Have you ever saw little depressions in your fingernails or toenails? This is called nail pitting. It can happen for a variety of factors and is frequently related to nail psoriasis. You may likewise have staining of your nails or unusual growth with this condition.
How to Identify Nail Pitting
Nail pitting may appear as shallow or deep holes in your nails. The pitting can occur on your fingernails or your toenails. You may think the pitting looks like white areas or other marks. It might even appear like your nails have been hit with an ice pick.
If your nail pitting is associated with nail psoriasis, as it usually is, you might also experience:
- changes to the normal shape (contortion).
- modifications in nail color (discoloration).
People with nail psoriasis may likewise experience loose nails that separate from their nail beds. The more technical term for this symptom is onycholysis. In the most severe cases, nail psoriasis can cause your nails to crumble.
You might experience nail psoriasis with or without other psoriasis signs.
- red, scaly patches of skin.
- dry, cracked, or bleeding skin.
- itching or burning skin.
- stiff or swollen joints.
Nail Pitting Causes
Approximately 50 percent of people who have psoriasis experience modifications in their nails. Between 5 and 10 percent of individuals who have nail psoriasis will not have any other symptoms.
Nail pitting is more typical in individuals who have psoriatic arthritis. It is also more typical in people who are over age 40.
Researchers have just recently uncovered that there might be a link in between nail pitting and the seriousness of psoriasis in general. In one 2013 research study, 34.2 percent of individuals who had moderate psoriasis also experienced nail pitting. In people who had serious, longer lasting cases of psoriasis, nail pitting was found 47.6 percent of the time.
There are a couple of other causes of nail pitting that are not connected to psoriasis. They consist of:
- connective tissue conditions, such as Reiter’s syndrome (a kind of reactive arthritis), and osteoarthritis.
- autoimmune diseases, such as alopecia location, sarcoidosis, and pemphigus vulgaris.
- incontinentia pigmenti, a genetic disorder affecting the hair, skin, nails, teeth, and central nervous system.
- atopic and contact dermatitis.
How is Nail Pitting Diagnosed?
At your appointment, your doctor will assess your medical history and carry out a physical examination. Be sure to share any symptoms you might be experiencing with your doctor, as this can assist guide them to a diagnosis of nail psoriasis or another condition.
They may also carry out a skin biopsy. This test is done by taking a small sample of your skin or nails and looking at it under a microscope. Your doctor will likely take the sample after using a local anesthetic, so this treatment shouldn’t injure.
Treatment Options for Nail Pitting
Dealing with nail pitting can be hard. The pits are formed as your nail kinds. Topical medications are unable to easily reach through the nail bed. Because of this, your doctor may consider corticosteroid injections into your nail beds. This kind of treatment has varied outcomes.
Another option is to use phototherapy or light treatment on the impacted nails. Some doctors may suggest taking vitamin D3 supplements.
Immunosuppressant medications, such as cyclosporine (Neoral) and methotrexate (Trexall), are likewise options. However, they typically aren’t recommended if you just have nail pitting. These medications are possibly hazardous to your organs, so the threats might exceed the benefits.
Treating nail pitting is often a long-lasting process that doesn’t always have the best outcomes. You might wish to cosmetically fix currently pitted nails by scraping, filing, or polishing.
In rare cases, you may opt to have them removed through surgery so that the nail tissue can regrow.
How to Limit or Reduce Nail Pitting
You might not be able to avoid pitting in your nails, but you can lower your risk for aggravated symptoms.
You can help keep your nails healthy by:
- staying hydrated.
- eating well.
- taking vitamin B and zinc.
Is there a Cure for Nail Pitting?
Treatment of nail pitting and other nail issues is often a long-term procedure. In many cases, this treatment isn’t constantly efficient. It’s important that you attempt to avoid triggers that make nail pitting worse. This consists of injury to your hands and feet.
If you’re diagnosed with nail psoriasis, the outlook differs. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that tends to flare at various times of your life for different reasons.
People who have nail psoriasis often deal with physical and mental tension and unfavorable sensations about their condition. If you’re feeling stressed or upset about your diagnosis, talk about these feelings with your doctor. They can provide assistance and other resources for assistance.
You ought to likewise call your doctor if you see thickening of a nail or separation from the nail bed. This might suggest you have a fungal infection that requires treatment.