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psoriasis of nails

Nail Psoriasis Demystified: Uncover the Truth About Managing Flawless Nails

by Dr.Bahman Sotoodian
The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended to replace professional medical consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any decisions regarding your health. Read more

When it comes to maintaining healthy and beautiful nails, nail psoriasis can pose a significant challenge. You might wonder can psoriasis affect your nails even? The answer is yes, it can affect your nails’ appearance and quality. This chronic condition not only affects the appearance of your nails but also has the potential to impact your overall quality of life. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of nail psoriasis, shedding light on its causes and how it can affect your nails, management, and debunking common myths associated with it. So, let’s dive in and understand how to effectively manage nail psoriasis for flawless nails.

Understanding Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that accelerates the skin’s natural cycle, causing cells to build up rapidly on the surface. This leads to the formation of thick, scaly patches that can be red, itchy, and sometimes painful. The exact cause of psoriasis remains unclear, but it is believed to involve genetic and immune system factors. Triggers such as stress, illnesses, and certain drugs can aggravate symptoms. Psoriasis can manifest in various forms, including plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic. While there is no cure, treatments aim to manage symptoms, alleviate discomfort, and improve patients’ quality of life.

Can Psoriasis Affect Your Nails?

Psoriasis can extend its impact beyond the skin’s surface to affect the nails. Nail psoriasis is a distinct subtype that poses unique challenges. The condition can alter the appearance, texture, and functionality of nails, potentially leading to discomfort and reduced quality of life. Nails may become pitted, discolored, thickened, or separated from the nail bed. These changes not only affect aesthetics but also hinder daily tasks that involve using the hands and fingers.

The presence of nail psoriasis can also carry emotional and social implications, as visible nail abnormalities may impact self-esteem and confidence. Proper management and care are crucial to address these concerns. Various treatment options, including topical medications, oral treatments, phototherapy, and biologic injections, can be employed to alleviate symptoms and restore nail health.

Psoriasis of Nails Symptoms

Nail psoriasis can have a profound impact on the appearance and function of your nails. Some common symptoms include:

  • Ridging: Nails may develop vertical ridges or lines, affecting their smooth texture and appearance.
  • Splinter Hemorrhages: Tiny red or brown streaks can appear under the nails, resembling small splinters, due to damaged blood vessels.
  • Nail Lifting: The nails may lift from the nail bed, leading to discomfort and potential susceptibility to infection.
  • Pitting: Small depressions or pits may form on the surface of the nails.
  • Discoloration: Nails may turn yellow or brown due to the build-up of skin cells.
  • Thickening: Nails can become thick, making them more susceptible to brittleness and breakage.
  • Separation: The nails may detach from the nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis.

These impacts highlight the diverse ways in which nail psoriasis can affect not only the appearance but also the overall health and functionality of the nails.

Causes of Psoriasis on Nails 

As mentioned earlier, psoriasis on nails is closely linked to genetics and an overactive immune system. Certain triggers, such as stress, infections, and cold weather, can worsen wthe condition. It’s important to note that while nail psoriasis can be managed, there is currently no definitive cure. Seeking timely medical attention and adopting a proactive approach to managing triggers can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals dealing with this condition.

Nail Fungus vs. Nail Psoriasis: Unraveling the Differences

Nail fungus and nail psoriasis are distinct conditions on the nail diseases chart that can bear similar symptoms, making differentiation crucial for effective management. Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that causes nails to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. On the other hand, nail psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to pitting, discoloration, and separation of nails from the nail bed.

Nail fungus vs. nail psoriasis
Nail Fungus vs. Nail Psoriasis what’s the differences

While both conditions can result in nail abnormalities, they have differing underlying causes and require specific treatments. Nail fungus requires antifungal medications, whereas nail psoriasis involves tailored approaches, including topical treatments, oral medications, and phototherapy. Accurate diagnosis by a medical professional is essential to determine the appropriate course of action, emphasizing the importance of seeking expert guidance when dealing with nail concerns. Experience the convenience of RemoteDerm for expert online nail fungus dermatology consultations. Get the assurance you need for your nail concerns within 12 hours.

Can Nail Psoriasis Be Cured?

As of the present moment, there exists no absolute cure for nail psoriasis. Nonetheless, there are several treatment options available that effectively manage its symptoms. These include:

  • Topical Treatments
  • Oral Medications
  • Phototherapy
  • Biologic Injections

Consulting a dermatologist is paramount to identifying the most suitable treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. For individuals residing in Canada, seeking accessible dermatological expertise is made possible through RemoteDerm’s online consultation services. With the convenience of receiving expert guidance within 12 hours, regardless of your location within Canada, this resource proves invaluable, particularly for those dealing with nail psoriasis. This timely advice from a dermatologist can play a pivotal role in effectively managing and alleviating the impact of nail psoriasis on both your nails and overall well-being.

