This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
It is observed that approximately 50% of those with psoriasis are affected by nail psoriasis. I started noticing changes in my nails only a couple of years. And in all honesty, I found this change to be quite challenging, as there wasn’t much information on nail psoriasis on the Internet, or even from my GP, in comparison to information there is on other types of psoriasis. Also because you are constantly using your hands, it makes it quite difficult to apply treatment.
Since I started developing psoriasis in my nails, I have noticed the flare-up goes through different phases of severity. Unlike the psoriasis on the rest of my body that worsens with the winter or stress, nail psoriasis seems to have its own mind – a pattern I have not yet picked up on. I have noticed that psoriasis developing on my nails usually appears in the form of tiny dents or pits. Sometimes the nail(s) becomes discoloured or grows abnormally.
Common symptoms of nail psoriasis include:
1. Discolouration of the nail: appearing yellow-ish
2. Abnormal growth: nails may grow in a different shape in comparison to your ‘normal’ nail
3. Dents and pits developing on the surface of the nail
4. Debris build-up underneath the nail, which causes the nail to push away from the skin. This can be painful when there is pressure applied on the nail
5. Separation of the nail from the nail bed
6. Thickening: a fungal infection, also known as onychomycosis, can cause the nail to thicken.
Some things that works for me:
1. Keeping my nails short so they are less likely to chip and break, and it also makes them look more even and ‘normal’
2. Moisturising my hands and nails as often as I can.
3. Massaging oils on my nails, in the nail beds and on any debris build-up. Also if my nail has separated from my skin, I will apply oil in between too
4. Wash and clean your nails. Just like psoriasis anywhere else on your body, nail psoriasis also flakes from beneath. So I like the give my nails a very gently scrub beneath after soaking in warm water
5. Painting nails helps to cover any discolouration and pits or dents. It also acts as a layer of protection on your nail
6. If nail psoriasis really bothers you, style your hands with some rings and bracelets. Accessories always act as a good distraction.
Getting your nails done with nail psoriasis can make me feel quite embarrassed. I do think people probably judge and assume that I do not take care of my nails; not knowing it is something that I cannot control. As a girl, nail psoriasis does lower my self-esteem, which I do think is silly, because it’s only on my nails!
But a way in which I boost my confidence is getting my nails done. I absolutely love getting my nails done and I still do, even with the psoriasis.
Some things to bear in mind when getting your nails done:
1. My nails are extremely sensitive and as soon as the nail artist applies the smallest pressure, I find that my cuticles are bleeding – so its always a good idea to tell the artist about your psoriasis
2. It’s wise to not have your nails done constantly and allow time for your nails to breathe and be natural. I have noticed my psoriasis does get worse the more I get them done
3. It is also probably not ideal to get any acrylics when your nail psoriasis is severe or if your nail has separated from the skin, as the pressure applied could further worsen or damage your nail
4. If you can, stick to the same nail salon or artist. Just so they know you and you don’t have to repeating your psoriasis story I hope some of these tips and tricks help you with your nail psoriasis.
If your nail psoriasis continues to worsen and you are not happy with the general care and cosmetic solutions, it’s always good to seek medical advice for any treatments they could offer.
UK/IE MAT-16482 Date of Preparation: April 2018
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma