Onycholysis is a diseases whose symptoms appear as the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed on your fingers and toes. But that is not the full definition. The separation must be gradual and must be painless. Onycholysis can happen due to a number of reasons including trauma, onychomycosis or fungal infection in the nails. Onycholysis is generally seen in adulthood and might be symptomatic of other skin diseases or infections, allergic contact to some compounds like acrylic nail products, consequence of an injury, or hyperactive thyroid glands.
Onycholysis disease is not restricted to any one sex but generally women are more prone to it specially those who keep long fingernails. Actually long fingernails result in its tip being hit against hard objects repeatedly. It is also seen that the affected nails don’t show any skin inflammation and the finger nail remains firm and smooth. It is simply because onycholysis is not a disease of the nails tissue matrix.
It is actually very easy to spot Onycholysis nail disease. You’ll find that the nail lifts itself from its bed and there is a gap between the pink portion of the nail and the white outside edge of the finger nail.
Click to see the picture
One way of determining Onycholysis has set in to check for signs of discoloration underneath the nail since this may occur as a result of secondary infection. The painless and spontaneous separation of the nail plate starts at the distal free margin and gradually progresses proximally. That actually signifies secondary infection making the situation more serious. Secondary infections might also result in the deformation of the shape of the nail plate and appearance of pits and indentations in the nail surface.
Larger portion of the nail may become opaque, get whitened or discolored to yellow or green and this calls for medical attention.
*Trauma e.g. excessive manicuring
*Infection: especially fungal
*Skin disease: psoriasis, dermatitis
*Impaired peripheral circulation e.g. Raynaud’s
*Systemic disease: hyper- and hypothyroidism, reactive arthritis
Diagnosing Onycholysis is simple and straight forward. To diagnose Onycholysis you must examine closely your fingernails and the toenails for nail plate separation, opacity and discoloration and effects the disease might have on the peripheral skin surrounding your nails and toes. If you feel that something is wrong but can’t make a clear diagnostic, you need to go see your doctor or physician who would look for and diagnose for other symptoms and search for other symptomatic signs of the disease such as skin appearance around your nails or the appearance of indentations in the surface or the color and shape of the nails. Doctors search for sign of rashes on the skin or even check for related symptoms linked to thyroid problems. If the diagnostic suspicious of your doctor leans towards fungal infection, some tissues from beneath your nail plate might be scraped out for further testing.
Treatment usually involves tackling the underlying cause, such as a fungal infection.
Nail changes aren’t usually permanent, but they can take many months to resolve, even after treatment.
*Some of the remedial measures one can take for Onycholysis at home include regular trimming of nails to ensure they remain short and clean (manageable too) and using a skin softening hand cream to nourish the nails and hands.
*If Onycholysis has set in due to nail biting, picking or tearing, the person can consider seeking psychological counseling to get the necessary encouragement and guidance to underlying problems to stop this behavior.
*Persons suffering from Onycholysis should wear light cotton gloves under vinyl gloves for wet work and avoid keeping their hands immersed for prolonged periods in water.
*If Onycholysis has set in on the feet, one should avoid wearing tight shoes and trim the nails straight across the top only.
What you can do is to take some preventive steps to avoid the occurrence of onycholysis. You can start with avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals like nail polish remover. You would do well to wear cotton gloves or rubber gloves while immersing your nails in water repeatedly. Nails expand when it is moisten and shrinks when it dries. And yes, clip your nails at the affected portion and try to keep your nails short to avoid further trauma from getting damaged everyday.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose
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