Arthritis & its associated skin problems

by Dr. Raju Shah

When a patient of Arthritis sees a doctor usually he/she is in pain, agony & discomfort During session with doctor lots of attention is given or provided by a patient to his joint complaints. It will be of great help, if patient gives history of his previous & present skin problems. This helps in arriving very close to initial diagnosis. On other hand medical personnel should also pay more attention during examination of the skin, nails, hair, genitals.

I would only discuss some common skin problems with Arthritis.

Most common is Rheumatoid Arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, system lupus arythematosus (Sle), Reiters arthritis etc.

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Patient would have following skin problem. (These problems are due to deposition of Immune complex Igm & C3 in vessel)

One must remember all patients would not have all the symptoms. Depending upon the chronicity of disease symptoms & signs vary from patient to patient.

Following are classial signs & symptoms

Psoriasis - Arthritis is usually of small joints & can be also of lower back and distal interphalangeal joints.

Systemis Lupus Erythermatosus & connective tissue disorders.

Reiter Syndrome - Arthritis, conjunctivitis & Urethritis & skin lesions Clinically
Usually drug given for Arthritis also clear skin Iesions. In few cases, local application of cream & ointments are required.