If your toenails are thick and discolored, you might think you have a fungal infection, especially if you also have a rash between your toes. If over-the-counter treatments don't clear up the problem, then you should see a foot specialist for a diagnosis. It's possible that you have psoriasis. Psoriasis can affect the skin on your feet as well as your toenails. Here are some things to know about this foot condition.
Signs Of Toenail Psoriasis
You might have one or more toenails affected by psoriasis. The condition causes various changes in the nail. You may notice your toenail has a yellow or brown color and that it is much thicker than it used to be. It might have dark discoloration under the nail or become loose from the bed. Your nail might be tender or painful, and it may be uncomfortable to wear shoes. The surface of your toenail may develop pits and grooves. The condition may be a minor annoyance, or it could be bad enough to keep you off your feet because walking is painful.
Treatments For Toenail Psoriasis
Psoriasis can be difficult to treat, and the condition is sometimes compounded by bacterial or fungal infections that develop in the nail. Your podiatrist may prescribe medications to treat accompanying infections so your psoriasis can be dealt with. In some cases, it might be necessary to remove the toenail if it is loose, damaged, or causing pain. If your toenail is left in place, it needs to be trimmed properly, so it doesn't rub against your shoe and cause irritation and further thickening. If you have a condition like diabetes that interferes with blood circulation, you'll want to let your podiatrist care for the affected nail so you can avoid serious complications from a trimming injury or infection.
Your podiatrist may prescribe medication to treat the psoriasis. This could include injections under the nail, topical creams, or oral drugs. Treatments like phototherapy might be helpful as well, especially if there are psoriasis lesions on the nearby skin too. You may also need to change your footwear since your toe will need more room in your shoe to prevent painful crowding and rubbing. A larger shoe or one with a wide toe area might be needed until your psoriasis is under control.
Sometimes psoriasis can be stubborn, and you may need to work with your foot specialist to find a treatment that is effective. Your symptoms will probably come and go, but when the condition is well-managed, you may have long periods of remission between flares. Since toenail psoriasis often looks like other foot conditions, it's a good idea to see a podiatrist when your toenail develops an unusual color or thickness so you can get started on the proper treatment right away.
For more information, contact a company like Ohio Better Foot Care.