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    What is Onycholysis?

    Onycholysis is the separation of a fingernail or toenail from its pink nail bed. The separation occurs gradually and is painless.


    The most common cause of onycholysis is trauma, especially when it is repeated as in daily taping of long fingernails on the keyboard/counter. It can also be due to the use of manicure tools that are pushed beneath the nails to clear the dirt. Other causes include-

    • Fungal infection of nails
    • Skin conditions like allergy and psoriasis
    • Thyroid gland disorders (Hypothyroidism)
    • Iron deficiency anaemia
    • Medications (tetracycline etc.)

    Sign and symptoms

    The bail begins to peel upward off the nail bed underneath and this process is usually painless. The affected nail may become yellow, greenish or white depending upon the underlying cause. Also, the nail plate may have a deformed shape with pits or indentations in the nail surface.


    The diagnosis is usually clinical when the physician will examine the fingernails or toenails. For ascertaining more characteristics, nail surface examination and appearance of skin around the nails must be observed. Investigations will vary depending upon the underlying cause.

    General management

    Treating the underlying condition is the mainstay of treatment. Apart from this, certain general measures need to be followed-

    • Nails must be cut properly to a comfortable length to avoid any repeated trauma
    • Avoid the exposure of the nails to moisture to prevent any fungal infections
    • In the case of skin allergies, avoid getting done procedures like manicures and pedicures

    Warning: Above information provided is an overview of the disease, we strongly recommend a doctor's consultation to prevent further advancement of disease and/or development of complications.

    Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.

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