Nail Psoriasis: Psoriasis is not just a skin disease

Many people think that psoriasis only affects the skin, but this is not the case!  Today we will cover nail psoriasis.  Psoriasis commonly occurs on the nails.  In fact, a psoriasis patient may have findings on the nail and no where else.

How does psoriasis affect the nail?  Psoriasis affects the part of the finger that makes the nail, and as a result, the nail can look different when it grows out.

Can psoriasis affect both the fingernails and toenails? Yes, it can affect both fingernails and toenails.

What does psoriasis on the nail look like?  Nail psoriasis can present with several findings including:

– Pits. These are little small dents on the nail surface

– Oil spots. These are yellowish spots that look oily

– Lifting of the nail. This is called onycholysis

– Rough and/or thickened nails

– Ridging of nails

– Brittle nails

– Debris under the nails

– White dots

While the above list can help with the diagnosis of nail psoriasis, many other conditions can affect the nails and look similar.  Additionally, nail psoriasis can also be a harbinger of joint involvement so don’t leave the diagnosis to yourself!