Nail Psoriasis May Include Loose and Deformed Nails, But is Treatable
While the appearance of nail psoriasis may be a matter of concern, it is
a common affliction and entirely non-fatal. Psoriasis is a chronic skin
condition that affects around seven million people in America, with
around 25% of these contracting the nail variety.
While psoriasis of the
nails leads to movement problems in the fingers and an increased risk
of arthritis in the affected areas, it is possible to alleviate the
discomfort of the swelling and to improve the look of the nail.
On a very basic level, psoriasis is a non-contagious disease that
mixes up the signals sent to the brain about the creation of new skin
cells. In non-sufferers, the body replaces skin cells in accordance to
how many die or are lost to injury.
The bodies of people who have
psoriasis will produce large quantities of new skin cells, which the
body can’t get rid of quick enough. These new cells pile up underneath
the skin causing lesions, swellings and sore skin. Common symptoms of
nail psoriasis include:
- Salmon patch –
This is a clear spot of pigmentation that looks to be the size of a drop
of blood in the middle of a nail. This is as a result of the build up
of cells under the middle of the nail, causing swelling. It is an early
symptom, so it is a sign you should seek medical advice.
- Loose nails
– Scientifically known as nail hyponychium, loose nails is one of the
more uncomfortable symptoms of nail psoriasis. The build up of excess
skin cells in the nail bed swells and inflames the whole area. Something
has to give, and this is usually the nail itself, which can be
- Lines or spots
– when the area around the fingernail becomes swollen it can put a lot
of strain and pressure on the nail plate itself. This can cause fracture
lines, also known as Beau lines, as well as spots where cells are lost
from the nail itself. If the lines are black, this is likely to be
bleeding in the capillaries in the nails after the buildup of too many
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Nail and Hand Psoriasis
Care for Nail Psoriasis
One of the more frustrating things about psoriasis of the nails is
that there is currently no known cure for the disease. Scientists are
still unclear about what triggers the body to produce excess cells.
causes difficulties pinpointing the exact location in the brain that
sends out the faulty signals, so any care regime will of necessity focus
on reducing discomfort and preventing against further damage:
– Psoriasis of the nails can look much worse than it actually feels, so
many sufferers find that regular manicures can help improve the look
and feel of the nails. The manicurist will also be able to help remove
dead skin from around the nail area, as well as cover up any lines or
pits in the nail itself.
– While antibiotics will not actually cure psoriasis, many sufferers
find that they are more susceptible to fungal infections in their nails,
so antibiotics help to clear these out, as well as building the body’s
immunity against further infections.
- Avulsion therapy
– When all attempts for the reduction of the swelling have failed,
avulsion therapy is implemented. As the final step for severe psoriasis
patients, an ointment is used to loosen and release the nail, whereby
the affected nail bed receives direct medical attention.
psoriasis is not a deadly disease, but it is much harder to treat the
longer it goes undetected. Anyone who notices any of the symptoms should
consult their health care professional as soon as possible for the
necessary tests and procedures.
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Nail psoriasis, more information about types of psoriasis
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases