As there is currently no one cure for nail psoriasis, the best nail psoriasis treatment is aimed at alleviating symptoms and outward signs of the damage caused to the nail and nail bed.
Even though nail psoriasis is a benign condition, it can be uncomfortable and look unsightly causing significant dysfunction and psychological distress. There are a number of treatment options available including nail psoriasis cremes and ointments in both synthetic drug and natural forms. There are also both over the counter (otc) and herbal treatment options available. Alternative and natural treatments are a preferred choice for those who have psoriasis in sensitive areas such as in ears, on eyelids etc. Organic remedies are also popular for people with a scalp related condition.
The following products have all been shows to have a positive effect in treating nail psoriasis ( fingernail and toenail ) in individuals. Results will vary depending on the severity and symptoms of the patients condition. It also highly recommended to consult a dermatologist should you feel to speak to someone about your condition further .After the products list there is a list of other treatment ideas for management and nail psoriasis care.
Vitamin Analogues and Topical Corticosteroids
1. Clobetasol propionate
Colbetasol is a corticosteroid used to take care of a number of skin disorders including eczema and psoriasis. It is also considered a leading treatment for contact dermatitis.A strong and powerful corticosteroid, Clobestasol is available in a number of forms including shampoo,ointment and creams. Due to it's potency it is not recommended to use for longer then two weeks. Clobetasol propionate is marketed and sold worldwide under numerous names including Clobex, Cosvate (India), Temovate (US),Olux, Tenovate, Dermovate, Dermatovate, Butavate, Movate, Novate.
2. Dovonex/ Daivonex
Due to the adverse reactions people have to the ideas of using steroid based approaches a group of Vitamin D analogues have been created specifically for the treatment of psoriasis. These drugs mimic the behavior of natural vitamin D and are useful in mild to medium cases of psoriasis. One of the first vitamin D psoriasis treatments to gain a market share is Dovonex. The active ingredient in Dovonex is calcipotriene, a synthetic form of vitamin D3.
Tacalcitol is a viatmin D analogue used in the treatment of plaque psoriasis. It is also marketed as Curatoderm and Bonalfa. It is available as both a cream and lotion.Tacalcitol reduces the excessive skin cell production by binding to vitamin D receptors on skin cells called keratinocytes, in the same way as natural vitamin D would bind. This helps to bring the rate at which skin cells are produced back to normal and therefore helps to improve the symptoms of psoriasis.Curoderm ointment or lotion should be applied to the affected areas of skin once daily, preferably at bedtime.
4. Tazorac (tazarotene)
Tazarotene is a vitamin A derivative, topical retinoid used to slow skin cell growth. It is normal for psoriasis plaques to become very red before clearing when using tazarotene. The redness is often intense in color, but it is generally not painful.
Calcitriol is a naturally occurring active form of Vitamin D3. It has shown in studies to help control excessive skin cell production. Calcitriol can be applied to most places on the body except for the face, lips and eyes.The most common side effects are excessive calcium in urine, itching and skin discomfort. There is an increased chance of skin tumors due to sensitivity to light. A less common side effect is that changes in the limits of calcium metabolism may occur. However, this side effect is extremely uncommon. Treatment should be stopped until the levels of calcium return to normal.
6. Zithranol-RR (anthralin)
Anthralin is the synthetic substitute for chrysarobin, a substance found in Goa powder made from the bark of the South American araroba tree. Anthralin is used to reduce the rapid growth of skin cells associated with plaque psoriasis.There are no known long-term side effects to using anthralin. It may cause skin irritation and can stain light-colored hair as well as unaffected skin, clothing and bed linens.
Similar to the cremes and ointments mentioned above, a moisturizer can be used by applying it to the nail surface, cuticles and nail joint areas. Doctors recognize that keeping the skin lubricated on a daily basis is an important step in psoriasis treatment because it reduces redness and itching and helps the skin heal. They also recommend heavy creams and ointments to lock water into the skin.
When using moisturizers in your psoriasis treatment routine try to remember the following points :
- use fragrance-free products
- apply moisturizers after showering and after washing your hands
- wash with moisturizing soaps
- limit your lukewarm showers to 10 minutes or less
Nail Psoriasis Bath Solutions
Bath solutions can be beneficial in treating psoriasis and are something that represents an easy at home treatment. Adding oil, Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts in a bath can help remove psoriasis scale and soothe itching. Soaking allows water to cover the entire nail surface and 8 in the case of nails that have separates ) work it's way under the nail and provide relief and the benefits off the salt or oils. Soak for around 15 minutes and apply a moisturizer or oil to the skin immediately after getting out of the bath.
Phototherapy Nail Psoriasis Solutions
Phototherapy or light therapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis and under medical supervision. Treatments are done in a doctor's office or a specific psoriasis clinic or at home with phototherapy unit. Applying the light to those areas of the nails which have been affected by psoriasis has shows improvement in nail conditions in certain individuals.
Present in natural sunlight, UVB is an effective treatment for psoriasis. UVB penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells. Treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule. This treatment is administered in a medical setting or at home. Home UVB phototherapy
Treating psoriasis with a UVB light unit at home is an economical and convenient choice for many people. Like phototherapy in a clinic, it requires a consistent treatment schedule. Individuals are treated initially at a medical facility and then begin using a light unit at home.
All phototherapy treatments, including purchase of equipment for home use, require a prescription. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of home UVB equipment. Vendors of home phototherapy equipment often will assist you in working with your insurance company to purchase a unit. Although both UVB and ultraviolet light A (UVA) are found in sunlight, UVB works best for psoriasis. UVB from the sun works the same way as UVB in phototherapy treatments.
Short, multiple exposures to sunlight are recommended. Start with five to 10 minutes of noontime sun daily. Gradually increase exposure time by 30 seconds if the skin tolerates it. To get the most from the sun, all affected areas should receive equal and adequate exposure. Remember to wear sunscreen on areas of your skin unaffected by psoriasis
Psoriasis Diet / Holistic Approaches
There is a lot of good information available these days online regarding improving your psoriasis symptoms through the use of diets and natural treatment that involve eating healthy foods combined with light exercise and good hygiene. For a more detailed analysis of current methods view our nail psoriasis diet page. As an aside there are also a number of organic soaps available for those people who are concerned about the damage regular soaps may have on their condition including goat milk soap, dead sea salt soap. Apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil finger baths have also been reported to offer some help.