Can I Have Both Psoriatic Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

When arthritis-related diseases have similar symptoms, understand how doctors make the diagnosis.

Question: Is it possible to have both RA and PsA? 

Answer: It is certainly possible that a person could have both rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. However, doctors, including rheumatologists, generally avoid making multiple diagnoses when a single diagnosis could suffice. Some characteristics of psoriatic arthritis – for example symmetric arthritis involving the small joints of the hands – can occur in both conditions. So if a patient with skin psoriasis had these symptoms, the doctor would likely diagnose psoriatic arthritis, rather than psoriasis plus rheumatoid arthritis. 

Arthur Kavanaugh, MD 
Professor of Clinical Medicine 
University of California, San Diego 

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