Psoriasis is a
common, chronic, and recurrent inflammatory disease of the skin. It is
characterized by round, reddish, dry scaling patches covered by grayish white
or silvery white scales. The lesions have a predilection for the nails, scalp,
elbows, shins and feet. On the feet, it can be difficult to distinguish it from
athlete’s foot and the nail appearance may be confused with fungal infections
of the toenails. The nail appearance does have a unique characteristic; it may
have a pitting appearance. A characteristic feature of the condition is
pinpoint bleeding when the scaled areas are brushed off. A variant of psoriasis
is called pustular psoriasis. This form of the disease is characterized by
small pustules or blisters filled with clear or cloudy fluid. This can mimic
acute athlete’s foot. It characteristically does not itch or burn. It is
distinguished from athlete's foot by negative fungal cultures. The picture can
become confusing because a secondary fungal infection is possible. In this instance
both conditions are present at the same time.
also affect the joints of the feet and lower extremities causing a painful
arthritis. X-rays will show characteristic erosions of the bones in the toes.
Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, and other
medications specific for the treatment of psoriasis.