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Nail Psoriasis - Topic Overview

Many people who have psoriasis have nail changes. This can involve:

  • Pitting on the surface of the nail.
  • Defects in the nail, such as ridges or crumbling nails.
  • Yellowish color to the toenails (and sometimes fingernails).
  • Thickening of the fingernails or toenails.
  • Spots under the fingernails, such as yellow-red patches.
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed.
  • Total loss of the nail bed.

Nail changes rarely happen without other signs of psoriasis. And sometimes changes in the nails can confirm a diagnosis of psoriasis. Nail problems happen most often in people with psoriatic arthritis.

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Psoriasis Treatment Strategies

Treatment can't cure your psoriasis, but it can relieve your symptoms for a while. And you don't have just one or two options. There are many ways to treat it, and you can combine some methods. So if one thing doesn't work, something else likely will. You and your doctor will decide on a treatment plan based on: How severe your psoriasis is What treatments you've already used Whether you have other medical conditions How much you’re willing to do

Read the Psoriasis Treatment Strategies article > >

Psoriasis of the nail can be very hard to treat, and treatment is not always successful. Treatment is aimed at the white half-moon–shaped root of the nail (the matrix).

Treatments include some of the same topical and systemic therapies that are used to treat psoriasis that affects the skin. In some cases, medicines can be injected into the nail bed.

Treatments take time to work, and you may not see improvement for months. New, healthy nails may need up to a year to grow.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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