Is It Psoriasis, Eczema, or Toenail Fungus?

It can be hard to admit we have a rather embarrassing problem. When you look down and see white chalkiness on your nail, you may tell yourself anything not to fess up to what it could be… a toenail fungus infection! To be sure, you’re best off asking a podiatrist to perform a nail culture, but we’ve got a few tips to help you figure out what might be causing your foot abnormality.

Tow Paint

Probably not fungus, but you still may want to get checked out. Image from


Psoriasis is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental, genetic, and immune factors. It is commonly found in patients who have psoriasis on other parts of the body, such as the scalp, chest, and hands. Older people are more likely to suffer from this condition. Visible signs range from salmon patches on the skin to translucent yellow-red discoloration in the nail bed. The most notable symptom is the pitting and ridging of the nail — so it looks lumpy, rather than smooth. Severe psoriasis may cause holes to form in the nails.

psoriasis of the nail

Psoriasis of the nail often appears like lumps and pits. Image Source:


Eczema may result from genetic factors, stress, handling irritants, frequent immersion in water, or contact allergies. Patients of all ages can get this condition, but it usually doesn’t progress to the nail unless the patient has had a longstanding history of eczema. The nails become thick, discolored, and ridged.

nail eczema

Ridges and a reddened discoloration are common among eczema of the nail sufferers. Image Source:

Toenail Fungus

Unlike the other two chronic conditions, toenail fungus is caused by an infectious organism picked up from the environment. It causes the nails to noticeably thicken and turn yellow. In the worst cases, the edges of the nail become chalky and crumble. About 12% of the American population suffers from this condition, which is especially true of the elderly.

minor toenail fungus

Minor toenail fungus is evident at the top of this big toe. Image Source:

About SteriShoe

Unfortunately, no matter which nail condition you have, you will need patience during treatment. You will need to wait for the old, contaminated nail to grow out and the fresh, healthy nail to grow in. Your doctor will likely prescribe an oral or topical treatment to help with your toenail condition. Laser therapy can help with toenail fungus as well.

We developed the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to help people diagnosed with toenail fungus. Eczema and psoriasis do not pose as much of a public health threat, since they seem to be more genetic or allergy-related. On the other hand, toenail fungus is something you can pass on to others. It makes no sense to treat nail fungus and stick your feet into a contaminated shoe again. Our UV light device goes inside your shoes and kills up to 99.9% of the fungus, yeast, bacteria and viruses lingering there, so you can have peace of mind during treatment.

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