How to Determine If You Have Onycholysis: Top Symptoms and Diagnosis

Onycholysis, is a nail disease where the nail plate is separating from the nail bed.  In this instance, the nail serves as a lever which seems to be separating away from the skin.

Onycholysis happens because of, or along with different varieties of nail traumas and disorders.

If the tips of your nails on fingers or toes lift off the bed, that may indicate onycholysis. The change may be gradual and painless, but could become painful in time if the condition takes a turn for the worse.

Photo by Shutterstock
Photo by Shutterstock

Nails should be of normal thickness.  Nails that lift and separate from the nail bed could allow dirt and debris from the nail’s protein to accumulate under the nails and also make it easy to collect water under the nails, become moist causing infection to set in.

It has been linked to numerous mechanical and chemical causes, including systematic and skin diseases and the medications that are used to treat them.  There is no single cause to point to,  for this nail condition.

Anyone may be affected, however children are less affected than adults, and records show that women seem to be at more risk than men.

The good news is that, due to medical research, most nails will re-attach in time with correct diagnosis and elimination of the cause.  Therefore, when the diagnosis is made and the patient is treated, it may take up to six months for the nails to re-attach, and depending on the severity of the lifting. Toenails may take twice as long.  BUT remember, early diagnosis AND early treatment is the MOST vital factor towards cure for onycholysis!

How to determine if your nails show symptoms of having onycholysis?