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What are the treatment options for nail psoriasis?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Treatments that doctors use for nail psoriasis include:
  • light therapy (light can stop the overproduction of skin cells)
  • corticosteroid injections into the nail
  • oral anti-fungal medications if fungus is also present
Your doctor may also recommend cosmetic or surgical treatments, which can include nail scraping or filing, nail polish to hide nail discoloration, artificial nails to hide the nails, or removal of the nail.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, nail psoriasis affects up to 50% of people who are living with psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the body produces skin cells too fast. 
Unfortunately, there is no cure for nail psoriasis. However, there are several treatment options that may help reduce your symptoms. Doctors may prescribe topical medications, such as corticosteroids, vitamin A or D, and even an antifungal treatment if an infection is suspected. Because of the nail plate, however, topical remedies may not be completely effective. To bypass the nail plate, an injection of steroids beneath the nail can be given. Another treatment option may be ultraviolet (UV) light therapy in conjunction with medication -- this is known as psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) therapy. Medications taken by pill or injection are also available, especially when joint pain or arthritis occur simultaneously. These include methotrexate, etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab. Each of these treatments is meant to reduce symptoms and/or break the cycle that is causing the rapid cell death and regeneration.

A last resort is surgery if treatment does not help at all. During the procedure, the affected nail will be removed entirely.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.