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Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Uncommon joint pain signs include skin rash

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Rheumatoid arthritis is the second most common type of arthritis in the UK.

Around 400,000 people in the country have been diagnosed with the condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the cells that line that joints.

While it can cause joint pain or restricted movement, these are some less common signs to watch out for.

Bruising easily

Some rheumatoid arthritis patients may find that they bruise easier than other people, said medical website Everyday Health.

It’s caused by the body’s platelet count in the blood to drop, as a result of the condition.

“Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis can cause your blood platelet count to dip below the normal level,” it said.

“Essentially, your body uses or destroys platelets faster than they’re produced, which can cause you to bruise more easily.”

Anaemia

The second most common type of anaemia is anaemia of inflammation and chronic disease (AI/ACD).

The condition is caused by low levels of iron in the blood, despite the body having a normal of iron stored away.

“This occurs because inflammatory conditions like RA interfere with the way the body uses stored iron and iron from diet,” said the medical website.

“Common signs of AI/ACD include weakness, fatigue, pale skin, fast heartbeat and shortness of breath.”

Rash

A painful rash or skin ulcers could be a more serious complication of rheumatoid arthritis.

Around half of all patients develop rheumatoid nodules (lumps of tissue) under the skin.

These nodules can lead to itchy hands, feet or skin rashes.

But, if patients develop inflamed blood vessels, they may have painful skin conditions or mouth sores.

Dry eyes

Rheumatoid arthritis patients can often develop dry eyes.

The eye condition, which is known as keratitis sicca, may cause blurry vision or difficulty focussing.

“Dry-eye syndrome is a relatively common symptom in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

“Talk to your ophthalmologist [eye doctor] about treatment if you have dry eyes. You may want to invest in a humidifier, or consider eye drops.”


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