AAD San Francisco – Patients with certain dermatologic diseases may often have an overlap with rheumatologic symptoms and diseases, with the most important associations found among the connective tissue disorders including lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, and vasculitides, as well as patients with inflammatory arthritides such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). A better understanding of these disease associations and how to best approach patients with these comorbidities can help clinicians in optimally treating and managing this patient population.
Given this increasingly recognized overlap of dermatologic and rheumatologic diseases seen in dermatologic patients, dermatologists often find themselves at the front line of screening patients for systemic rheumatic conditions. In example, cutaneous lupus is the second most common first presenting sign of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and may therefore first present to the dermatologist. In addition, it has been estimated that upwards of 30% of patients with psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis. The dermatologist is in an important and unique position to screen the patient with psoriasis for underlying psoriatic arthritis symptoms.