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Treating Psoriasis on the Hands or Feet

If You Have Pustular Psoriasis of the Palms and Soles

Pustular psoriasis of the palms and soles is also known as palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP). It more likely occurs in adult smokers. Pustules can erupt over months or years. PPP may also result in painful cracks, redness, and scaliness. Treatment for this type of psoriasis is similar to treatment for other types of psoriasis on hands and feet. However, it can be more stubborn to treat.

More wide-spread pustular psoriasis (generalized pustular psoriasis) is a rare condition and can be dangerous. That's because it can affect the body internally as well as externally. This develops quickly and is severe. If you have widespread pustular psoriasis, you need prompt medical help, often hospitalization.

Psoriasis Treatment for Nail Changes

As the nail is forming, psoriasis may attack it, causing nail problems. These may include:

  • Shallow or deep holes
  • Shape changes
  • Thickening
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed
  • Discoloration

Here are two things you can do to minimize nail problems: Keep nails trimmed back as short as possible and wear gloves when working with your hands. You may need anti-fungal agents for any fungal infections that accompany your nail psoriasis.

Sometimes it is hard to penetrate the nail bed with topical medications. This makes nail changes more difficult to treat. Corticosteroid injections into the nail bed sometimes work. Phototherapy is also used. Cosmetic repair involves:

  • Nail scraping and filing
  • Nail polish
  • Artificial nails
  • Surgical removal

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on July 11, 2013

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