April Armstrong, MD, MPH: The Importance of Early Detection of Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis

Published on: 

April Armstrong, MD, MPH, explains how early detection of psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis is critical to prevent irreversible joint damage and improve patient outcomes.

In an interview with HCPLive, Armstrong, associate dean of Clinical Research at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the chief of the division of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, gave key insights into her lecture “Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis - So Now What Do I Do?” presented at the 2023 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference.1

She explained the detection of psoriatic arthritis at an early stage is imperative to prevent the irreversible joint damage associated with its progression, emphasizing the significance of identifying symptoms and intervening as soon as possible. Various therapeutic options are available for patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, spanning oral and biologic treatments.

“I think the most important thing to remember here is that if you have a patient with psoriatic arthritis, it doesn't really matter what degree of psoriasis they may have,” she said. “They may only have 0.5%, body surface area involved for psoriasis, but if they have psoriatic arthritis, we then want to then go to a systemic treatment that will address their psoriatic arthritis in their psoriasis.”

For those newly diagnosed with these conditions, seeking out experts in the field is highly recommended due to the complexity of available therapies, which can significantly improve the chances of rapid improvement.

During this year’s Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference, her discussions centered on the different medication classes for addressing psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, interleukin (IL)-17 inhibitors, IL-23 inhibitors, and oral therapies. She noted complex cases might require a combination of biologics and oral medications, highlighting the importance of individualized precision medicine.


  1. Armstrong A. Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis - So Now What Do I Do? Presented at: Fall Clinical Dermatology 2023 Conference. Las Vegas, NV. October 19 – 22, 2023.