6 Nail-Care Tips on Managing Nail Psoriasis

If you are one of the nearly 7.5 million Americans dealing with plaque psoriasis, chances are you will develop nail psoriasis.  Nail psoriasis alters the way your fingernails and toenails look.  It can become unpleasant and cause irritation especially if the condition goes untreated.  The good news is that the right treatment and at-home care can minimize the unsightly appearance and reduce pain. 

Nail Psoriasis Overview

Nail psoriasis can affect toe or hand nails. Symptoms can show up gradually.  It is also possible to develop nail psoriasis before seeing psoriasis on other parts of your body.

If you’re suffering from psoriasis of the nails, you may have dents in your nails, lifting, discoloration, thickening, and crumbling.  Your nails may develop streaks of blood beneath the hard surface, or they may become lined with ridges. You may also notice debris between the nail and the skin. 

If nail psoriasis is left untreated, it can become problematic.  Symptoms that you are already experiences can get worse or you may develop new symptoms.  Nails can fall out, get shorter, or your nails can disappear which can make using your hands and walking difficult.

If you have nail psoriasis, it is important to protect your nails.  Anything that dries or injures nails can worsen nail psoriasis or trigger a flare-up.  Here is what you can do at home to help improve nail psoriasis.

6 Things You Can Do to Manage Nail Psoriasis

As always, we recommend prevention as the first and foremost manner of dealing with skin woes.  There are several things you can do to prevent the onset of nail psoriasis. 

#1. Keep nails trimmed and manicured. 

Keep nails short to help prevent nails from lifting off of fingers and toes.  It also prevents buildup under the nails. 

#2. Wear gloves while cleaning and doing work with your hands.

Psoriasis can flare any time you irritate your skin or nails.  Wearing gloves while working with your hands can prevent irritation and the damage that leads to a psoriasis flareup.  This includes housework, yard work, and repairs around the house.

#3. Use mild soaps to cleansers

Commercial body washes, hand soaps, and shampoos contain chemical detergents that dry out the skin and nails.  Whether you are washing your face, hair, hands, or body the ingredients in your cleansers matter. Switch to a gentle all-natural cleansing soap and shampoo to prevent flare-ups.
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#4. Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize again.

The most important step in taking care of your skin and nails is to keep them moisturized.  Psoriasis dries your skin and nails.  Apply a moisturizer often, after each hand washing, after bathing, before bed, and throughout the day.  A thick cream or ointment works best.
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#5. Avoid biting (or picking at) your nails and the skin around them.

Biting and picking your nails and skin can cause injury and increase your risk of getting an infection.  Nail infections can worsen psoriasis.  If you need help to stop biting your nails, check out this article: HOW TO STOP BITING YOUR NAILS

#6. Avoid uncomfortable and tight-fitting shoes.

Tight fitting or uncomfortable shoes are likely to cause pressure around the toenails which will likely damage your nails. Choose shoes that do not rub or squeeze your toes throughout the day. 

Nail psoriasis can be stubborn. When you combine a treatment plan for nail psoriasis with the recommended nail care, you’re much more likely to see improvement.

When to consult with your doctor. Although there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are ways to treat and manage it at home.  If you are unsure or are in pain, we recommend you contact a reputable and experienced physician.  Working with a physician who is familiar with this condition, can prevent it from disrupting your life.

Sources:

https://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/psoriasis-facts

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/genitals/nails

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/nail-psoriasis

September 12, 2020 3:02 pm

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