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Fungal vs psoriatic nails

Are you having trouble with discolouration, breaking, thickening of your nails!? I bet you’re wondering what exactly has caused this issue and it may not be as simple as it seems!

Did you know that often psoriatic nails are mistaken for fungal nails and vise versa?

So what exactly is the difference!?

  • Psoriatic nails are caused from an autoimmune disease that can lead to redness, flaking, itching and peeling of the skin but it may also impact the health of the nails! So what exactly is psoriasis? It is when there is a rapid overgrowth of cells that are produced at a faster rate than they are shed. This leads to plaques and scaling of the skin which can also occur under/on the nail, leading to psoriatic nails. This can occur in up to 50% of those suffering from psoriasis.

  • Fungal nails on the other hand are caused by an infection! Often as a result from trauma which has allowed the fungi to invade the nail bed and feed off dead skin cells.

So how can we tell the difference?

  • Psoriatic nails lead to lines and ridges, small holes and pits, thickening, lifting and discolouration of the nail. Generally, all nails are affected and psoriasis will be found in other places of the body.

  • Fungal nails lead to thickening of the nail, causing them to become friable and discoloured. You may notice over time that the discolouration/infection can grow out with the nail with the use of anti-fungal treatment. Fungal infections can appear on a single nail or multiple.

It is important to note however, that fungal and psoriatic nails can occur at the same time! So what happens if we can’t tell the difference with simple observation and a thorough history check?

  • Don’t panic! We have you covered. Here at Foot Body Sole if we are unsure of the diagnosis we can undergo a simple diafactory test which helps us diagnose fungal nail infections within a few minutes. This way, we can offer the most appropriate treatment plan to meet your needs and have you nails feeling and looking better.


Once we have determined the underlying cause of your nail concerns, we can formulate a suitable treatment plan modified to your needs. This may be as simple as routine care that involves reducing nail thickness and length and clearing any debris that may be causing discomfort - suitable for both psoriatic and fungal nail infections.

  • Nail serum may be recommended for psoriatic nails to help promote strength and health to the nails. We may also recommend laser therapy to promote blood flow to the area.

  • Anti-fungal solutions can be recommended for the treatment of fungal nails.

So if you are concerned about your nails, contact us at Foot Body Sole and keep your feet feeling and looking great!

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