Rheumatoid arthritis warning – the painful and itchy rash you should never ignore

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis to be diagnosed in the UK. It’s an autoimmune condition, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the joints. It can leave the joints feeling sore and inflamed, and could even damage the surrounding cartilage or tendons. You could also be at risk of the condition if you notice a painful rash developing on your skin, it’s been claimed.

Rheumatoid arthritis rashes can appear on the skin as red, painful, and itchy patches

Medical News Today

Some rheumatoid arthritis patients can develop a number of skin conditions, including an itchy rash, said medical website Medical News Today.

They usually first appear as bright red patches, and could be spotted on the fingertips, it said.

In some patients, the rash could develop into painful ulcers that are susceptible to becoming infected.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory conditions that causes joint pain, swelling, inflammation, and nodes or hard lumps under the skin,” it said.

“Around one in 100 people has rheumatoid arthritis, but only some will develop a rash as a part of the disorder. These rashes can form on various parts of the body and may cause pain.

“Rheumatoid arthritis rashes can appear on the skin as red, painful, and itchy patches. They may also be seen as deep red pinpricks.

“Rheumatoid arthritis rashes are caused by inflammation of the arteries that the body uses to bring blood to the various organs, including the skin and nerves.

“The inflamed arteries are known as rheumatoid vasculitis and can cause spots or patches of an rheumatoid arthritis rash on the surface of someone’s skin.”

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis could develop small to large red patches on the skin, and they may become swollen.

In most cases, treatment for a rheumatoid arthritis rash aims to treat the underlying condition.

But, in severe cases, doctors may treat the rash separately with skin creams and ointments, it added.

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Some of the most common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include joint pain, swelling and stiffness, said the NHS.

The symptoms usually develop gradually, over a period of several weeks. They can come and go, and may change from person to person.

The condition can be difficult to diagnose, because there are a number of conditions that cause joint stiffness and inflammation.

But, you should still speak to a GP if you have the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients may need long-term treatment to reduce symptoms and prevent joint damage.

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