Psoriatic Arthritis Nail Damage: Symptoms and Treatment

Psoriatic arthritis is best known for the damage it can do to your joints, but changes to your nails — both fingernails and toenails — can also signal that something is amiss inside your body.

Nail problems are a predictor of psoriatic arthritis as well as a common symptom, according to Francis C. Luk, MD, a rheumatologist at Advent Health in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He describes a condition called pitting: “It can look as though someone took a sharp pin and just punctured the nails multiple times. That’s a sign that psoriatic arthritis is going to develop, if it hasn’t already,” he says.

Research suggests that approximately 80 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis experience some nail damage. The effect of psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis on nails and nail beds is an often overlooked but potentially disfiguring complication.

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