize treatments based upon your symptoms and the severity of your condition. To locate an effective treatment for you, then you may have to try several before committing to one. Effective treatments and medications will be prescribed to you so that no future complications occur, such as joint deformities.
In addition to providing you with medications, your rheumatologist will also suggest ways to help you cope with psoriatic arthritis. For this reason, self management information may be provided to you. The doctor should provide you with literature that will help you to manage that pain which you may experience. In some cases, you may be referred to a professional, such as a counselor, that also help you deal with the emotional and mental aspects of psoriatic arthritis. Depending upon the severity of your condition, then you may also be referred to a physical therapist. These professionals will assist you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This may include suggesting activities that you can participate in or exercises to strengthen your joints.
Psoriatic arthritis can affect you throughout your life, however, if you listen to the professionals that are trying to assist you with dealing with your condition, then you should be able to stay healthy and live comfortably until a cure is available.