A woman sits surrounded by colorful nail polish bottles

The Psoriatic Nail Experience

Last updated: February 2023

Our hands are the gateway to how we get things done. We use them for, well, everything. And our feet? Well, we use them to get there. Attached to these valuable appendages are our nails.

Psoriasis is noted for its raised and itchy skin. I don't need to tell you, it's so much more. Especially when it comes to the psoriatic nail experience. Our ails can get thick, pitted and they just seem to look dirty all the time.


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How my nails make me feel

What my nails look like and how I feel about them have always been a sensitive piece of my psoriatic disease management. The hands are what people see first and I see how people look at them.

Should I care what people think? No, probably not. But my appearance is important to me and the way these conditions impact my nails? I really do not like the way it makes me feel.

Gel nail polish

I really like the look of a gel finish. It's so smooth and the colors are beautiful. The first time I had gel polish on my nails, I was so excited. They looked lovely - for about a week.

Now, I am not sure if it is the texture of my nails since psoriasis has made my nail beds their home but the gel did not adhere to my nails properly. The gel set should have lasted at least 4 weeks. By the end of two weeks, my nails start chipping and coming off. What a pity!

I tried various types of gel polish, I tried different salons, and it just never took. That was the end of me and the gel polish.

Let's try acrylic nails

After some personal research and chatting to a lot of people who use an acyclic finish to cover up their nail psoriasis, I decided to give it a try.

Hoping to yield better results. I found a reputable salon and explained my nails to the beautician. And so we did our first set of acrylic nails. I adored them, beautiful and sleek.

A few days later I realise that they are too long for me, so I went back and had them shortened. Two weeks later, my nails were still painful and due to the acrylic, I was unable to see what was happening underneath.

A few weeks later, I could not handle it anymore, the pain was not going away and these tips and acrylic finish needed to come off. Two and a half hours is the time it took to get the finish off. Oh man, when it was all finally off, my heart was broken, my nails were wrecked. Totally ruined.

The last nail, my left thumb took almost 30minutes to get off it was so painful underneath. My nails were thin and tearing and one nail was totally destroyed, with what seems to be an infection underneath. I was honestly so sad about it.


Not only did the cover-up of my nails not work, but it also made my nails worse. It has left me feeling rather miserable and without hope for ever having nice nails again. Being aware that it sounds quite vain, but for me, having put together pretty nails, well, it just made me feel better about myself. Alas, that is not what is for me.

So here I sit with my pitted and broken nails, wondering what I will do next.

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