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Onycholysis

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The Geek

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Simply put; Onycholysis is a relatively common nail disorder in its mild form where the natural nail plate lifts and separates from the natural nail bed. It is not an infection, but a disorder. So then why is there so much confusion over what it really is?

The Bed Epithelium

The Bed Epithelium is a type of Epidermis (non living tissue) that closely resembles the lining on the inside of your gob. This tissue gets shed from the distal end of the matrix and becomes fused with the bottom layer of nail plate cells as they form. Because of this, this skin grows out with the natural nail plate.
This skin is very funky and unique in the way that it has small "rail" like formations that end up running the length of the natural nail until the nail plate becomes the free edge. At this point the Bed Epithelium is referred to as "the Solehorn cuticle" until it generally dries up and sheds off.

The Dermis

The dermis is considered to be the nail bed as it contains the many capillaries that feed the tissue and give the nail body is pink colouration. The dermis is living tissue as it contains nerve endings, blood supply, etc...
One funky characteristic about the dermis is that it fits with the Epithelium ridges in a "tongue in groove" fashion.

If the Bed Epithelium ridges pop out o the Dermal grooves, you get Onycholysis.

The condition

Onycholysis is characterised by an abnormal looking free edge, or a free edge that looks as if it is growing back toward the cuticle area.


It can be caused by:
  • Trauma
    i.e. Catching the nail in a pickle slicer.
  • Mechanical force
    i.e. Nippers, using metal implements to clean under the nail, Jedi Knights that fix x-wing fighters.
  • Abrasive Burns
    i.e. Playing quest for fire while blending in a tip. The Bed Epithelium has been know to heat up to 107 degrees to 150 degrees while filing on the natural nail plate. This can scar the Bed Epithelium and promote Onycholysis.
  • Some nail conditions
    i.e. Chronic Onycholysis is often a symptom of nail Psoriasis.
The key concern


The key concern about this type of condition is two fold:
  • There is an open body cavity.
  • Loss of natural nail plate and damage to the matrix
An open body cavity means that there is an opening into the body that pathogens could possibly infect.
Though this is rare, it is a possibility. The real concern is for forming a Fungal infection though this too is fortunately very rare. Check out the novel on Moldy and Fun Guy.

The concern over the loss of the natural nail plate or damage to the matrix could only occur if the Onycholysis is very extreme.
The natural nail plate would have to separate completely back to the matrix in order for this to occur. If the Onycholysis looks severe or is chronic: always err on the side of caution, use your professional discretion and refer them to a Derm.

Shall I freak if I see Onywhatchacallit?


As long as the Onycholysis is minor, here are the steps I would recommend you take.
  • Avoid Soaking off the nail enhancement, Picking off, or using the tooth removal method.
    These techniques can make the condition significantly worse.
  • Shorten the length of the enhancement.
    Quite a bit o Onycholysis is caused by excessive length of the enhancements. The longer the enhancement, the more stress is applied to the nail bed when the enhancement is put under pressure.
  • Thin down the enhancement
    Keep the affected nail clean and pampered
    This of course doesn't mean pouring Weed Killer under the nail, or cleaning under the nail with a wire brush. It simply means to keep the are clean from debris and to be conscious of the condition as it grows out.
    The client should wear gloves and try to stay out of strong solvents or detergents as these can dry the Bed Epithelium out worsening the condition.
  • Do not attempt to re-adhere the plate to the bed using Adhesive, Blue tack, or Duct Tape.
The only cure for Onycholysis is time. As the nail plate continues to grow, the condition should gradually get better.
If the condition is chronic, or worsens with time: Refer to a Derm.
 

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pinkbabi

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My mum has had one for years now, It has now gone nearly to the bottom of here nails, I told her to go to the Dr, 4 years ago, (when I first did my training and found out what it was) He told her not to worry about it, but it is awful, and from the way it is going I think in the next few years she will loose the nail, its horrible now as she often get rubbish under it, so it is ofter dicoloured!! Great helping DR!!
 

The Geek

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She needs another opinion (IMO ;) )
 

madferrit

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just read this and got to the bit
"dont clean under nail with wire brush" UGH !!! nearly puked!! Shame on you Sam.......i know anaemia can be culprit of onycholysis as my thumb nail came clean off !!! new nail was already growing (thank the heavens)but ever since it has had longitudinal ridges.
 

Jewsey

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this condition is awful i myself have had this for about a year now and unfortunately it still has not got any better, i hope i dont suffer from this for 4 years im missing my enhancements so much!

jules x
 

nail2heart

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i am so glad a thread was started about this,i generally refuse to do clients who come for the first time with this condition and refer them to a derma.i do not want to be held responsible for further damage to a clients nail.this thread has really helped thank u.



Florentina Alexander
Nail2heart@yahoo.com
Nails At Last
 

datgirltwista

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i got that on my toes thumb
because of some sneakers that were pushing too hard on the top of my nails
i was almost done with it but i had to wear these damn sneakers again and then it came back :confused:
 

starrinc

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what is the remedy ?
 

Hannah1984

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I got this on my little finger nail as a training tech overfiled. I have been using solar oil 2 or 3 times a day and it is nearly gone.
 

nailzoo

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i have seen many cases where this has been caused by technicians using way too much primer and it runs under the free edge, aslo a product called Dr G's claims to treat this condition to a certain degree
 

loualarta

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Prionace

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Thank for the article, i've read it before but now it was really helpful that i could refer to it. This is what the salongeek is all about! This site rocks!
I have i client showing this condition, the treatment is exactly what i thought in the first place, but just wanted to be sure. I'm almost sure this has to do with her using very powerfull detergents without gloves...
 

aj1

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Does this happen on women with natural nails? I have a natural nail client with what looks like this.

Thanks,
aj
 

JDs

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I have a client whos thumbnail is complelty seperated all except one small area that runs along one side from front to back. She has psorisis on her whole body, face, arms, legs, back etc and we finally figured out that it has now gone to her thumb nail bed. She wears UV gels except on this nail.
We have tried anything and everything to help it but so far nothing has helped. It isn't getting worse nor is it getting better.
 

dunlaplori

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I have ran across this disorder from time to time in my many years as a manicurist. Usually , as suggested above, it involves only one nail and self resolves with growth. One client however had this condition chronically. I knew she had successfully worn enhancements for years , so I accepted her as a regular client. Never had a problem working over this. The lifting of her nails involved all of her nails-some of which had lifted 3/4 of the nail. Pretty odd looking. Her nails were inherantly strong and so they supported the enhancement well. I just wanted to add my experience even though this thread is old. Maybe it will help someone.
 
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Belle Vie

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just wanted to add that this can also occur as a result of dermatitis as I've recently discovered. My dermatologist has advised soaking in a solution of 50/50 vinegar and cooled boiled water to prevent any fungal infection occurring, obviously check with your own specialist first.
 

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