Onycholysis – Separation of the nail from the nailbed

Definition: Separation of the nail from nail bed.

Causes: Observed in psoriasis (also pitting of nails), hyperthyroidism, nail mycoses (fungal infection), trauma and iatrogenic (tetracycline therapy).

Examination: Examine the patient’s hands carefully. Onycholysis is characterised by proximal separation of nail from nail bed. This allows debris to collect under the nail which is inaccessible to removal.