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Classification and external resources
Onycholysis left hand 34yo male ring and little fingers non-fungal.jpg
Left hand onycholysis: ring and little fingers affected
ICD-10 L60.1
ICD-9 703.8
DiseasesDB 9236
MeSH D054039

Onycholysis refers to the detachment of the nail from the nail bed, starting at its distal and/or lateral attachment.[1] It is said to occur particularly on the ring finger but can occur on any of the fingernails. The most common cause of onycholysis is psoriasis. It can also occur in thyrotoxicosis and is thought to be due to sympathetic overactivity.[2] It may also be seen in infections or trauma.[3]


Onycho-, from Ancient Greek ónuks, meaning nail, and Ancient Greek lúsis, meaning a loosening.


  • Idiopathic
  • Trauma , excessive manicuring
  • Infection: especially fungal
  • Skin disease: psoriasis, dermatitis
  • Impaired peripheral circulation e.g. Raynaud's
  • Systemic disease: hyper- and hypothyroidism, reactive arthritis, porphyria cutanea tarda
  • Sometimes a reaction to detergents (e.g. washing dishes with bare hands, using detergent-based shampoos or soaps).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Freedberg; et al. (2003). Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 660. ISBN 0-07-138076-0. 
  2. ^ Talley&O'Connor (2006). Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis (5th ed.). Elsevier. p. 262. ISBN 0-7295-3762-5. 
  3. ^ Weber&Kelley (2010). Health Assessment in Nursing (4th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health and Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-7817-8160-2.