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Can Psoriasis of the Nails be Treated?


Updated January 10, 2008

nail pitting

nail pitting

Dean R. Goodless, M.D.
Question: Can Psoriasis of the Nails be Treated?
Psoriasis of the nails can cause lifting, thickening, pitting and other changes. Treatment can be difficult but worthwhile when healthy nails finally appear.
Answer: Nail psoriasis is difficult to treat: It takes about 5 months to grow a fingernail, and treatment needs to be maintained the entire time. The only topical medication that has substantial research backing its usefulness in treating nail psoriasis is tazarotene. When this fails, intralesional steroids (injections directly into the root of the nail) may help improve the condition. This may sound unpleasant, but the procedure is quick and easy to do. Healthy nails usually reappear after a series of three monthly injections.


"Psoriasis of the Nails," National Psoriasis Foundation. Accessed: October 2007. [http://www.psoriasis.org/about/psoriasis/sites/nails.php]

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