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Nail Fungus vs Nail Psoriasis- What’s the Difference?

The skin condition known as psoriasis doesn’t exclusively happen on the scalp, the hands or the face, as the nails can be the victim here as well. However, due to their appearance on the nails, people can just as easily misinterpret as a nail fungus. Conversely, nail fungus displays similar visible signs as Psoriasis. Therefore, they can be misconstrued as nail psoriasis as well. How do we recognise what is what? In this debate of Nail Fungus vs Psoriasis, it is necessary for us to take a deeper look into each of these conditions. Only after deep scrutiny in both of these diseases, we can even think about differentiating between the two.

Nail Fungus vs Psoriasis

Nail psoriasis:

Nail Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder refers to a condition where the immune system becomes so hyperactive that it loses its ability to differentiate between a friend and a foe. As a consequence, the immune system starts to attack the healthy cells of the body. In the case of psoriasis, due to this hyperactivity, the life cycle of skin cells tends to go haywire.

Consequently, the skin cells generate rapidly, and they come up to the surface without the old skin cells being dead yet. This gives a scaly texture to the affected skin area with irritation and inflammation symptoms as well. In the case of nail psoriasis, the skin cells under and around the nails are the ones to be affected along with the nails.

Nail fungus:

As the name suggests, Nail Fungus is an infection. The origin of this infection can be anything with fungus on it. The easiest pathway to get this infection is to be around someone who has this infection. Furthermore, fungi love moisture. Therefore, if your nails are constantly in a wet state, then you can almost expect there to be fungal issues. To get the gist of the entire statement, if you are around fungal infection, then there is a chance for you to get infected as well.

These are the definitions that are associated with Nail psoriasis and nail fungus respectively. However, now we are going to present with a sort of the antithesis of the above statement. We inclined towards the following point in the intro:

Some people might misconstrue the symptoms of Nail fungus with the Symptoms of Nail psoriasis, and vice versa.

However, the fact of the matter is, the symptoms are different,we need to take a closer look at them.

Symptoms of Nail Psoriasis

1. It occurs after a recent trauma:

Psoriasis can happen after recent trauma. If you have gotten the first sign of the scaly, itchy formations near the nails after a recent trauma, then you can point the proverbial finger at Nail psoriasis as the culprit behind this whole issue. The traumas as mentioned above can be anything from a broken nail due to your leg being slammed to the door, slipping and falling, or if some unseemly accident happened during your manicure sessions. Therefore, you can say that nail psoriasisis more of a reactive condition rather than an infectious one.

2. The symptoms of psoriasis might not be localised at the nails:

To be perfectly honest with you, nail psoriasis might be a misnomer. While it is true that the condition affects nails the most in this instance, they are not the only organs that it affects. If you encounter any of the other symptoms along with the deformed nails, then these can point to psoriasis. These symptoms are as follows:

  • Itchy and dry patches of skin around the legs
  • The patches are also red and scaly
  • There are rawness and smoothness associated with the patches.
  • There are tiny bumps of patches that can either be on the chest or the back of your body.
  • There can also be patches that are of silvery nature.

3. Loss of Nails:

As time passes and not much attention is paid to psoriasis, you might encounter that the scaly growths have deformed the skin below the nail in such a way that it basically, has dislodged the nail from its bed. This is an especially painful circumstance that cannot be ignored under any condition. Comparatively, the fungi cannot cause the nail to fall off. You might even say that it is not that severe.

4. Nail yellowing:

In psoriasis, you will notice the condition where the nails become yellowish. The reason for this is pitting are being formed due to the psoriatic condition of skin deformation. The deeper this pit goes, the yellower the nails would appear. If you press upon these pits, the pain would be immense. Furthermore, these can also loosen the integrity of the nails with the nail bed. As a result, the third mentioned symptom associated with nail loss can occur.

5. Too much keratin:

Psoriasis doesn’t only cause the skin cells to accelerate in their growth, it also causes abnormalities in the growth of keratin. They grow beneath the nails and represent themselves as chalky growths that come out of the nail bed. Furthermore, you would also feel a fair amount of pain if you press upon your nails.

Throughout this section, you might feel like toenails are the only victims here. Well, you should know that fingernails are not safe in this case either.

Symptoms of Nail fungus

Now, in this particular case, toenails are the ones that are victimised. The symptoms are:

1. Changes in the nail colour:

There is a condition called Hyperpigmentation. Nail fungus can cause this. This basically means that the nail colour changes. This is a gradually forming issue during which as time passes, the hyperpigmentation causes the colour to be greenish and faint grey in the initial stages. However, throughout weeks or even months, these colours might grow darker and darker.

2. Changes in the growth pattern of the nails:

Considering that fungus is growth that never stops when they latch on to nail, they tend to grow along with it. With time, their aesthetics tend to match with the nails. Let the fungus grow like this, and the result would be a change in the growth pattern of the nails.

3. Changes in the nail shape:

Nail fungus can weaken the structural integrity of the nails itself. With time, as the fungi spread and become a lot more intensified, the nails might get thinner, they might grow some unseemly hard patches, and they also might break. This alteration in nail shape is caused due to the intertwined growth of fungi with the nails.

4. The way it spreads throughout the body:

With psoriasis, the good news is that it is not communicable. This can work in your favour if you are vigilant as the speed of spreading isn’t that fast. However, fungi are communicable, and they can spread faster. In the previous point, we stated that the symptoms exclusively start with the nails, well they don’t stop with them. As time goes by, victims of Nail fungus might notice that their skin between the toes starts to become infected as well.

Treatment of Nail Fungus vs Psoriasis

The medical treatments of Nail Psoriasis involve the following:

  1. Topical Ointments: These treatments entail anti-inflammatory ingredients and other chemicals that contain keratoplastic or keratolytic that dissolve the integrity between the skin cells (old and new).
  2. Phototherapy: Another form of therapy is to expose the psoriatic region with controlled ultraviolet light or sunlight for the old cells to shed faster.
  3. Medicative therapy: There are some supplements, as well as some oral medications that act as either an immunosuppressant or a steroid hormone that can help with the issue.
  4. Surgical removal of the patched region: In severe cases, surgical removal of the psoriatic region remains the only viable course of action.

The medical treatments of Nail fungus are as follows:

  1. Antifungal medication: There are some over the counter anti-fungal medication that doctors prescribe to kill the fungi.
  2. Topical anti-fungals: Anti-fungals that you can apply to the affected
  3. Oral anti-fungals: a bit more potent than the topical variant, these prescription strength drugs are given to the patients only in severe cases.
  4. Surgical removal: If the above mentioned three treatments fail, there are also surgical options available. This entails surgically removing the affected patches of skin.

These are some of the finer points that establish the nail fungus vs psoriasis debate. Regardless of the difference, both of these conditions are painful, and if you have any of them, it is your responsibility to get the right treatment.

 

Also Recommended

Are There Any Side Effects of Psoriasis Medication Treatment?

Is Psoriasis Contagious? Answering Your Concerns Regarding Spread

Psoriasis vs Eczema- What Are The Differences Between Them?

10 Ayurvedic Methods for Psoriasis Treatment

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

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