The burden of nail psoriasis: an introduction

Dermatology. 2010:221 Suppl 1:1-5. doi: 10.1159/000316169. Epub 2010 Aug 9.


Nail involvement is an extremely common feature of psoriasis and affects approximately 50% of patients. Despite this, it is an often overlooked feature of the disease, and treatment tends to be focused on clearing the cutaneous component of psoriasis. Clinical manifestations of nail psoriasis are pitting, discolouration, onycholysis and subungual hyperkeratosis as well as nail plate crumbling and splinter haemorrhages. Nail psoriasis is associated with discomfort in many patients and leads to significant functional impairment and psychological stress. The often distressing appearance of affected nails impacts the patient tremendously in both work and social activities. Importantly, 80% of patients with psoriatic arthritis have nail psoriasis. This review discusses the incidence of nail psoriasis and the burden on the patient and illustrates when dermatologists are strategically placed to detect the early signs of more severe disease by promptly diagnosing and managing the nail component of psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Nail Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Nail Diseases* / pathology
  • Nail Diseases* / psychology
  • Psoriasis* / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis* / pathology
  • Psoriasis* / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological