Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis

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Both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune, inflammatory illnesses. They both exhibit comparable symptoms, such as joint stiffness, discomfort, inflammation, and fatigue. Both conditions are autoimmune, which means your immune system mistakenly destroys healthy body components. The majority of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with each kind of arthritis are also caused by inflammation. They may harm blood vessels, the skin, and other organs as well. It's simple to mix up rheumatoid arthritis with psoriatic arthritis. Many patients have persistent joint pain and stiffness as a result of arthritis.

There are several forms of arthritis, and each has its causes, issues, and symptoms. The aetiology, symptoms, and therapies of Psoriatic arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis have a few important similarities and distinctions. Following a rapid progression of joint deterioration, permanent physical impairment is seen once the damaged joints are distorted. Therefore, early detection and treatment of the condition are essential. An autoimmune condition called psoriasis results in a rash that is red, itchy, and scaly.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Psoriatic Arthritis

The word "arthritis" may be used to refer to several different diseases. Psoriatic arthritis affects your joints and the places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. Psoriatic arthritis will appear in around 30% of psoriasis sufferers. Your joints become painful, swollen, and stiff as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. The same joints on both sides of your body are often affected, such as both thumbs or wrists. Women are more than twice as likely as males to have rheumatoid arthritis. There are several noticeable distinctions between psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, even though their symptoms might often overlap. One such difference is family history, which is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Additionally, the presence of these genes has been associated with more severe symptoms, or the primary difference is in the location of those symptoms.

People without RA have symptoms in their middle joints rather than the distal joints of their fingers and toes. PsA often attacks your eyes, skin, nails, and tendons in addition to your joints. The hands and feet have different joints than other joints, and psoriatic arthritis also includes skin psoriasis, which is a chronic, debilitating condition in and of itself. Psoriasis results in thick, silvery skin scales that are itchy, dry, and red on the skin. When you have psoriatic arthritis, your immune system also gets overactive and assaults healthy cells that it shouldn't, similar to how it does with rheumatoid arthritis. Due to the more asymmetrical nature of psoriatic arthritis, individuals often only have one affected ankle, knee, or wrist.

Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Rheumatoid Arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis
Affects aggravates inflammatory arthritis aggravates inflammatory arthritis
Parts Affected Usually affects the joints at the tips of the fingers and toes. It is most common in the intermediate joints of the fingers and toes.
Rash Vasculitis and knots It happens again and again
Joint Pain If you have psoriasis, you will have itchy, red spots as well as thick, excruciating scales. It Happens Frequently
Joint Swelling Usually in the core joints; typically starts in the fingers and toes, then spreads to the knees, hips, lower legs, and so on. It may also happen in the pelvis.
Fatigue often in the toes' and fingers' distal joints. Not that much

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that is largely defined by synovitis. In addition to clinical symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness in many joints, fever, and malaise, extra-articular organ involvement may also occur, such as interstitial pneumonia. With 1 in 150 occurrences, it often affects women in their 30s to 50s. Along with pain, edoema, and stiffness in several joints, it is accompanied by various organ diseases. Joint destruction advances quickly when it starts, leading to physical dysfunction and distortion of the afflicted joints that cannot be reversed. Therefore, early detection and treatment of the condition are essential. Rheumatism is derived from a 2,500-year-old Greek word that means "flowing river," denoting the movement of the afflicted joints throughout the whole body. Humanity has been plagued by this illness for a very long time, and it has also been treated for a very long.

Other bodily parts may also be impacted by the condition. Low red blood cell counts, inflammation around the heart and lungs, and anaemia might all occur from this. There may also be fever and decreased energy levels. It may degrade the quality of life and cause premature mortality and disability in both developed and poor countries. Given the potential for fast loss of joint and other tissue as well as functional impairment, Rheumatoid arthritis requires early identification and therapy to limit inflammation. Inflammation brought on by the immune system's assault on the synovium is what causes rheumatoid arthritis. The bone and cartilage in the joint may get harmed over time by the synovium's thickening. Scientists hypothesise that hereditary and environmental variables acting in concert cause the autoimmune response that underlies rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by morning stiffness, polyarticular pain, and edoema.

Patients often lament stiffness from the disease's beginning and struggle to move their fingers when they wake up, which is frequently characterised as having trouble making a fist. Swelling and restricted motion is often seen in arthralgia patients. The joints of the fingers and toes, knees, feet, hands, elbows, and cervical spine, among other places, are prone to experience these symptoms. However, the early onset seldom occurs at the distal interphalangeal joints. Additionally, lymphoproliferative illness may develop concurrently with rheumatoid arthritis as the disease activity rises. Additionally, patients may concurrently acquire several autoimmune illnesses. Conditions including organ dysfunction linked to the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis, other comorbidities, concurrent bacterial and viral infections, and adverse treatment reactions should always be distinguished from one another. Rheumatoid arthritis is often treated with an initial response following diagnosis, before the beginning of joint damage, to suppress the disease and induce remission. Therapeutic approaches should be chosen after a thorough evaluation of the disease's activity, imaging results, complications, and comorbidities. The SDAI and other composite objective indicators are often used to assess the severity of an illness.

Remission, which is characterised as a clinical situation with no further development of joint deterioration or dysfunction, is the treatment target. Other connective tissue illnesses and rheumatic diseases have benefited from the use of new therapy methods and approaches for rheumatoid arthritis. These methods and approaches have broadened their indications while also resulting in advancements in each field's therapy. The cells that line the joints are attacked by susceptibility in Rheumatoid Arthritis, causing them to grow, flare up, and harden. This causes excruciating suffering. A pad that serves as a safety net in the joints is made up of ligament and synovial tissue. These ligaments and synovial cells are often affected by autoimmune diseases and their ferocious cycles, which destroy them.

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriasis, a hereditary disorder that causes your immune system to overproduce skin cells, is associated with psoriatic arthritis. It is a heterogeneous, inflammatory condition that may present clinically as psoriasis, nail psoriasis, peripheral joint disease, axial joint disease, enthesitis, and dactylitis, among other clinical signs. The variety of organ systems that are impacted includes skin, nails, axial and peripheral joints, and entheses. Comorbidities include osteoporosis, uveitis, subclinical intestinal inflammation, and cardiovascular disease are all linked to PsA. The ability of the doctor to identify PsA from other types of arthritis is often made more difficult by this diverse clinical presentation. Clinical signs differ widely from patient to patient. PsA may manifest as either polyarticular illness, involving five or more joints, commonly with a symmetric distribution similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis, or as oligoarticular joint involvement, which is frequently asymmetric.

A skin cell typically reaches maturity in 21 to 28 days after which it moves to the surface and is lost in an ongoing, unseen shedding of dead cells. Since skin cells in psoriasis patches change significantly more quickly (4–7 days), even living cells may rise to the surface and clump together with dead ones. Each person's case of psoriasis is unique, as are the severity and effects it has. While some people may only have a little, unnoticeable patch of skin on their elbow, others may have big, obvious patches of skin affected, which may have a substantial impact on everyday life and relationships. Anywhere on the body that this procedure takes place, it is the same.

The pathophysiology of PsA has been explained in two ways: (I) A variety of activating factors, including damage, infection, or even medicines, may speed up immunological cell activation and result in the appearance of a decreasing display of cytokines. Interferon-gamma and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) play prominent roles in this pathway. (ii) A second, more plausible theory is that the incendiary protein cycle that causes dysregulation of cell motioning as well as variations in the concentrations of a few go-betweens that ignite the fiery interaction inside the joints. There are two types of psoriasis: Type I (early stage) and Type II (late beginning). The majority of those affected with type I psoriasis are hereditarily predisposed to this infection type, making it more common and severe. There is no spread of psoriasis. But it's more than simply a skin condition. Psoriasis patients are more prone to acquire other severe medical disorders including depression, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Two things about PsA's aetiology have been clarified: (I) A variety of initiating factors, including damage, infection, or even medications, may speed up immune cell activation, resulting in the appearance of a decreasing display of cytokines. Early detection is crucial since the patient's risk of permanent joint injury grows along with the inflammatory load brought on by PsA.

It has been shown that many proinflammatory cytokines are involved in several molecular pathways that underlie PsA development. Consider the joint as being analogous to an organ system, much like the heart in the cardiovascular system, when thinking about the functions of various cytokines in joint-related symptoms of PsA. To ascertain which cytokines are expressed in which tissues, tissue from all areas of the joint, including the synovium, cartilage, subchondral bone, and entheses, should be examined. Even though PsA may be distinguished from other arthropathies using expression patterns that have been revealed by genetic profiling, differential diagnosis in everyday practice still needs evaluation of clinical signs and symptoms. Early PsA patients, often those who lack the first clinical presentation, may be found with sonography.

Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis In Points

  • While the rash develops normally in Rheumatoid Arthritis, it develops in knobs and vasculitis in Psoriatic Arthritis.
  • While Rheumatoid Arthritis sometimes occurs, Psoriatic Arthritis causes psoriasis, which manifests as itchy, red areas as well as thick, excruciating scales.
  • PsA often affects the middle joints; RA typically starts in the fingers and toes before progressing to the knees, hips, lower legs, and other areas. In the pelvis, it may sometimes happen.
  • Regularly in the distal joints of the fingers and toes in PsA, but less often in RA.
  • In PsA, "frankfurter digits" might result from the fingers and toes' joints swelling, but back discomfort does occur in RA.


Synovitis is the main pathogenic feature of the autoimmune inflammatory illness known as rheumatoid arthritis. Joint damage, which is linked to chronic arthritis, worsens quickly following the commencement of the illness. Physical dysfunction results from the permanent distortion of afflicted joints. Therefore, accurate diagnosis and therapy must begin at an early stage. It is now possible to apply targeted treatments based on pathogenic processes and manage autoimmune inflammatory disorders, which were previously thought to be incurable, thanks to the development of molecularly targeted medications, such as biological medicines and JAK inhibitors.

This might be seen as a revolutionary development. PsA is a long-lasting inflammatory condition that might manifest as skin lesions, axial or peripheral arthritis, dactylitis, or nail lesions81. PsA often develops after the onset of psoriasis; as a result, it is essential to screen these individuals for the onset of PsA so that they may be diagnosed and treated early to reduce consultation delays and their unfavourable consequences. A request for public assistance is also made in homes. The words may be connected to certain qualities. between the ages of 30 and 50, the declaration of the need for public assistance sometimes changes.



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"Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis." Diffzy.com, 2023. Fri. 02 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-rheumatoid-arthritis-and-psoriatic-arthritis-863>.

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