Did you know that nail fungus and Psoriasis of the nail are often times confused with one another? Which makes for a most unfortunate mix since one treatment may not work for the other causing disappointment and frustration. The main reason why most people tend to confuse nail fungus with psoriasis and psoriasis with nail fungus is because both conditions turn the nail white leading to similar characteristics. This can cause people to rush to a conclusion or certain treatments resulting in failed results. But if you’re patient and willing to put in a bit more work, you will be able to tell the two apart since both come with clear distinctions and differences.
Nail fungus causes the nail to look damaged along with having the appearance of scaling. Although psoriasis can make the nail look damaged as well, it is usually paired with pitting and indentations. Both conditions can be found in both the fingernails and toenails, nail fungus is more commonly found on the toenails since the fungus thrives in warm, damp, dark environments.
There have been several studies conducted to see if there’s an underlying link between nail fungus and psoriasis. Scientists have found that people afflicted with psoriasis have a 1.56 times higher chance of developing nail fungus than the average person. Although the way psoriasis nails and nail fungus look may be similar, the treatment for the two differ greatly.
Nail fungus can be treated by several different medications and options. Pills which are taken orally are the most common but have nasty side effects which require constant blood work and can cause serious liver damage. There is also laser treatments for nail fungus but these treatments aren’t covered by insurances and can be quite costly. Lasers also have mixed reviews depending on the type of laser. Most patients think they will be cured from nail fungal infections for life and don’t even consider reinfection which can lead to disappointing results since reinfection can be inherent.
The most cost effective treatment for nail fungus is a mixture of topical ointments and creams, but sadly these have the lowest cure rates at only 5% – 15%. The reason for this is because the fungus is living sandwiched in between the skin of the toe and the nail. Topicals and ointments go around and over the nail which makes it difficult to penetrate deep down to the root of the problem. Soaks are the best but very time consuming and must be done regularly to see any results.
Psoriasis of the nail doesn’t currently have a set cure that will eliminate the problem forever, the current treatments out right now are to improve the overall look of the nail as well as the function of the nail. These include but are not limited to steroid injections, which are injected straight into the nail bed accompanied by creams and ointments applied directly to the skin and nail. The ointments themselves contain vitamins A and D which contribute to improving the overall health and appearance of the nails.
You can also opt to have the nail surgically or chemically removed which is provided with general anesthesia. Or you can treat the nails to an ultraviolet light treatment paired with prescription drugs in order to decrease the effects psoriasis has on the nails.
Whether or not you have psoriasis of the nails, or nail fungus, you aren’t alone and can seek out medical and professional help to give you peace of mind and security!