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Nail psoriasis

Nail psoriasis, also referred to as ungueal psoriasis, is very common and affects about 50% of people with the disease. It can occur in isolation or can be associated with other forms and locations of psoriasis, including joint psoriasis.

Ungueal psoriasis symptoms

Ungueal psoriasis affects one or more nails. Patients may have psoriasis on the fingernails and/or psoriasis on the toenails. The lesions vary greatly from one person to another: the nail may have depressions in the form of small dots or it may resemble the surface of a "thimble"; in other cases, the nail thickens, and becomes deformed or discolored. All this is unsightly and painful. Some cases are so severe that it becomes difficult to grasp objects and to perform everyday tasks.

Ungueal psoriasis is difficult to hide

Having nail psoriasis, as with psoriasis in other locations, is often a tough experience. It is difficult to hide psoriasis on your fingernails, unless you constantly wear gloves. It is difficult to hide psoriasis on your toenails without wearing socks and closed shoes all summer as well as in the winter. Nails are small in terms of size but they can cause a great deal of discomfort.

Diagnosis, impact on the quality of everyday life and appropriate treatment

  • First, the dermatologist must confirm the diagnosis as it may be another nail disease such as a fungal infection
  • Next, the severity of the disease is assessed and its impact on quality of life
  • Finally, an appropriate treatment is offered, based on local or even systemic treatments if the lesions are very severe, uncomfortable or associated with other forms of psoriasis

Useful daily tips

It is essential to stick to a few simple daily rules in case of nail psoriasis:
  • keep nails cut short;
  • wear gloves to do housework (gardening, washing dishes, etc.);
  • apply nail polish specifically for fragile nails or, even better, enriched with keratoreducing agents to prevent excessive thickening of the nail;
  • avoid using semi-permanent nail polishes, false nails, etc. which may weaken the nails even more.

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