Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Onycholysis is a common disease affecting the nails. Characterized by the splitting of the nail plate, the formation of voids under it. The tip of the nail often takes the form of a crescent, changes color to blue-white, yellow or brown. What to do and how to cure the disease at home? Is it possible to quickly get rid of the unpleasant “hood” on the nails?

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

General information

Onycholysis can occur in people of any age group and gender. Often affects adults, but cases of the disease are recorded in children. A defect is more common in women than in men. The photo gives a complete picture of the disease. Pregnant women, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients are at risk.

Symptoms of pathology

The nail plate is a solid substance that covers and protects the upper part of the fingers and toes. When the nail begins to flake off and detach from the nail bed, the raised part looks white as air appears between them. The border of the empty zone is uneven.

This nail disease causes discomfort and can be very painful. In the event of an infection being added, the pain can worsen significantly, causing problems when walking or eating. When water, keratin particles, and dirt get under the nail, a fungal or bacterial infection may occur. The plate thus becomes yellowish, brittle, with a rough surface. If the pathology in time does not begin to heal, then this can lead to an abscess (suppuration) of the nail bed.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Causes of Onycholysis

A number of factors can lead to the development of onycholysis. We list the main ones:

  • Injury. Improper nail care or mechanical damage often leads to a lifting of the nail plate.
  • Narrow, uncomfortable shoes, which makes the legs for a long time in a squeezed state and, moreover, to sweat.
  • Hyperactivity of the thyroid gland. Increased thyroid function can affect the progression of the disease.
  • Iron deficiency. Lack of iron and other trace elements in the body is one of the causes of nail disease.
  • Skin diseases. Dermatological diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis contribute to onycholysis. Usually, patients with the skin around the nail and cuticle become dry and scaly, sometimes thickens.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

  • Some laundry detergents, chemicals, including nail polish, can be allergenic to the skin and cause harsh symptoms, causing the nail to peel off and separate from soft tissue.
  • Moisture. The separation of the nail from the bed can occur from prolonged exposure to water on the skin.
  • Medications.  Onycholysis may result from a side effect from the use of certain drugs (antibiotics and fluoroquinolones). Because of this, small white marks may appear on the nails, rapidly progressing.
  • Overweight, which creates an additional burden on the lower limbs.

Diagnosis of the disease

Onycholysis can be detected on the basis of a physical examination, as well as through laboratory tests. A dermatologist takes a sample of the particles of the damaged nail and carries out a KOH test on it (fungal analysis). This test helps to quickly identify the causative agent of the disease and prescribe an effective treatment.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

How to treat onycholysis

Here are some of the methods that you can use at home to treat this pathology.

Gently trim the nail

Carefully trim the raised part of the nail and wait until it grows back. It will also prevent the entry of foreign particles under the nail, which can cause inflammation. Try not to touch the nail bed, as this can make it more susceptible to infections. Until the nail grows, the doctor may prescribe antimicrobial drugs, analgesics, and other medicines.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Avoid exposure to aggressive chemicals.

Change the washing powder, detergents, other “chemicals”, including nail polish, if you feel irritation on the skin in the nail plate after their use.

Keep your nails short

Long nails are more often injured; therefore it is better to trim them at least for the period of treatment.

Choose comfortable shoes to fit

As mentioned above, cramped and poor-quality shoes provoke the development of onycholysis. Buy models that provide enough legroom.

Avoid excessive moisture.

Yeast infection occurs in people who too often come into contact with water. They should use preparations for treating and drying the skin, such as Castellani liquid (or fukortsin). Apply a little of this product around the nails and between the toes to prevent infection.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

A positive result is observed when using 2 times a day bath with sea salt without impurities and flavors. Take 1 tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Processing the nails with tea tree oil twice a day, as well as with iodine solution has a good healing effect.

Onycholysis: Causes And Treatment

Usually, home procedures are enough to get rid of this disease, but if an infection has joined, then it is best to consult a doctor for professional medical help. The specialist may prescribe an ointment (Solcoseryl, Levomikol, Sintomitsin emulsion, Vishnevsky ointment) that improve the healing of tissues and eliminate microbial infections, as well as antifungal agents in the form of a cream or liquid.

If you or someone in your family has an onycholysis, it is advisable to start treatment as soon as possible. So you prevent complications in the future. We hope that our advice will help you cope with the disease and find healthy nails!


The writer of this article, currently manages his own blog moment for life and spread happiness and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one.

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