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Psoriatic Arthritis

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune illness. This means that your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. PsA affects the joints. Most people with PsA also have psoriasis, which affects the skin and nails. If not controlled, this process can lead to damage, deformity and loss of function.

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Our Approach

Early diagnosis and treatment are important. At UR Medicine, our experienced health care team will provide diagnostic testing, education, physical activity programs, and the latest medicines. As many people with PsA have skin involvement as well, we have a close working relationship with URMC dermatologists. We will help you coordinate the appointments you need for lab work, X-rays, and any other test that may be needed.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

One of our expert rheumatologists will make the diagnosis based on your symptoms and exam findings, as well as blood tests, X rays, and sometimes ultrasound. If you have skin involvement, and are not already followed by a dermatologist, we will refer you to one for further evaluation of your skin.


There is no cure for PsA. Treatment with medications can improve pain and swelling and help prevent joint damage. Some can also help with the skin symptoms. For some people, new treatments make it possible to control symptoms such that there is little or no signs of active disease. It is important to know that no single treatment works for all patients.


  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs reduce or relieve pain and help reduce swelling in your joints so you feel better. Some NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are available over the counter. Others require a prescription.
  • Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): These medications decrease inflammation and protect joints from permanent damage. DMARDS take several weeks to begin working. Examples include sulfasalazine, methotrexate, and leflunomide.
  • Biologics: Biologics are medications that block proteins which cause inflammation and cause joint damage. They can be used with a DMARD or alone. Biologics cannot be taken orally. Examples include adalimumab and etanercept.

Lifestyle Management

  • Healthy Eating: Food choices alone cannot treat symptoms. However, the right combination of different foods can help you feel your best overall and maintain a healthy weight. Foods rich in omega-3s and antioxidants may help control inflammation. UR Medicine nutritionists can help you develop a diet plan that works best for you. Learn about our UR Medicine Improve Nutrition Program.
  • Staying Active: Staying active is an important part of staying healthy. It will improve your energy, range of movement, and flexibility as well as increase bone strength and reduce morning stiffness. People with PsA can safely exercise with the proper program and we have prepared some informational materials to get you started. UR Medicine physical therapists can also work with you to devise an exercise regimen that is best for you. Learn more about UR Medicine Physical Therapy. Learn more about UR Medicine Physical Therapy.
  • Preventing Other Illnesses: Healthy eating and staying active will also help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level, a normal blood sugar and a normal blood pressure. These can contribute to your risk of many diseases such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
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What Sets Us Apart

A Better Approach to Psoriatic Arthritis Care

The UR Medicine Psoriasis Center is the only center in the Rochester, NY area that has a team wholly devoted to the care of patients with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and related conditions. We bring a team of specialists together to talk with you and develop the best possible treatment. Having a resource like the Psoriasis Center can make all the difference in finding an effective treatment and dramatically improving your quality of life.

Onsite Infusion Center

Infusion Center at Lattimore RoadSome people with psoriatic arthritis need medications that cannot be taken at home. Two of our rheumatology clinics (Lattimore Road in Rochester and Red Creek Drive in Henrietta) have an Infusion Center. An infusion center is a room in the clinic where patients can receive these medicines in comfort and with privacy. Nurses in the Infusion Center will also provide patients with support and education.

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Our Providers


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UR Medicine Rheumatology Locations

Phone: (585) 486-0901
Fax: (585) 340-5399

Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
125 Lattimore Road, Suite G-110
Rochester, NY 14620
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Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 240
Rochester, NY 14623
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Part of FF Thompson Hospital
Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 007
Canandaigua, NY 14424
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UR Medicine Psoriasis Center

Phone: (585) 487-1440

Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
University Dermatology Associates
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14623
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Patient Education and Support

If you have questions about your illness or medications, ask your doctor. You may also find these websites helpful.

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Clinical Research

Our Clinical Immunology Research Center offers clinical trials in PsA as well as other autoimmune diseases. Our dedicated study coordinators can answer your questions. They also work side by side with our physicians in all trials. To learn about participating in a clinical trial, see our Clinical Trials and Research Studies or contact us at

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