What is Onycholysis?
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.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Onycholysis:
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. In addition, most of the nail turns opaque and loses its natural coloration. There might also be discoloration of the nails to yellow or green. 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.
How to diagnose Onycholysis?
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.
What is the treatment and cure for Onycholysis?
Treatment would certainly be slow as the nail grows very slowly. The nail which has detached itself can’t be reattached. The only way to go is to let fresh nails grow and replace it. You should also keep in mind one thing. It is very difficult to cure and most often it leaves permanent marks on the nail. It might permanently change its appearance.
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.