Are plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis related?

Your skin and joints may have much more in common than you think. The same inflammation that causes skin plaques from psoriasis can produce joint pain, stiffness, and other symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.


Watch this video to learn more about how both conditions could be connected.



What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?

  • Skin plaques and nail changes: thick, red skin with flaky, silvery patches. Nail changes like separation from nail bed, pitting, or the appearance of a fungal infection
  • Joint pain and reduced range of motion: pain and swelling commonly felt in hands, feet, and joints
  • Tenderness in and around joints (enthesitis): pain or tenderness where tendons and ligaments attach to bones
  • Sausage-like fingers or toes (dactylitis): swelling along the entire length of finger(s) and toe(s)
  • Joint damage: if left untreated, psoriatic arthritis may cause permanent joint damage
  • Back pain (axial psoriatic arthritis), fatigue, and stiffness

About 85% of people with psoriatic arthritis experience plaque psoriasis symptoms first.

Occurs in people who also have plaque psoriasis.

Take this quiz to find out if there’s more to your psoriasis

It’s not always easy to explain how you feel. Taking this quiz could help. Talk to your dermatologist to get the conversation started about plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as you can. A delay in diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis by as little as 6 months can lead to permanent joint damage.
1. Have you ever had a swollen joint (or joints)?
2. Has a doctor ever told you that you have arthritis?
3. Do your fingernails or toenails have holes or pits?
4. Have you had pain in your heels?
5. Have you had a finger or toe that was completely swollen and painful for no apparent reason?

If you answered YES to 3 or more questions, make sure to print or e-mail your answers and bring them to your next appointment.

This tool is the PEST (Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool) questionnaire developed by GH Ibrahim et al.

Are you at risk for psoriatic arthritis?

Diagnosing psoriatic arthritis can be challenging because many of the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. It can take many years for psoriatic arthritis to appear, so it's important to be aware of the connection to psoriasis.


46% of people with severe psoriasis reported developing psoriatic arthritis.


People with psoriasis who have nail disease are almost 3x more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than those who don't.


People with psoriasis who have scalp lesions are almost 4x more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than those who don't.

What are some of the other risk factors for psoriatic arthritis aside from plaque psoriasis itself?

  • The severity of the plaque psoriasis—people with moderate to severe psoriasis carry a greater risk
  • Plaque psoriasis diagnosis at an earlier age
  • Having 3 or more sites on the body that are affected by plaque psoriasis
  • People with psoriasis who have lesions in their inner buttocks area are 2x more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis than those who don’t
  • 3 or more visits to a dermatologist per year
  • Other skin and joint conditions
40 percent

Is family history a risk factor for psoriatic arthritis?

Family history can be a risk factor for psoriatic arthritis. If any of your close relatives have plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you could have a greater chance of getting either or both conditions.

40% of people with psoriatic arthritis have at least one close relative with psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis.

Real people have found real relief from both conditions with COSENTYX®.

See how COSENTYX works to relieve symptoms of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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COSENTYX® (secukinumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • people 6 years of age and older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that involves large areas or many areas of the body, and who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light alone or with systemic therapy)

  • people 4 years of age and older with active enthesitis-related arthritis

  • people 2 years of age and older with active psoriatic arthritis

  • adults with active ankylosing spondylitis

  • adults with active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis and objective signs of inflammation

Important Safety Information

Do not use COSENTYX if you have had a severe allergic reaction to secukinumab or any of the other ingredients in COSENTYX. See the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients.

COSENTYX is a medicine that affects your immune system. COSENTYX may increase your risk of having serious side effects such as:


COSENTYX may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections, sometimes serious.

  • Your doctor should check you for tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with COSENTYX.
  • If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with COSENTYX and during treatment with COSENTYX.
  • Your doctor should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with COSENTYX. Do not take COSENTYX if you have an active TB infection.

Before starting COSENTYX, tell your doctor if you:

  • are being treated for an infection
  • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
  • think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as: fevers, sweats, or chills; muscle aches; cough; shortness of breath; blood in your phlegm; weight loss; warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body; diarrhea or stomach pain; burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal

After starting COSENTYX, call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection listed above. Do not use COSENTYX if you have any signs of infection unless you are instructed to by your doctor.

Inflammatory bowel disease

New cases of inflammatory bowel disease or “flare-ups” can happen with COSENTYX, and can sometimes be serious. If you have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), tell your doctor if you have worsening disease symptoms during treatment with COSENTYX or develop new symptoms of stomach pain or diarrhea.

Serious allergic reactions

Serious allergic reactions can occur. Get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms: feeling faint; swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat; trouble breathing or throat tightness; chest tightness; skin rash or hives (red, itchy bumps). If you have a severe allergic reaction, do not give another injection of COSENTYX.  

Before starting COSENTYX, tell your doctor if you:

  • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed above for infections.

  • have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis).

  • are allergic to latex. The needle cap on the COSENTYX Sensoready® 150 mg/mL pen and the 150 mg/mL and 75 mg/0.5 mL prefilled syringes contains latex.

  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). People who take COSENTYX should not receive live vaccines. Children should be brought up to date with all vaccines before starting COSENTYX.

  • have any other medical conditions.

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if COSENTYX can harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will use COSENTYX.

  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if COSENTYX passes into your breast milk.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I use COSENTYX?

See the detailed Instructions for Use that comes with your COSENTYX for information on how to prepare and inject a dose of COSENTYX, and how to properly throw away (dispose of) used COSENTYX Sensoready pens and prefilled syringes.

  • Use COSENTYX exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

  • If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may give your injections of COSENTYX at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject COSENTYX. Do not try to inject COSENTYX yourself, until you or your caregiver has been shown how to inject COSENTYX by your doctor or nurse.

The most common side effects of COSENTYX include: cold symptoms, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infections. These are not all of the possible side effects of COSENTYX. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

 Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide.