Nail Psoriasis

How To Get Rid of Nail Psoriasis, Effective Treatmens & Information

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Also referred to as psoriatic nail disease, nail psoriasis is a common affliction that often accompanies skin psoriasis. Around 2 to 3 percent of the population is estimated to suffer from the skin variety of this condition, and approximately 50 percent of those end up having to deal with the nail version of it as well.

If you suffer from either condition, you know that it can often be a difficult social problem. Not only must you deal with the general problems that the disease brings, but also the misconceptions that people have about it. People may believe that you’re contagious or, worse yet, assume that you have some other, dangerous disease.

In order to get away from these problems, it is important to know about nail psoriasis and how you may be able to deal with it to make your life easier.

What Causes Nail Psoriasis?

The exact causes of this condition are unknown, though it is certain that it is not contagious. There are many theories concerning what may cause the disease to occur, though most of these are as of yet unproven.

It is believed that immune system problems, particularly overactive T cells, may cause excessive production of skin cells and the resulting inflammation associated.

Environmental factors, such as physical and emotional stress, have also been linked to increased symptoms. Some medications are also thought to increase symptoms.

The main factor in who develops nail psoriasis, and psoriasis in general, appears to be genetic. If you have a parent or sibling with the condition, the chances are approximately 20 percent that you will develop it as well. If both your parents are affected, then those chances raise to 75 percent.

Also, as you get older you develop a higher chance of the disease manifesting, though other factors such as you gender or ethnicity appear to have no affect.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Nail Disease

In addition to the symptoms that you may experience because of skin psoriasis, you might notice one or more of the following changes to your nails:

Oil Drop / Salmon Patch – A yellow-red, translucent nail discoloration that resembles a drop of blood or oil beneath them.
Beau Lines – Horizontal lines across the nails.
Nail Matrix – Pits in the nails.
Leukonychia – White patches appearing on the nails.
Subungal Hyperkeratosis – Thickening of the skin underneath the nails.
Onycholysis – Loosening of the nails from the skin which can sometimes lead to infections.
Plate Crumbling – The weakened nails begin to crumble.
Splinter Hemorrhaging – Black lines appear in the nails, running from the tips to the cuticles. Caused by capillaries at the tips of the fingers bleeding between the nails and the skin.
Spotted Lunula – Redness in the normally pale arch at the bottom of the nails.

If you experience some or all of these symptoms, it is easy to visit your doctor and get a diagnosis to confirm whether or not you have nail psoriasis. It is important to treat your condition before it gets too bad, as neglect may end in infections or painful inflammation.

Treatment Options for Psoriatic Nails

While there is no known cure for psoriatic nail disease as of yet, there are several treatments you can adhere to in order to strengthen the nails and improve their overall appearance, thus reducing the impact that it has on your life.

Medications are the most common way to treat nail psoriasis effectively. Topical creams and ointments can be used which contain various ingredients to counteract your symptoms. Steroid creams or vitamin A and D rich ointments are your first line of defense.

Ff a fungal infection has occurred (a condition that is quite common), you may need to use an antifungal cream to clear it up. If you have trouble treating your psoriasis due to the inaccessibility of the skin beneath the nail, a corticosteroid injection is another possibility.

Other medical treatments involved removal of all or part of the nail, using either a chemical or surgical process. With the chemical option, an ointment is used that will, over time, soften your nail, loosen it from its attachment to the skin and eventually cause your nail to fall off both painlessly and without any bleeding.

If the surgical option is used, it is a fairly simple process that uses a local anesthetic.

Alternative Treatment Options

Other than the above options, there is little else that you can do to clear up a psoriasis problem with your nails. Covering the problem through a regimen of scraping, filing and polishing may help with appearances, as can the use of artificial nails over your damaged ones, though these are only aesthetic and do not solve the problem in the long run.

Some people claim “miracle cures” for this condition, but, unfortunately, the vast majority of them are based on theories that have no basis in any scientific research and are only meant to prey upon desperate people.

In general, you should avoid using any sort of alternative cure without at first consulting your doctor. Some of these products or “extreme” diets can actually cause more harm than good or be toxic to your system.

Self-Care Remedies for Nail Psoriasis

Little is known about the links between diet and psoriatic nail problems, so taking supplements or changing your diet may or may not have any effect. Some claim that certain types of diets, such as those which remove sugars and other unhealthy elements, can be helpful in reducing symptoms.

While the claims may not necessarily be true, a healthy diet is always good for the body and something you may wish to consider regardless.

The best thing you can do, aside from following doctor-prescribed treatments, is to just be gentle with your nails. Keep them dry when you can, wear gloves when you have to work with your hands, keep the nails trimmed up as much as possible and try to avoid any damage or stress which might further complicate your symptoms.

If you have problems with your toenails as well, avoid constricting shoes.

There may be no cure for nail psoriasis, but by following a few simple practices and making sure to take your doctor’s advice, it is not hard to lessen the symptoms and make the condition more bearable.

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