Psoriasis and Menopause

 

 

Psoriasis is a common skin disease affecting almost 4% of the general population. It causes painful skin plaques; itchy, dry, shiny skin; and changes in nail beds. Psoriasis tends to run in families, affecting babies through adults, with the peak period for development between ages 20-30 years, however, it can also develop later in life during menopause. Late-onset psoriasis usually develops between the ages of 50-60 years. Fluctuations in estrogen during perimenopause can trigger a psoriasis flare and a lower estrogenic state after menopause can increase chronic inflammation in the joints.

 

Psoriasis occurs in 3.6% of Non-Hispanic Whites, 2% of Non-Hispanic Blacks, and 1.6% of Hispanics. It is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Psoriatic skin lesions can be painful, embarrassing and impact the quality of life. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis later in life! Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an autoimmune disease that is often confused with rheumatoid arthritis. If left untreated, PsA can progress to debilitating, irreversible joint disease, and pain. The good news is there are excellent pharmaceutical treatments available to prevent the progression of the disease. 

 

 

The Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool (PEST) is a quick self-screen to see if you might be at risk for PsA.

  • Have you ever had a swollen joint (or joints)?
  • Has a physician ever told you that you have arthritis?
  • Do you have fingernails or toenails with holes or pits?
  • Have you had pain in your heel?
  • Have you had a finger or toe that was completely swollen and painful for no apparent reason?

If you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions, make an appointment with a rheumatologist to see if you have signs and symptoms of PsA. Early intervention is the key to protecting your joints, remaining active, and feeling good!

 

 


Tags

bone health, estrogen, health education, hormone health, menopause, pain education, women's health


You may also like

Breastfeeding and Menopause

Breastfeeding and Menopause

Voice Changes After Menopause

Voice Changes After Menopause