Could this be psoriatic arthritis?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone, 

I've been having some problems with my hands since June and my doctors have been unable to figure it out, thought I'd see if anyone here thought it sounded like PsA because upon much digging in google images the pictures of PsA most look like what's going on with my hands.

It started with one swollen, itchy knuckle on my right hand - middle finger, joint closest to palm. It looked the way my mom's RA looks, so I called and asked her if she ever had just one knuckle inflame. When she said no, I assumed it must just be a bug bite. The next morning I woke up and my entire hand was swollen so badly I could barely make a fist. I went to urgent care thinking it was a spider bite. They put me on antibiotics and that made 0 difference. The swelling continued for another couple of days and then once it died down some little red itchy, painful bumps appeared around the knuckle on the back of my hand. 

They thought the abx weren't working because it was staph and switched me to some staph specific abx. I was on them for a month, but I kept getting random swollen, itchy, painful knuckles and little red bumps. 

I finally saw my doctor and he said it didn't look like an infection, it looked more autoimmune because of the way it was mostly attacking my joints. And also since over a month of antibiotics did nothing. 

Out of all the pics I've seen online, mine sure looks a lot like PsA, but there are a few things throwing me:

I haven't really seen any pictures or read any mention of little red pimple-like bumps associated with PsA. Does anyone with PsA get those?

I've never had psoriasis that I know of (but a year or two ago I did have a string of a few months where my scalp was itchy and had what appeared to be dandruff, but dandruff shampoo didn't help. It eventually just went away.)

I also have no changes to my nails and from what I've read pitting and ridges accompany PsA about 80% of the time.

But when I still thought this was an infection I started taking Cats Claw, an herb that boosts the immune system. My hand got expontentially worse when I did that. My left hand swelled much worse than my right hand had and my left ring finger middle knuckle / finger swelled and looked like a sausage. I've also had a few random occasions with almost all of my knuckles turning red and a few on my right hand ache almost always but haven't turned red or swollen. 

Does this sound like it could be psoriatic arthritis? I'm seeing a rheumatologist next week but just thought I'd see if anyone had any additional insight, because of course it's driving me insane. The itching! I'm posting a few pictures, too. 

 

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  • Posted

    Have you had psoriasis sometime in the past or have it now? If not, it probably is some kind of different type of arthritis. My rheumatologist said, that esiest way to see if you have psoriatic arthritis is to check damage on your nails - see if they have like a little hole like inclinations, pits, like they have been poked with a needle. I've attahced photo from the interwebs for visual reference.

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    • Posted

      • I've never had psoriasis that I know of (but a year or two ago I did have a string of a few months where my scalp was itchy and had what appeared to be dandruff, but dandruff shampoo didn't help. It eventually just went away.)

      • I also have no changes to my nails and from what I've read pitting and ridges accompany PsA about 80% of the time.

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  • Posted

    ...some folks can have joint pain and inflammation before psoriasis shows up, and some may not have skin psoriasis at all.  Eventually, somewhere, something will show up. It may be very subtle, unlike the large patchy typical psoriasis presentations. PSA is a bit of a tricky customer to diagnose.
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  • Posted

    yes I get somthing similar I am starting to think it pustlar psoriasis. which from what I read is only found in 1-3 % of psoriasis patients. Your hand looks about identical to what mine looks like during a flare up . I read some people with psa dont get a severe formula of psoriasis and it typically varies from one person to the next as far as symptoms. my dr. tells me its probably mild psoriasis or mild eczema. he did not run a test but I have had tests done when I was younger and it wasn't viral . I also have chronic back pains which I suspect is psa. im going to see a specialist soon.

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