Like any other part of your body, your nails can cause concerning symptoms. In many cases, a problem with your nails can be clipped or filed away. However, in other cases, symptoms are much more complicated.
If you have noticed your nails are cracking, discolored, or separating from the skin under your nails, you may have one of two things — nail fungus or nail psoriasis, but which one? How do you tell the difference?
If you are concerned with the health of your nails, here’s how to know if your toenail is dry, brittle, or has fungus:
Nail Psoriasis vs. Fungus – Which Is It?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes skin disorder flare-ups on various parts of the body.
There are many types of psoriasis, and since your nails and skin are so closely related, both can be affected. If you have symptoms of psoriasis on your skin, you may also develop nail psoriasis.
In comparison, nail fungus is caused by a fungal infection.
While both of these conditions can cause similar symptoms, there are several distinct differences. The key is recognizing the symptoms of nail psoriasis and nail fungus so that you can take appropriate action.
Symptoms of Nail Psoriasis vs. Fungus
Symptoms of Nail Psoriasis:
- Thickening and deformation of the nails
- Dents in your nails or “pitting”
- Browning or yellowing of nails
- Nails that separate from the nail bed (the skin under your nails)
- Chalky build-up under your nails
Symptoms of nail fungus:
- Thickening and deformation of the nails
- Your nails become darker
- A progressive change in the shape of your nail
- Brittle, dull nails
- Bad odor
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have both of these conditions. Approximately 35% of people with nail psoriasis also have nail fungus. If you are experiencing a combination of the above symptoms, it is important that you discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional.
Risk Factors for Nail Psoriasis and Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is fairly common, and depending on the severity, it’s easy to ignore at first. While anyone can develop nail fungus, toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
That is because fungi thrive in warm, moist environments. If you are using a public swimming pool or shower, it is not uncommon for fungi to find their way into your nail bed.
Some of the other risk factors associated with nail fungus include:
- Excessive sweating
- Being an older male (your risk increases with age and men with a family history develop nail fungus more often than women)
- Working in an environment where your hands and feet get wet often
- Walking barefoot in public gyms, showers, swimming pools, and other wet, fungi-prone areas
- Wearing socks and shoes without ventilating your feet
- Having an illness that suppresses your immune system, such as HIV
- Living with someone else who has nail fungus, as it is contagious
- Having a nail bed injury
In contrast, nail psoriasis often develops if you have another form of psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 50% of people with psoriasis and up to 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis experience issues with their nails. However, it is not fully understood why some individuals have nail problems while others do not.
Whether you are dealing with nail psoriasis vs. nail fungus, you must take a preventative approach with both.
If you suffer from psoriasis, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. When a flare-up does surface, there are a variety of curable treatment options, including Keralyt 5 Gel or cream. You can also apply creams and gels directly to your nails. Making your hygiene a top priority is also critical. While this will not prevent psoriasis, it will help reduce your risk of an infection or other complications.
If you have cracked, broken or brittle nails, consider DermaNail. DermaNail helps control chipping, cracking, peeling, splitting and breaking. DermaNail contains an ingredient called Acetyl-Mandelic Acid and it is designed to strengthen and harden the nails as they grow. Say goodbye to chipped or peeling nails. DermaNail is dermatologist used and approved and is unlike any other nail conditioner on the market.
To purchase the treatment for cracked, broken, or brittle nails, click here.
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