Q&A: Common Misconceptions About Psoriatic Arthritis

FEBRUARY 08, 2016
Amy Jacob
Psoriatic arthritis, a chronic skin condition that affects patients on physically and mentally – often impacts patients’ mobility in their daily lives. Healthcare professionals across all specialties have experience when dealing with these patients in different capacities.
 
MD Magazine interviewed Jason Faller, MD, rheumatologist at Mount Sinai hospital, NY, NY, to shed light on this condition.
 
 
1. With so much buzz lately of celebrities diagnosed with psoriasis/PsA, how would you describe the current disease landscape?
 
More than one million people in the US live with PsA, but the number may be higher given that the disease is so often misdiagnosed and underreported. It is certainly good to see public figures come forward to talk about how they are impacted by these conditions, and help shed light on the community as a whole. We see that PsA affects both men and women equally, with symptoms usually appearing between the ages of 30 and 50. Additionally, up to 30% of psoriasis patients develop psoriatic arthritis.
 
2. How has the conversation and action for treatment/prevention shifted? What triggered the birth of the Be Counted! campaign?
 
PsA is commonly confused with other types of arthritis, most often osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis. Patients have expressed difficulty getting others to understand the nature of their PsA, a distinct disease, impacting their ability to function and manage social interactions. It doesn’t only affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities – such as work, hobbies, and exercise – but it may also affect their relationships with others. At the most basic level, some people living with psoriatic arthritis find their mobility is affected, making it difficult to walk easily or climb stairs. It’s important to understand that there is no cure for PsA, nor is it preventable. It is, however, important for people living with the condition to work with their doctors to understand the condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for them.
 
Be Counted! aims to combat misunderstandings about the disease, by uniting patients, advocates, and doctors to raise awareness of PsA, educate the public, and rally support for this chronic, autoimmune condition.
 
At the campaign website, PsACounts.com, you can watch videos that highlight different perspectives on the disease. I encourage everyone to help spread the word about the program and PsA by sharing the videos via your social media channels.
 


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