Advice from Diane


 What causes the pain and irritation that accompanies psoriasis?


  • Characteristics of psoriasis
  • What we know about how this disease works
  • Recognize the pain and find a way to cope

Advice From Patient Advocate Diane Talbert


What Do We Know About Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a generally known disease and those who struggle with it can recognize the condition and know the problems that come with it  including a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.  

We know that psoriasis is a disease that is characterized by dry patches with gray, dark or white flakes and can occur anywhere on the skin.

How Does Psoriasis Cause Pain?

We know that the psoriasis condition can penetrate through the weak tissue beneath the skin and extend to the joints which can result in psoriatic arthritis. Of course, for those of us that live with psoriatic arthritis, we already knew this. 

There are people that are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis without a diagnosis of psoriasis. PsA can happen even without any visible symptoms of psoriasis at all. I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of five but did not start experiencing any systems of psoriatic arthritis until I was 25.

For 35 years, I have had psoriatic arthritis and if I don’t keep my condition under control, it can reduce the mobility of my joints and pain will set in all over my body. Unfortunately, with both conditions, there is still no cure. Though there are ways to manage the symptoms.

Learn About Painful Symptoms Associated With Psoriasis and PsA

Some of us get frequent conjunctivitis and eye-narrowing. In some cases, PsA can be related to issues with the cardiovascular system. 

This illness has a mind of its own. It has stages of being calm and then boom! You don’t know what hit you. Doctors don’t know why this happens, but it’s hard for us to control.


  • Psoriatic arthritis causes joint stiffness and pain, especially in the thumb, ring finger, toes, soles of the feet, and lower back. 
  • The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis can vary in intensity, agitation, and can change over time. 
  • Emotional effects anxiety, and depression can often follow these symptoms.


How to Manage Pain

Monitor the movement and intensity of your pain and try to determine specific patterns. Take note of the period, context or activity as it occurs. Try to determine if you are doing something that intensifies the pain or something that helps you relieve it. 

Make a list and try to stick to it.

Evaluate your negative beliefs about pain. Question the dark thoughts you have about  helplessness, guilt or anger. 

What advice would you give to a friend? 

Is this always going to be your status? No. 

Will you still think this way tomorrow? Hopefully not.

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