Also Known As:

Nail Separation

What is Onycholysis?

Onycholysis is a medical condition in which the nail separates from the nail bed. It usually starts at the tip of the nail and extends towards the base of the nail. The separated part appears white in color and is more prone to infections.


Onycholysis can be caused by various factors, including:
• Trauma or injury to the nail
• Fungal infections
• Psoriasis or eczema
• Allergic reactions to nail products such as nail polish or acrylic nails
• Medications such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones
• Thyroid problems
• Raynaud’s disease
• Iron deficiency anemia
• Pregnancy
• Skin cancer


The most common symptom of onycholysis is the separation of the nail from the nail bed.
Other symptoms may include:
• White or yellowish discoloration of the nail
• Thickening of the nail
• Brittleness and crumbling of the nail
• Foul odor from the affected nail
• Pain or discomfort in the affected nail
• Inflammation or redness around the nail

Diagnosis & Treatment

A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose onycholysis through a physical examination and a medical history. In some cases, a nail biopsy may be necessary.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of onycholysis.
Some treatment options include:
• Antifungal medication for fungal infections
• Topical or oral corticosteroids for psoriasis or eczema
• Changing or discontinuing the use of nail products
• Treating any underlying medical conditions such as thyroid problems or anemia
• Protecting the affected nail from further trauma or injury
• Surgery to remove the affected nail in severe cases

Additional Information

Onycholysis can affect any nail on the body, but it is most common in the fingernails. People who frequently expose their nails to water or chemicals are at a higher risk of developing onycholysis.

Onycholysis is a medical condition that can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infections. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of onycholysis to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Prevention measures can also be taken to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

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Published Date:

29th March 2019


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