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Psoriatic Arthritis

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Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy tissue in your joints and skin. This immune system malfunction causes joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. The swelling can affect your entire body and cause permanent damage to your joints and tissues if not treated early.

Symptoms vary from one person to another. Many people with psoriatic arthritis have periods when symptoms worsen, called flares. Most people develop signs on their skin or nails before they notice pain and stiffness in their joints, while others experience joint symptoms first — and some may not have any skin symptoms at all.

Many of the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are common among other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, so psoriatic arthritis can be difficult to diagnose. The most common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain and swelling, which most typically occurs in the ankles, knees, fingers, toes, and lower back
  • Joint stiffness in the morning or after a period of inactivity
  • Finger or toe swelling that affects your entire finger or toe, not just the joint (dactylitis)
  • Tendon or ligament pain and tenderness, most often affecting your heel or bottom of your foot
  • Skin rash with thick, reddened skin and scaly patches (psoriasis)
  • Pitted, infected-looking nails or nails that lift off the nail bed completely
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced range of motion of limbs and joints
  • Eye irritation, redness, swelling, and pain
People with psoriatic arthritis are also at increased risk of developing other diseases, including:
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, especially Crohn's disease
  • Lung problems
  • Metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol)
  • Bone disorders, including osteopenia and osteoporosis
  • Gout

Rheumatologists at University of Miami Health System have advanced experience diagnosing and treating psoriatic arthritis. We design a customized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and give you comprehensive care. With locations throughout South Florida, you can get personalized treatment that’s close to home.

Why Choose UHealth?

The latest treatments for psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can be difficult to diagnose, so it’s important to work with an experienced team. Our rheumatologists are also researchers, so you get care from specialists on the leading edge of arthritis treatment.

Comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Psoriatic arthritis can increase your risk of other diseases, so our rheumatologists work with doctors from a full range of medical specialties. You get comprehensive, coordinated care from dermatologists, gastroenterologists, cardiovascular specialists, pulmonologists (lung diseases), endocrinologists, orthopedic doctors, and others as needed.

Specialized care to improve your quality of life. Your team will educate you about psoriatic arthritis and help you learn how to manage symptoms with a nutritious diet, exercise, proper skin care, and other healthy lifestyle habits. We make sure you have the support and resources you need to relieve symptoms and improve your well-being.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Light Therapy

    Also called phototherapy, light therapy can help relieve psoriasis rashes. During this noninvasive therapy, your doctor positions a special ultraviolet light over the rash for a short period.

  • Medicines

    Doctors use a variety of medicines to treat psoriatic arthritis, including:

    • Corticosteroids: Slow the body's immune response to relieve swelling and pain. They can be taken by mouth or injected directly into the joint.
    • Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): Suppress the immune system broadly to prevent swelling. Most are taken as a pill.
    • Genetically Engineered Biologics: A newer type of DMARD that targets specific immune functions to prevent swelling. Biologics are usually given as an injection or as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
    • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Reduce swelling and relieve pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
    • Topical Medicines: Creams, gels, shampoos, and other solutions can ease the symptoms of psoriasis. These over-the-counter and prescription medicines are applied directly to the rash.

Tests

  • Blood Tests

    Doctors use various blood tests to look for signs of swelling, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein test, and rheumatoid factor test (to rule out rheumatoid arthritis).

  • Imaging Exams

    Doctors use noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (magnetic energy and radio waves) and X-rays to look for any changes to bones or joints.

  • Joint Aspiration

    This procedure, also called arthrocentesis, allows your doctor to examine joint fluid (synovial fluid) to rule out gout or infectious arthritis. Your doctor uses a needle to withdraw the fluid, which is analyzed in the lab.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • CompCare (Comprehensive Behavioral Care)
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Global Health Claims Services
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HUMx
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care