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Nail Psoriasis (cont.)

Are There Home Remedies for Nail Psoriasis?

There are no home remedies to cure nail psoriasis. In areas where the nail has loosened, gently trim the nail back to the skin where it is connected. This will allow medications to work better. All nail care must be very gentle. Vigorous nail care and attempts to remove debris beneath the nails can cause psoriasis to flare and worsen. Attempt to avoid injuring the nails so that the nail doesn't loosen more and so that the area doesn't become infected.

Nail polish is safe to use and can hide discoloration. It may also help to reduce the appearance of surface irregularities. Nail polish should be removed before medical examination of the nails.

What Are Medical Treatments for Nail Psoriasis?

A doctor may recommend that a part of the nail be removed, either chemically or surgically. Chemical removal of the nail involves putting an ointment on the nails for seven days. The nail comes off by itself with no bleeding.

Even with effective treatment, an improvement in symptoms may take a long time, since eight to 12 months can be needed to generate a new fingernail.

What Are Medications for Nail Psoriasis?

A doctor may prescribe any of the following medications:

  • Creams or ointments to rub on and around the nail, including steroid, topical vitamin A (tazarotene) or vitamin D derivatives (calcipotriene, calcipotriol, or calcitriol), antimetabolite drugs (such as 5-fluorouracilcyclosporine
  • Steroids can applied to the skin under the nail or cortisone injections may be given under the nail; injection under the nail may be more effective than when steroids are applied in cream or ointment form.
  • PUVA: This therapy is a combination of the prescription medicine, psoralen, and exposure to UVA ultraviolet light.
  • Systemic therapy may be appropriate if you have both skin and arthritis symptoms or if the skin and nail symptoms are severe or persisting. Systemic therapy is medication that spreads throughout the body. It is often in pill or injectable form, including methotrexate or cyclosporine (or ciclosporin) tablets, and the injectable biologics etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), ixekizumab (Taltz), secukinumab (Cosentyx), and ustekinumab (Stelara) as well as infusible infliximab (Remicade). An oral medication for both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is apremilast (Otezla).

See the article Understanding Psoriasis Medications for more information.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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