What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by cells multiplying faster than they usually would. This leads to a build-up of skin and can cause symptoms all over the body. Your psoriasis could come and go so you may not get symptoms all the time.
One of the body parts psoriasis can affect is your nails. Around 50% of people with psoriasis develop it in their nails and it is more common in fingernails than in toenails. Nail psoriasis is often quite mild, but it can sometimes be painful and the cosmetic changes caused by it can be upsetting. Nail psoriasis symptoms can be quite clear when you know what you are looking for.
Top 5 nail psoriasis symptoms
1. Tiny dents/pits in the nail
This is caused by a loss of cells in the pitted areas and it stems from psoriasis that develops in the nail root (where the nail starts from, underneath the cuticle). You could have lots of pits or only a few and they can be either deep or shallow. You could also experience other changes in texture such as lines and ridges running down the nail.
2. Discoloured nails
When you have nail psoriasis, your nails can become white, yellow, brown, or green. They may also develop little spots of red surrounded by yellow, known as oil-drop spots.
3. Abnormal growth of the nail
It can grow more quickly due to the increased multiplication of cells. You could also develop a fungal infection that is common in people with psoriasis called onychomycosis (a disease that forms in the nail bed) which can cause the nail to get much thicker.
4. Loose nails and nails that separate from the nail bed
This is caused by material building up underneath the nail, which forces it away from the nail bed. You may see a chalky white build-up underneath your nails. You may also experience a bacterial infection in the nail bed once it starts to separate away which can cause the nail to become dark.
5. Crumbling nails
Your nails may start to crumble as the structures that support them begin to weaken.