Hand & Nail Psoriasis – What to expect

Psoriasis on your hands and nails can make daily activities or delicate tasks difficult to carry out.

Hand and nail psoriasis can be difficult to cope with. The plaques are often more visible than those on the body or scalp, and hands are very important in interpersonal relationships like shaking hands in social and professional situations.

A flare-up of psoriasis on the palm of the hand is often accompanied by cracking, blisters and swelling.

In around half of cases, psoriasis on the hands affects the nails. Holes in the nails – also called pitting – is the most common characteristic.

Nails may become white and thick. As a result of dryness, lines can also appear running across the nail. When the cuticles are affected they can no longer act as a protective barrier.

Inflammation can also spread under the nails.

In around half of cases, psoriasis on the hands affects the nails.

Treatment options and precautions

You should talk to your doctor about hand and nail psoriasis and the current treatment options. You can also ask for help with management strategies and simple precautions that you can take.

Some ways to prevent psoriasis from flaring up and affecting the hands and nails include avoiding movements that cause repeated friction to the hands and keeping nails trimmed and as short as possible. Long and loose nails can continue to be injured as they catch and rub against surfaces.

It is also important to protect nails from damage because any injury or trauma can often trigger or make nail psoriasis worse. Wearing gloves, if possible, while you are using your hands during activity that is likely to damage your nails is the simplest way to help prevent this.

UK/IE 2013b/00072, Date of prep: April 2015