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If you are noticing changes in your fingernails and toenails such as discoloration or alterations in the nail bed, it may be that you are suffering from nail psoriasis.
You certainly wouldn’t be the only one: psoriasis is a skin condition that affects nearly 7.4 million people in the United States alone. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and symptoms of nail psoriasis, as well as discuss some treatment options.
Please keep in mind that although these recommendations might relieve psoriasis, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe psoriasis symptoms like fever or an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately. It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately if you begin to suffer from psoriatic arthritis.
Alternatively, if you are not sure whether you might be suffering from eczema or psoriasis, make sure to check out our blog post that distinguishes both here.
What is Nail Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to overproduce skin cells. While skin cells typically reproduce every month, an overactive immune system causes the cells to reproduce every 3-4 days. As a result, the extra cells form scaly red or silvery white patches or sores as they build up on the skin.
It’s very rare that nails are the only part of the body affected by psoriasis which is why it can usually be found on the chest, arms, and legs as well.
Nail Psoriasis Causes and Symptoms
Nail psoriasis causes are not known, however, it is believed to be connected to genetic, immunologic, and environmental factors. This is why it tends to run in families – especially if both parents suffer from the condition – despite the fact that it is not contagious.
ILW Recommends: What Triggers Psoriasis?
As mentioned above, it’s very uncommon that nails will be the only part of the body affected by psoriasis. Therefore, in addition to the symptoms of plaque psoriasis, here are the most common nail psoriasis symptoms:
- pitting, which involves dents or holes forming in the nail
- grooves across the nail
- blood under the nail
- a change in the nail’s shape or thickness
- separation of the nail from the nail bed
- crumbling nails (which often turn white)
- Discoloration (ex: the nail may become yellow or brown)
Regardless of whether the symptoms are mild or severe, they can have a physical and emotional effect on a person and affect their quality of life just the same. This is especially true in cases where the nail splits or pulls away from the finger as certain tasks, such as sewing, become increasingly difficult to perform.
Nail Psoriasis Treatment Options
Fortunately, there are a number of nail psoriasis treatment options. These can all help reduce the redness, scaliness, and itchiness of psoriasis. We love this Super Dry formula by Emily Skin Soothers which is made for moisturizing, dry, rough hands. It serves as an excelling treatment for psoriasis as the herbs in this formula are known to accelerate the healing of rough or cracked skin.
Another great product is this Pine Tar Soap which The National Psoriasis Association recommends to help slow the rapid growth of skin cells and restore the skin’s appearance. We definitely recommend you give it a try to reduce the itching and scaling of your psoriasis. It’s also the perfect soap to keep by your skin or tub!
Finally, you can’t go wrong with the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. This creamy, oil-based balm is made with only 6 simple ingredients, making it ideal for treating those with sensitive skin. We love Manuka for treating all skin conditions because of its antibacterial power.
Lastly, protecting nail beds and skin with gloves like these Remedywear Gloves for Adults or Remedywear Gloves for Kids can allow skin to heal faster while protecting skin from further inflammation or infection. The TENCEL and anti-inflammatory zinc fibers offer soothing properties while reducing itching.
For additional nail psoriasis treatment options, check out our blog post 9 Natural Remedies for Psoriasis You Should Try.
Caring for your Nails at Home
In addition to the treatments mentioned above, there are some simple ways to care for your nails at home.
For example, keeping your nails trimmed short will help them stay clean and prevent them from catching on to anything.
It’s also important to protect your nails from the chemicals in soaps by wearing rubber gloves when washing the dishes. Be sure to avoid latex gloves, however, as these are known to irritate sensitive skin. Finally, do your best not to pick at your nails or clean them with a nail brush. This will help prevent nail separation, as well as ward off any possible infections.
Do you suffer from nail psoriasis? Let us know what treatments or home remedies you use below!
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.