Psoriasis is a health condition that affects millions of children each year, worldwide. For many children, the complications of psoriasis are evident as an autoimmune disorder that leads to the presence of red, scaly patches on the skin and may particularly affect the face and trunk of the body. If your child has been diagnosed with psoriasis, it is important to become familiar with the risks associated with this skin disorder and to especially become familiar with how the fingernails may be adversely affected.
Fingernails affected by the development of psoriasis will appear much like other bodily tissue that has been subjected to the autoimmune disease. Red, scaly and dry patch presence will be present around the entire nail plate and along the tips of the fingers. In children, the advanced stages of psoriasis in the fingernails will result in loss of the nails often by a crumbling effect where the fingernails simply become weakened, start ridging more prominently, and eventually develop pits and crumble off. In many children, the development of psoriasis around the fingernails is quite painful.
If your child has psoriasis, you will want to be sure you are watching the fingernail development closely. When signs of dryness or pitting become evident, moisturize the fingernails twice a day with vitamin E oils and Jojoba oils. In addition, your child’s pediatrician should prescribe medications that can be used to control the outbreak of psoriasis complications but, ultimately, this may be a lifelong complication for your child.
Should the fingernail come completely off, your child will be at an additional risk for infection and this will result in the need for further medical attention. Using antibacterial ointments on the fingernails will be important as the fingernail attempt to grow back. For many children, the use of sanitary gloves may be necessary to protect the hands from environmental complications.
Psoriasis leads to many health complications in children and we often do not think of fingernails as a cause for concern. If your child has psoriasis, and you notice pitting and changes to the health of the fingernails, be sure to consult a pediatrician immediately and begin moisturizing the fingernails to start improving the integrity of the nail plate and nail bed. In doing so, you can provide some additional support and strength to the already brittle nails and try to promote regrowth. Ultimately, treatment for the psoriasis will be necessary to encourage health of the hands and feet.
Sources: Journal of Autoimmune Disorders, May 2007, pp. 99-103.