May's Topic of the Month - Taking care of Nails (We want to hear your tips and experiences)

May's Topic of the Month - Taking care of Nails (We want to hear your tips and experiences)

Our 'Topic of the Month' discussion for May is 'Taking care of Nails'.

Quite a few changes can occur with the fingernails and toenails in people who have lupus. They may develop hard lines or ridges on the surface of their nails; the edges of the nails may lift off the underlying skin at the end of the nails; indentations or pits may occur as well as areas of unusual dark or reddish discolouration.

We want to hear if you have any tips for looking after your nails. Have you made a certain change in your diet to improve them? Have you found that treatment has helped or made them worse? Have you needed to see a doctor about your nails?

We would like to hear all of your tips and experiences (good and bad) and we’ll compile them towards the end of the month for an article. Please share in the comments section below, or email

The article itself will be posted on the LUPUS UK Blog at

All submissions will be anonymised.

13 Replies

  • Hi Paul nails often tell us more than we realise. With Psoriasis the nails can become yellow and pitted. Then you have 2 other problems the oil drop pattern which isn't easy to describe but the nail looks as if there is oil under the bed. Finally Oncychoysis where the nail seperates from the bed.

    Then you can have other problems as I'm on Methotrexate the Psoriasis no longer affects my nails. Now I have a row of beau's lines down both thumb nails. You get Beau's lines when your not well so with Lupus I am getting quite a few on both thumbs. Also the nails are twisting too I think that could be due to anaemia.

  • Thank you for sharing this information and your experiences Robin1974. So does the methotrexate keep your psoriasis under control?

  • It does Paul yes MTX in combination with Sulfasalazine is working. Interestingly my new consultant's senior Reg confirmed my suspicions that hydroxy can make Psoriasis worse!

  • Hi Paul

    I take daily steroids and been having problems with fungal nail infections on finger and toenails. One helpful tip is to seek advice from the pharmacist where you get your repeat medication so they know what drugs your on!. There are quite a few OTC preparations for it. I found them very helpful!. I did have to go to my GP about a fingernail I was worried about and took a sample of fingernail with me. They tested it at the hospital who confirmed fungal nail and I was prescribed luceryl ointment which has helped the nail be stronger!. They can take a long time to recover and some don't completely!.

    Hope that's helpful info. X

  • That's a really helpful tip. Thank you misty14.

  • Thanks Paul, glad to help. X

  • Hi Paul,

    I have problems with riding and splitting.

    The thing that bothers me most is that my cuticles are almost permanently a complete mess, it doesn't matter how much cuticle oil or handcream that I use, nothing seems to help. I've had lots of manicures, but nothing makes any difference, they are painful and bleeding most days.

  • Am like creaky: all my life the main issues have been & remain: ridging & splitting & cuticles tearing up through the nail fold giving me bleeding, sores & infections...

    I manage & minimise all these signs & symptoms by frequently moisturising my hands & feet and all my nails in particular. I make sure my vit D levels are good. I try daily to rub pure shea butter into all my cuticles.

    Every 3 weeks I have a skilled, experienced manicurist trim & push back my cuticles & file the ends of my fingers are too numb to manage this sort of fine self-care. I make sure she doesn't file the surface of my nails & apply polish because rheumatology & I need to be able to monitor all the diagnostic signs & symptoms my nails, nail beds & nail folds reveal

    Every 4 weeks I see a podiatry nurse who does the same things for my feet. In particular, she especially checks & trims the corners of my big toe nails, which are very prone to becoming ingrown & infected. This is especially important because my forefeet are so numb due to peripheral neuropathy & small cell vasculitis that injury & infection can go unnoticed

    I like to think the daily oral combined therapy meds rheumatology & immunology have me on are helping to damp down these nail issues...but I suspect that only immunology's daily antibiotics are helping directly (i.e. To minimise infections of any sort: bacterial & fungal)

  • Thank you for sharing your experiences Barnclown. That is very helpful.

  • You're welcome paul 😊

  • I know I'm late to this post but I have recently noticed changes in my nails and nail beds, some of my nails have ridges, one of my thumb nails has sunken in the middle like a little sand bunker in my nail. I also have a brown spot under my big toenail which is due to be investigated... But I'm very concerned as I know being on immunosuppressants opens a lupus sufferer up to other illnesses...including the big C. Sometimes looking into something too much can be a bad thing. As long as you have got enough info to seek an expert, maybe it should be left there... Because you can end up scaring yourself and then find yourself constantly worrying about the worst case scenario. I will keep you up to date on how the investigation goes and what information I get from it. In the mean time I would love more information on proper nail care, because I have never really looked after them and really need to start!

  • Hi Dan30cr,

    Please do keep us updated with how you are getting on.

    You can read lots of information and tips in our blog article here -

  • Saw the dermatologist and she wasn't overly concerned but wanted me to keep an eye on it and then go back in 3 months.

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