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Psoriatic arthritis, or PsA, is a chronic disease that causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in the joints, as well as swollen fingers and toes, splitting fingernails and toenails that often peel away from the nail bed, eye pain and redness, and pain in the back of the heel. Typically, PsA affects people who already have psoriasis, a condition marked by reddish scaly skin lesions. And while patients are usually diagnosed with psoriasis first, joint problems can appear before skin symptoms do.
Although PsA may begin at any age, the disease usually appears between the ages of 30 and 55. Approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop PsA.