Nails That Lift and Separate? It’s Onycholysis!

(Photo Credit :
(Photo Credit :

What if you suddenly find a few of your nail tips has started to change into opaque white or yellowish?  Then later they began to lift and seem to separate from your nail bed?

“Nothing to worry about,” says one of my friends.  “They’re just fingernails; I’m not vain.”

Some people just shrug their shoulders and think nothing more of it because the change has been gradual, painless and not bothersome.

True.  They may not be causing any pain, and probably not causing discomfort or delay in one’s line of work, but…is there really NO CAUSE for alarm?

Think again.

It could be one of the most common conditions which affects the nail –  onycholysis, which is the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed wherein the nail acts as a lever which seems to be prying itself away from your skin.  This nail condition usually occurs as a result of or along with a great variety of nail traumas and disorders.

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

You see, nails should  be of normal thickness and shouldn’t lift and separate from the nail bed.  Nails should have a healthy hue of light pink color, with no stains, lines, cracks or any other irregularity.  If your nails seem to lift and separate from the nail bed, that change 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, make it  moist  and cause infection to set in.  It’s worth your attention NOT to let worse become worst.

Onycholysis has been linked to multiple mechanical and chemical causes as well as skin and systematic diseases and the medications used to treat them.  There is no single cause for this nail disorder.

Who are prone to this condition?  Anyone may be affected, but adults are more often affected than children, and records show that women seem to be at more risk than men.

The good news is that, due to advancing medical research, most nails re-attach in time with proper diagnosis and correction of the cause. So, as soon as the diagnosis is made and the client is treated, it can take anywhere from three to six months for the nails to re-attach, depending on the extent of the lifting. Toenails may take twice as long.

JUST REMEMBER though: early diagnosis AND early treatment is the MOST vital factor towards cure for onycholysis!