Which physical findings are characteristic of nail psoriasis?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Nail psoriasis may cause pits on the nails, which often become thickened and yellowish; this is considered the most common nail finding. Oil spots, caused by exocytosis of leukocytes beneath the nail plate, are considered the most specific nail finding in psoriasis. Nails may separate from the nail bed, known as onycholysis, due to the parakeratosis of the distal nail bed. Psoriatic nails may be indistinguishable from fungal nails and, at the same time, may be more prone to developing onychomycosis because of the nail separation and subungual debris.


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