Nail psoriasis usually appears in people that already have psoriasis on their skin. In rare cases nail psoriasis may appear before the skin manifestations. And in the rarest cases psoriasis will only appear on the nails of a person and will never appear anywhere else.
In the case when there are no psoriasis lesions on the skin of a person, and only the nails are damaged with psoriasis, it is sometimes difficult for a doctor to make a correct diagnosis. Nail psoriasis often resembles a fungal damage of the nails. In this case it is helpful if the person knows of her/his family history of psoriasis.
Nail psoriasis that is mistakenly diagnosed as a nail fungus will not receive a correct treatment, which is why it is very important to achieve the correct diagnosis.
Here are the most common signs of nail psoriasis:
– Point hemorrhage of the nails – your nails in this case may resemble a thimble. The surface of the nail plates is covered with tiny grains or pits. This happens due to the loss of some cells on the nail plate.
– Some of your nails may become loose and to partly separate from the place where they are connected to the finger. There will appear hollow white spaces underneath the nails. Usually these spaces first appear at the tip of the nail and then start progressing towards the root of the nail. These spaces will grow with time causing the nail to rise above the surface of the nail bed.
– The skin underneath the nail may become thick. This also leads to the separation of the nail from the nail bed and to the raising of the nail above the nail bed.
– There may appear a discoloration underneath the nail plate that resembles a blood or oil drop. It is usually of a yellow-red color.
– Sometimes there may appear lines going across the nails. These lines appear due to the inflammation of the skin underneath the nail affected by psoriasis.
– Sometimes psoriasis also appears on the skin of the finger right next to the root of the nail and next to the nail cuticle. The affected skin in this case looks like a usual psoriasis lesion – silvery-white scales on top of a red inflamed skin.
– The nail affected by psoriasis usually becomes brittle, thick and starts crumbling. It is especially uncomfortable when the toe nails get affected by psoriasis.
– Sometimes there may appear the so-called splinter hemorrhage – tiny black lines visible through the nail plate. Splinter hemorrhage appears when the capillaries on the tip of your fingers or toes bleed underneath the nail plate.
Due to the unhealthy state of the skin affected by psoriasis under the nail it may become infected with a fungus. Sometimes it happens the other way around – nail psoriasis occurs after a fungal infection of the nail.
With the correct diagnosis it is possible to treat nail psoriasis (with different degrees of success). Besides hormonal medicines and other drugs that your doctor may prescribe to you, there are some natural means that may help your nails to feel better.
Here are some of the natural ways that you can try at home:
– Try to eat more Calcium (milk, yogurts, cheese etc.) and gelatin.
– Before going to sleep soak your hands in a tray filled with sea water (you can collect the sea water at the sea and store it in a large bottle in the refrigerator).
– Before going to sleep soak your nails in warm vegetable oil (olive, sunflower etc.), herbal oil (chamomile etc.) or apply a plain fatty cream onto your nails and underneath of them.