Nails are one of the significant parts of our body that every female wants to flaunt. Be it with eye-catching nail colors or trendy nail art, nails are cared for by most of the girls and ladies. On the other hand, many times, the health of the nails is overlooked considering it as an unimportant part of our body. But, being negligent about them can be very nasty and painful.
Negligence of nail health can lead to various infections of the nail and the nail bed. The infections can be in the form of a simple infection (called Paronychia, often due to sharp nail clipping), a fungal infection, or psoriasis. Nail psoriasis is uncommon but, most often, it resembles a fungal infection. It becomes hard to differentiate and diagnose between toenail psoriasis vs toenail fungus.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It leads to scaling (peeling), redness, and itching on the skin. If you already are suffering from psoriasis, you might be at risk of developing psoriasis of the nails. About 50% of those who suffer from psoriasis happen to have nail involvement too. For unknown reasons, fingernails are more commonly affected than toenails. In rare cases, one may find psoriasis affecting the nails first. At that time, it may be difficult to differentiate whether the person is suffering from nail psoriasis or nail fungus.
Features That Help Distinguish Between Nail Psoriasis and Nail Fungus:
Psoriasis of the nails can be triggered due to any trauma or injury to the nails (Koebner’s phenomenon) as observed in the psoriasis of the skin.
Fungus of the nails or onychomycosis results due to a fungus causing the infection. Some factors predispose one to contract a fungal infection of the nails. The most important factor which favors the fungus is a warm climate. The fungus grows well in a warm and humid climate. Hence, nail fungus is mostly found affecting the people who sweat a lot, individuals who love swimming, and those who do not dry their body properly (particularly the spaces between the toes).
The two can be differentiated by the appearance, as psoriasis has a classical yellow nail pitting (indentation) which is not found in any fungal infection.
The yellow pitting in psoriasis and hyperpigmentation (dark discoloration) in the case of fungus can be the strong differentiating points.
Fungal infection usually spreads from the toes (Tenia pedis or athletes’ foot) to the inter-digital spaces and then to the nails. It starts with a small yellow dot beneath the nail. In a fungal infection, there occurs a development of a foul odor with a dull appearance of the nails. The affected nails may turn brittle and progressive distortion in the shape of the nail may occur.
Psoriatic nails gradually happen to get separated from the nail bed (onycholysis), whereas the fungal nails just get deformed. In nail psoriasis, a chalky appearance under the nails occurs which lifts the nails and may also cause pain and tenderness.
Tests for Diagnosing Toenail Psoriasis vs Nail Fungus:
Even after a thorough evaluation, it may be difficult for a physician to differentiate between nail fungus and nail psoriasis. In such circumstances, one may opt for certain diagnostic tests for clarification. A microscopic examination of the specimen of the affected nail can be done under the microscope (KOH wet mount).
Another test is a culture where nail fungus comes positive.
If either of the tests gives confusing results, a nail biopsy, which is an appropriate conclusive test, can help diagnose the condition correctly.
The treatment for nail psoriasis and fungal infection is different. Hence, it becomes essential for the physician to perform the necessary tests and get rid of the dilemma to treat the patient appropriately. You may end up thinking that it’s just a nail problem and go for a manicure. But, think deep for an apparently simple nail problem may just be the tip of an iceberg! Nails are not just “Nails”, they add to your personality and beauty. Have a look at your nails, care for them, and pamper them, and take extra care and seek medical assistance if you have any underlying disease as listed above!
6 Simple Helpful Tips to Maintain Good Health of Your Nails:
1.Maintain your nails short and neat.
2.Ensure that you dry your feet properly and maintain them clean
3.If you use any pedicure or manicure tools, make sure that they are clean and disinfected.
4.Ensure you wear shoes that fit your feet well. Opt for the shoes that make you and your feet feel you are comfortable. Let your feet breathe.
5.Wash your socks daily and change them every day. Use clean and washed socks.
6.If you are going to a public pool, males should wear shower shoes and females should go for shower sandals whenever it’s possible.
If you are suffering from either nail psoriasis or fungal infection, do get in touch with us at Life Force Homeopathy. Dr. Rajesh Shah’s research-based homeopathy has helped many patients. To know more about how you can be helped, leave us your contact details below or give us a call at +91-22-66888888 or mail us at email@example.com