Health Questions and Answers

Question: What is onychodystrophy? With which diseases is it associated?


Separation of the nail plate, usually beginning at the free margin and progressing proximally, is called onychodystrophy. Both systemic and local processes are associated with this finding, including hypo- and hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, syphilis, trauma (particularly clawing), psoriasis, SLE, atopic dermatitis, eczema, use of solvents (including nail hardeners), and mycotic, pyogenic, or viral infections.

Reference: Domonkos AN, et al: Diseases of the skin appendages. In Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology, 7th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1982, pp 930-984.

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