In most cases of psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis (characterized by red lesions with dead skin cells resembling scales) precedes the condition. Psoriasis is actually the number one risk factor for psoriatic arthritis. In some cases, these conditions may appear together, while joint pain and stiffness may precede psoriasis in some instances. If you notice any of the symptoms of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, consult a specialist immediately.
Ideally, you would like to find a physician who has loads of experience in treating arthritis or, more specifically, psoriatic arthritis. In most cases, symptoms of psoriasis are diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist and psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed and treated by a rheumatologist. Family physicians, internists and other healthcare professionals may also provide treatment. Some patients have even visited acupuncturists, chiropractors and nutritionists. Check your state's medical licensing board for information pertaining to certification, licensing and qualifications. Never receive treatment or medical advice from an unlicensed individual.
Make sure that you choose a specialist with whom you can comfortably discuss your condition and treatment options. If you cannot effectively communicate with the specialist, you may benefit from seeking help and advice elsewhere. This does not mean that the specialist is not qualified or talented, but seeking treatment with a equally qualified and talented physician with whom you are comfortable may be more helpful and beneficial.
The clinic should be clean and hygienic. Do not receive treatment at a poorly equipped or unhygienic facility. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are caused by problems with the immune system in which T-cells attack healthy tissue as well as viruses and bacteria. Infection is thought to be a possible trigger for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Certain treatments for these conditions (immunosuppressants) may leave the body more susceptible to infection and other health problems, so be sure to seek treatment in a clean and healthy environment.
Other Factors to Consider
References are often good ways to judge a physician's talent and personality. If you have a friend or family member who has good things to say about his or her experiences with a certain physician, it may be worthwhile to check out the physician yourself.