The Change I Made To My Psoriatic Arthritis Toenail Care
Last updated: December 2021
It is funny to think - the sole reason I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis was because of my ugly toenails. I often wonder how long it would have gone undiagnosed had I not worn open-toed shoes for a rheumatology appointment to address fibromyalgia pain.
One thing is for sure, my toenails have always required more care than others, and caring for them hasn’t always been easy. Discouraged and tired by the amount of work it took to keep them looking presentable, I made some changes.
My little piggies have issues
My toenails have always been worse than my fingernails. While each little piggy’s toenail has some ridging or peels easily, four of the ten have a more complicated issue.
My big toes and the toe next to each of them are incredibly thick. They are challenging to cut with traditional-sized clippers. They are so dense that I have broken many clippers while attempting to cut them.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the little toenails right next to the big ones on each foot lift from the nailbed. They begin lifting halfway up the nailbed and appear to have layers upon layers of psoriasis. It has been like this for decades, and the only way to conceal them was to apply a thick layer of nail polish.
Putting my foot down
The easiest solution was to have a monthly pedicure. But that became too painful after breaking many of my toes. One toe in particular still screams in pain when someone applies pressure to the joint that was broken 20 years ago!
I could have scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist, but then again, there is the issue of will they not put pressure where my toes have been broken? Clipping just those four toenails is physically exhausting. I had to be careful not to cut too deeply.
And in the case of the two smaller nails, it would often take up to 30 minutes of trying to clip through layers and layers of the nail. It didn’t matter whether I soaked them or not. After doing a little research on thick toenails, I stumbled across ads for at-home podiatry sets and ordered one.
Stepping out on the right foot
Well, I am thrilled to share that I will be starting 2022 out on the right foot! My new clippers cut through my thick psoriatic toenails like they were butter! I no longer end the process with aching fingers and hand cramps! Plus, no more wasting precious time and energy on what should have always been and now is an easy task.
Having properly cut toenails makes such a difference. I cannot express the joy I get from wearing socks and slippers without my toenails getting snagged. Or from cutting them low enough that they do not rub against the top of my shoes.
The time I save per month on clipping my psoriatic toenails is time I now have to use on other health issues or for something fun! My body may not be ready for walking now, but when it is, my feet are!
How do you care for your psoriatic toenails?
Do you have any questions about PsA?