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A case of nail pitting in Psoriasis reported in NEJM

A case of nail pitting in Psoriasis reported in NEJM

A case of nail pitting in Psoriasis has appeared in NEJM. The case has been reported by Dr Juan A. Moreno-Romero, at Hospital Universitari General de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain and colleagues.

Nail involvement is an extremely common feature of psoriasis and affects approximately 10-78% of psoriasis patients with 5-10% of patients having isolated nail psoriasis. However, it is often an overlooked feature in the management of nail psoriasis, despite the significant burden it places on the patients as a result of functional impairment of manual dexterity, pain, and psychological stress. Affected nail plates often thicken and crumble, and because they are very visible, patients tend to avoid normal day-to-day activities and social interactions.

According to history, a  28-year-old man presented to the dermatology clinic with fingernail changes that had developed over a period of 3 years. Examination revealed multiple small depressions (pits) in the surface of the nails on both hands, with yellow discolouration of the distal nail. Scaly, erythematous plaques were also present on the extensor surfaces of both elbows and both knees. The patient had no joint tenderness, swelling, or stiffness.

A clinical diagnosis of psoriasis was made. Nail changes are common in patients with psoriasis. Signs of psoriasis in the nails include discoloration (e.g., areas of yellow or pink discoloration known as oil-drop discoloration or salmon patches), onycholysis, subungual hyperkeratosis, nail plate crumbling, and splinter hemorrhages. Other conditions in which nail pitting can be seen include alopecia areata, eczematous dermatitis, and traumatic occupational injury.

Isolated pits can develop in normal nails. In this patient, a high-potency glucocorticoid in nail lacquer was initiated, and cutaneous psoriasis was treated with a combination of topical vitamin D analogue and a glucocorticoid. At follow-up 6 months after the initiation of treatment, the patient’s nail pitting and skin plaques had abated and joint involvement had not developed.

For more details click on the link: DOI: 10.1056/NEJMicm1803217

Source: With inputs from NEJM

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