Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition related to the skin disease psoriasis. About 30% of people with psoriasis will end up with joint involvement. The body’s immune system starts attacking joint structures, including the bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Psoriatic arthritis is progressive and, like psoriasis, tends to have alternating periods of symptom flares and remissions. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it commonly causes problems with joints in the spine, hands and feet. Psoriatic arthritis in the feet can be especially disabling because you rely on your feet so much. Knowing the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis in the feet can help with early diagnosis and treatments that can help. Psoriatic Arthritis Feet Symptoms As in any other joint, psoriatic arthritis can cause joints in the feet to be painful, stiff, swollen, and warm to the touch. Along with general foot swelling and foot pain, specific psoriatic feet symptoms include: Enthesitis, which is inflammation at the site where ligaments or tendons insert into a bone Heel pain, which can be intense and cause difficulty walking Nail changes including nail pitting, yellowing, crumbling, splitting, or separating from the nail bed. These changes can look like a nail fungal infection. Painful, swollen tendons, especially the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel and ankle Plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the sole of the foot ‘Sausage toes’ due to inflammation in the toes. This is dactylitis. In severe forms of the disease, joint destruction can cause permanent foot deformities. This can also occur when the disease is left untreated. Seeking timely treatment for psoriatic arthritis feet symptoms is the best way to prevent deformity and disability. Psoriatic Arthritis Feet Treatment Treating the underlying disease process is the most effective way to relieve foot problems with psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis treatments can help relieve foot symptoms, preserve joint function, and improve your quality of life. There are several classes of medicines that target the inflammation responsible for joint destruction. They include: Biologics, which decrease the immune system’s activity. Current treatment guidelines recommend using these drugs as first-line therapy for many people. They can also be useful when other treatments fail. With biologics, people often achieve and maintain remission of symptoms. This may help prevent or slow joint damage. Corticosteroids,which are powerful anti-inflammatory medicines. They are for short-term use to control severe, painful flares. DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs),which suppress inflammation to slow or stop joint damage. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),which relieve pain and reduce inflammation. NSAIDs are typically useful for mild disease. New oral medicines, which target enzymes in the immune system to control inflammation. The goal of treatment is remission or minimal disease activity. Your doctor may add drugs, switch drugs, or adjust doses to meet this target. It’s important to balance the benefits of treatment with possible side effects from the drugs. If you are experiencing side effects on your current regimen, talk with your doctor about solutions. Psoriatic Arthritis Feet Self-Care and Home Remedies A comprehensive psoriatic arthritis treatment plan will include self-care therapies to help manage symptoms. For feet symptoms, this includes reducing activities that make your pain and other symptoms worse. Work with your doctor to find ways to stay active without aggravating your feet. Regular stretching can help relieve joint pain and discomfort from plantar fasciitis. It’s also helpful to take rest breaks when your feet are giving you problems. Here are some other tips: Apply cold compresses: An icepack can help relieve joint pain and swelling. Be sure to use a barrier, like a towel, between the cold and your skin. It will protect your skin from irritation. Limit use to 10 minutes at a time. Warm compresses can also be soothing. Ask your doctor about alternating cold and warm packs. Care for your nails: Trim your toenails and moisturize your feet and toenails regularly. Be gentle with cuticles and don’t trim them. Small tears in your skin can trigger a flare. Also, you need to be able to see your toenails to monitor nail symptoms. Choose clear or very light colors instead of dark colors if you want to paint your toenails. Pamper your feet: Soaking in Epsom salts and massaging your feet can help relieve pain and increase circulation. Use a foam roller, tennis ball, or frozen water bottle to roll out your foot and massage the arch and sole. When you soak your feet, avoid drying out your skin, which can worsen psoriasis. Limit the time in the water and apply moisturizer afterwards—give yourself a mini foot massage in the process! Use orthotics and night splints: Orthotics will provide support for your foot and can relieve pressure on specific joints. A podiatrist can help you find the right one for your symptoms. Night splints will help stretch tight tendons, which can relieve stiffness and pain. Wear the right kind of shoes: Wide shoes will give you the room you need when your feet swell. Open-toed shoes are another option for swollen feet. Shoes that support your ankle will stabilize the joint and reduce pain. Avoid high heels and shoes with tight toe boxes.