The most common symptoms of PsA are swelling, stiffness, redness and pain of the joints, particularly in the hands, feet and knees. Back pain may also be present. In addition to its impact on joints, PsA also presents with patches of itchy and red skin that often affect the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can affect other areas too. Nail involvement is also quite common. A characteristic feature is dactylitis or ‘sausage digit’, where the entire finger or toe is swollen and inflamed.
Due to the inherent unpredictability of PsA, it is important to look out for early warning signs, such as new joint pain that is worse in the morning, persists for longer than one week and causes fatigue and disrupted sleeping. Noticing these symptoms early and seeking treatment can prevent long term damage to the joints.