Is your fingernail turning white or yellow at the distal part – it could be nail onycholysis!

September 9, 2009


Onycholysis is the detachment of the fingernail from the nail bed.

Onycholysis usually starts at the distal part and is featured with a discoloration of the nail plate.



What is onycholysis?

Onycholysis concerns the (painless) loosening of the nail plate from the nail bed. This nail condition is usually featured with a changing color in the distal part of fingernail – often turning whitish (white nails) or yellowish (yellow nails), reflecting the presence of air under the fingernail plate.

What causes onycholysis?

Onycholysis is often a harmless nail condition caused by a nail trauma/injury – in general you can reduce the risk for having this nail condition by keeping your nails short (and dry)!

Less common causes of onycholysis are:

Skin conditions, such as psoriasis or lichen planus;
Medical conditions, such as thyroid dysfunction;
Fungal infections;
Side-effects of medication;
Adverse effects of chemicals, such as nail polish remover;
Prolonged immersion in water.

What is the treatment for onycholysis?

The treatment for onlycholysis is simple when caused by a nail trauma/injury: trim the nail short, do not clean under the nail, and be patient. It generally takes 2 to 3 months to clear up.

In other cases you must try to ‘tackle’ the cause.

Onycholysis – also known as a ‘loosening nail plate’

PHOTO – An example of ‘onycholysis’ featured with various colors:

Onycholysis - loosening of fingernails.

Find the cause of your nail problem in 3 steps!
Common disorders in the fingernail & toe nail!
Koilonychia – causes + treatment of the ‘spoon nail’
Leukonychia – having ‘white spots’ on your fingernails (white nails)

One Response to “Is your fingernail turning white or yellow at the distal part – it could be nail onycholysis!”

  1. […] in fingernails is often due to artificial nails! • Onychomycosis in the hands of children! • Onycholysis – when fingernails turn white or yellow at the distal part of the nail plate Posted in fingernails, nail, nail disorders | Tagged artificial nails, chronic, foot, […]

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