Degrees of Nail Pitting

Over the years of dealing with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, my nails have certainly been one of the most frustrating things. My nails are more stubborn than what my teenage self was. It can vary from being an annoyance to being truly painful. 

This is one of the things where what it looks like gets to me. I often feel that it looks dirty and unkempt, which is the opposite of what is true.

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Varying levels of nail psoriasis


Pitting is those small holes that seem to fall into your nail, they are often small and move in groups. They could be as small as a pinhead and this is certainly the one that I experience most often. 

I have found them to not be painful at all, but aesthetically they are very challenging. They look terrible, but I do find that a nice layer of nail lacquer can make all the difference.

Nail crumbling

Two of my nails are very dramatic, and I love to create the crumbling effect, which I find can be rather painful. In addition to this, it really does not look good on my hands.

While this seems superficial, it is just one of the many many symptoms that cause adverse reactions from people around us. This tends to chip away at my mental health.

Nail lifting and total nail loss

By far, this is the most painful version of psoriatic arthritis on my nails. I have around four to five nails, which is giving me trouble on a regular. At any given time, I have over 50% of these nails lifted; they are so painful and honestly just look horrid.

They also tend to get hooked and this can cause the nail to lift even further, the pain of this is indescribable. My nails can often look like they have a fungus underneath when this is happening.

Often people will ask if I have a fungal infection and while I know that they often mean well or are simply curious.  This can be so hurtful and embarrassing, and it has certainly made me think twice when noticing other people's nails.

Finding treatment

I have found nothing that helps, but I never stop trying. Vicks on my nails is one of my favorite treatments, and even if it does not do much, it makes me feel better and is somewhat soothing. It also gives me the illusion that I am doing something about it.

The truth is that it comes and goes as it pleases. My nails make the rules; I do not. They flare when they feel like it or when the mood is right or wrong, for that matter.

Equally, they start to heal all by themselves when they see fit. Over the last ten years, I have yet to pinpoint what triggers activate and deactivate my nail psoriasis flares.

This being said it all plays a small part compared to the pain and fatigue that comes with psoriatic arthritis. Some days, when the pain is not too bad, it really is more of an annoyance.

Have you found anything that works for your nails?  Do you experience crumbling, pitting, or lifting?

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