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Nail Psoriasis (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Nail Psoriasis?

If there are changes in the nails such as discoloration (white spots or yellowing areas) or pits or if the nails seem infected or are painful, see a doctor.

What Exams and Tests Do Doctors Use to Diagnose Nail Psoriasis?

If a person has known psoriasis and has characteristic changes of the nails, the diagnosis is typically apparent. In some situations, the doctor may take a biopsy (a small sample) of the skin under the nail to determine if someone has psoriasis of the nail.

The Nail Psoriasis Severity Index (NAPSI) was recently developed as a way to quantify involvement of the nails affected by psoriasis. This scale is most commonly used to measure the degree to which nails are affected in order to test the effectiveness of treatments or experimental treatments. Using the NAPSI, the nail is divided into quadrants, each of which is rated with a 0 or 1, based on the absence or presence of characteristic signs resulting from involvement of both the nail matrix and the nail bed. Therefore, NAPSI scores range from 0 to 8 for one nail and 0 to 160 for 20 nails.

What Types of Specialists Treat Nail Psoriasis?

A number of different specialists may be involved in the care of people with nail psoriasis, including internal-medicine specialists, dermatologists, rheumatologists, primary-care specialists, family practitioners, or surgeons.

What Is the Treatment for Nail Psoriasis?

At present, psoriatic nail disease does not have a cure. The goal of treatment is to improve the function and appearance of psoriatic nails. If the nails have a fungal infection, a doctor will prescribe an antifungal medication.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Psoriasis, Nails »

Psoriatic nail disease has many clinical signs.

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