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By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 04, 2017
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Psoriasis is a disease that affects the autoimmune system of the body and is most commonly recognized by red, flaky patches on the skin. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we want patients to know that this systemic disease can seriously impact your feet.

Skin and Nail Conditions

There are several types of psoriasis that can affect your feet. The kind that is seen most often is the plaque type of psoriasis that can also appear on the skin on other parts of your body. The patches, or plaques, that form on the skin are thick and scaly. They can crack and bleed and be quite painful, especially if they develop on the bottoms of your feet where they receive constant pressure from standing and walking.

Other types of psoriasis that can be found on the feet are pustular varieties, which mean that little, fluid-filled pustules (think small blisters) form on the skin. These can be yellowish or white and will eventually dry out, sometimes leaving a brown stain behind.

Your toenails are technically part of your skin and so it’s not a surprise that nail psoriasis often occurs in patients who have this disease. Pitting and discoloration are signs of psoriatic nails, as is thickening of the nail and separation from the nail bed.

The tricky part of diagnosing psoriasis on the skin and nails of your feet is that the symptoms are similar to those of athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. That’s why it’s important to let one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah, examine your foot if you have any new or unusual skin or nail conditions to get an accurate diagnosis, which will then determine the correct treatment.

Triggers

All types of psoriasis have two components: genes and triggers. In people who have the genetic predisposition to the disease, a trigger is needed to cause a flare up, which basically kicks the production of new skin cells into overdrive, resulting in the plaque and/or pustules. Known triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Injury or trauma to the skin
  • Certain medications
  • Infection

If you are wondering if a skin or nail condition that you are experiencing could be a sign of psoriasis, or if you already know you have the disease and are seeing changes in your feet, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment at your earliest convenience by calling: 732-662-3050.

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