People who suffer from psoriasis, a disorder that appears as scaly, dry patches on the skin, are also likely to suffer from psoriatic nail dystrophy. According to DermNet New Zealand, only 5 percent of people with psoriatic nail dystrophy do not have traditional psoriasis as well. In most cases, people with psoriatic nail dystrophy have psoriatic arthritis in their toes and fingers. While there is no cure for psoriatic nail dystrophy, there treatments available that can help with the symptoms.
Psoriatic Nail Dystrophy
Psoriatic nail dystrophy it tends to resolve on its own. However, the condition can return in intermittent flare-ups. Common symptoms of the condition are holes in the nails, thickening and deformation of the nail, yellow or brown discoloration of the nail and separation of the nail from the flesh. It is important to note that although psoriatic nail dystrophy is an unsightly condition that can be emotionally taxing, it is benign and does not lead to further complications. According to DermNet New Zealand, various medications are available purport that they can treat psoriatic nail dystrophy, but none of them has proven especially effective. However, your doctor will help you determine the best treatment option based on the location and severity of your psoriatic nail dystrophy.
Your doctor may recommend you use topical creams to treat psoriatic nail dystrophy. The most commonly prescribed types are corticosteroid cream and a retinoid cream. These remedies work by cutting down inflammation and help slow down the production of cells that cause psoriatic nail dystrophy. Sometimes your doctor may prefer to inject you with corticosteroids directly into the fingers or toes affected by the condition. This method works better than topical creams; however, you only can have a limited number of injections before your ligaments and tendons begin to weaken.
Phototherapy and Removal
Another option available to treat psoriatic nail dystrophy is phototherapy. Phototherapy involves using either natural or artificial ultraviolet rays to kill excess nail cells and allow healthy cells to grow. You must be careful to limit the time you are exposed to UV rays, since they can be harmful in other ways. People who undergo artificial phototherapy need to take part in sessions a few times per week. In very severe cases, your doctor may recommend the nail be completely removed. You will be given a numbing agent as they nail is taken off. Once the nail is removed, a healthy nail should grow in as a replacement.