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This Man’s Pitted Nails Turned Out to Be Psoriasis

The tiny dents had been developing over three years—and doctors diagnosed him with psoriasis.

This is what psoriasis looks like—on your nails.

Most people familiar with the chronic skin condition know that psoriasis causes trademark red, itchy, scaly buildups called plaques. But a new case report in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) highlights one of the less common symptoms of psoriasis: nail pitting.

In the report, Juan A. Moreno-Romero, MD and Ramon Grimalt, MD of Barcelona detail the case of a 28-year-old, unnamed male patient who showed up at a dermatology clinic to discuss changes to his fingernails that had been developing over three years. He had small depressions, also called pits, and yellow discoloration across the nails of both hands.

Turns out, he also had scaly plaques on his elbows and knees, and his doctors diagnosed him with psoriasis, which is thought to affect up to 3% of people worldwide, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. The autoimmune disease usually first appears between ages 15 and 25, according to the NPF, although anyone can get it at any age.

Read on: This Man's Pitted Nails Turned Out to Be Psoriasis

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