March 3, 2010

Causes and Treatment For Preventing Psoriatic Nail Dystrophy

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Nail dystrophy is damage caused to the nail due to trauma or a disease. It is characterized by partially destroyed nail plates. Often soft, yellow keratin is seen to accumulate in between the nail plates and the nail bed which results in the elevation of the nail plates. Nail dystrophy can also be caused due to psoriasis. It is generally seen in 50% to 85% of psoriasis patients. Usually the changes happening in nails are followed by the development of cutaneous lesions. But in certain cases nail dystrophy can precede all symptoms of this disease. Nail psoriasis usually affects the nail plate, the nail beds, nail matrix, nail folds, cuticles and the bones at the finger tips. It is rarely that a person might suffer only from nail psoriasis. It usually affects the skin and bone joints too.

There are 5 general types of nail changes which happen due to nail psoriasis. Psoriasis in the nail matrix caused due to the deficiencies in nail growth. This is caused by the disease resulting in deeply pitted nails. Discoloration of the nail beds is caused by psoriasis in the nail bed. This is usually yellow or yellowish pink in color and resembles drops of oil under the nail plate which is also called as salmon patch or oil drop. Oncholysis, a condition where the white area of the nail bed lifts and separates from the nail bed could also occur. This happens due to the pockets of air created by the lifting of the nail bed. This is usually accompanied by inflammation of the skin around the nails. Crumbling nails or total loss of nails can happen due to the weakening of the nail matrix because of the disease.

The treatment of nails is usually a part of the treatment for psoriasis. If the damaging process has already begun, it is important that further nail damage should be prevented. Keep nails trimmed as to reduce irritation caused by rubbing. Carefully file down nails and keep nails moisturized. Wear shoes which are comfortable and which give enough space to the toes as to prevent any pressure or friction to the nails. Use gloves as much as possible. Increase the intake of oily fish which is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Try using evening primrose oil. It helps in reducing inflammation and itching around the nails. Even supplements can be used as substitutes. Cut down on intake of acidic food.