Living with and Managing Nail Psoriasis

Living with nail psoriasis can be challenging, but with the right approach, it’s possible to minimize its impact on your life. Here are some tips for managing nail psoriasis:

  • Maintain Good Nail Hygiene: Keep your nails clean and trimmed to prevent bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Moisturize Regularly: Apply moisturizers or emollients to keep your nails and surrounding skin hydrated.
  • Avoid Trauma: Protect your nails from trauma and injury to prevent exacerbation of symptoms.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Adopt a balanced diet, manage stress, and avoid smoking to support your overall well-being.
  • Wear Protective Gloves: When engaging in activities that might expose your nails to chemicals, water, or potential trauma, wearing gloves can help safeguard your nails.
  • Use Nail-friendly Products: Opt for nail polishes, removers, and other products specifically formulated for sensitive nails to reduce potential irritation.
  • Gentle Nail Care: Use gentle nail files and avoid overly aggressive manicures to minimize the risk of further damage.
Maintain Hygiene for Nail Psoriasis
Managing Nail Psoriasis by Keeping proper hygiene

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can proactively manage nail psoriasis and improve your overall nail health and quality of life.

Can I Have Gel Nails with Psoriasis?

One common question among individuals with nail psoriasis is whether they can enjoy the benefits of gel nails. The answer is yes, but with caution. Gel nails can be applied, but the process should be gentle to avoid worsening the condition. It’s advisable to consult a dermatologist before getting gel nails, as they can provide personalized recommendations based on the severity of your psoriasis.

Additionally, inform the nail technician about your psoriasis to ensure they use gentle techniques and suitable products that won’t exacerbate the symptoms. Being proactive and informed can help you enjoy the aesthetics of gel nails while prioritizing the health of your nails and skin.

Home Remedies for Psoriasis of Nails

While medical treatment is essential, there are also some home remedies that can complement your treatment plan:

  • Warm Soaks: Soaking your nails in warm water can help soften the nails and reduce discomfort.
  • Coconut Oil: Applying coconut oil can provide hydration to the nails and alleviate dryness.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil, known for its antibacterial characteristics, can aid in the prevention of infections.
  • Occlusion Therapy: Applying moisturizer and covering your nails with plastic wrap overnight can enhance the absorption of the moisturizer.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera’s soothing properties can offer relief to irritated nail beds and surrounding skin.
  • Vitamin E Oil: Applying vitamin E oil can nourish the nails and promote their health.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Minimize exposure to harsh chemicals and detergents that can worsen nail psoriasis symptoms.

By combining these home treatments with medical advice, you can establish a holistic approach to managing nail psoriasis and enhancing the overall health and appearance of your nails. Remember to check your dermatologist before using any new therapies to verify they are safe and fit for your situation.

Final Thoughts On Nail Psoriasis

In the journey of understanding and managing nail psoriasis, one thing remains clear: while the condition may pose challenges, it can be effectively addressed with the right knowledge and approach. Nail psoriasis, a unique manifestation of the broader skin condition, carries the potential to impact both the physical and emotional aspects of one’s life. From pitting and discoloration to thickening and separation, the symptoms underscore the importance of holistic care.

Through the guidance of medical professionals and the arsenal of treatments available, individuals can navigate the complexities of nail psoriasis. Whether it’s topical treatments, biologic injections, or online dermatology consultations, options abound to tailor strategies to individual needs. And while a cure remains elusive, the emphasis on management and proactive self-care empowers those affected to reclaim control over their nail health.

Furthermore, the integration of home remedies and lifestyle adjustments underscores the synergy between medical interventions and personal practices. By maintaining nail hygiene, adopting nail-friendly products, and embracing nourishing remedies, individuals can contribute to their well-being beyond clinical settings.

In the face of nail psoriasis, knowledge becomes the key to both mitigation and empowerment. Armed with an understanding of triggers, treatment options, and effective self-care practices, individuals can stride confidently towards a life where flawless nails can be a reality despite the challenges posed by this chronic condition.


  1. How can I differentiate nail psoriasis from nail fungus?

Nail psoriasis leads to pitting and separation, while nail fungus causes discoloration and thickening.

  1. What is the impact of nail psoriasis on daily tasks?

Nail psoriasis can hinder daily tasks involving hands and fingers due to changes in nail functionality.

  1. How does nail psoriasis relate to psoriasis on the skin?

Nail psoriasis is a distinct subtype of psoriasis that affects nails, while other forms of psoriasis impact the skin.

  1. What are some signs of nail psoriasis?

Signs of nail psoriasis include ridges, splinter hemorrhages, nail lifting, pitting, discoloration, thickening, and separation.

  1. Can I Have Gel Nails With Psoriasis?

Consult a dermatologist before getting gel nails and inform the nail technician about your psoriasis to ensure gentle techniques and suitable products are used.

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