(BlackDoctor.org) — You may know that psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin, but what about the nails? Nail psoriasis is the term for the changes in your fingernails and toenails that occur as a result of having psoriasis. Up to half of all people who have psoriasis will have nail psoriasis as well.
While it’s not a life-threatening condition, nail psoriasis can affect your quality of life, since it may cause you discomfort and affect your self-esteem, and it may also put you at greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis. Although it cannot be cured, nail psoriasis can be helped with treatment.
Nail psoriasis occurs because psoriasis affects the process of nail formation. People who have nail psoriasis usually have psoriasis on other parts of their body, such as the skin and joints. Rarely does someone have only psoriasis of the nails.
Symptoms of nail psoriasis vary but may include:
• Discoloration of the nail to yellow-brown
• Pitting (holes) in the surface of the nails
• Horizontal lines across the nails
• White patches on the nails
• Thickening of the nails
• Nails that separate from the nail bed
Your treatment will depend on the type of nail psoriasis you have and how severe it is. If you have psoriasis that affects other parts of your body, the treatments your doctor recommends to alleviate those symptoms may also help your nail psoriasis.
Other options for nail psoriasis include:
• Topical treatments—These medications are applied to the nails: