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Psoriasis Health Center

Nail Psoriasis

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Treatments for Nail Psoriasis continued...

The treatments include:

Phototherapy. Ultraviolet light is used to treat skin psoriasis and may also be useful in nail psoriasis. The treatments usually take place in a doctor's office or a clinic.

Medicines that work throughout your body. Your doctor may call these "systemic medications." Some examples are:

  • Acitretin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate

Drugs that target specific parts of your immune system. You may hear your doctor call these "biologics."  They are given by injection under the skin, through an IV, or by mouth. Some examples are:

Medicine you apply directly to your nails. Your doctor may call these "topical" drugs. For nail psoriasis, he or she may suggest a corticosteroid (such as clobetasol), vitamin D, or retinoid creams that you rub into your nail and cuticle every day.

If your nails are thick, the medicine you apply may have a hard time getting inside. Gels or ointments that contain urea can help thin them.

Your doctor may also prescribe a nail lacquer that hydrates and strengthens your nails. You apply it every day in the same way you put on nail polish.

Corticosteroid injections. These are put under your nail surface every 2-9 months. Your doctor will numb the area or use a nerve block to reduce pain.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on October 27, 2014
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