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What is Onychomadesis and what causes it?

Onychomadesis is a proximal nail plate separation from the nail matrix and nail bed. There are a spectrum of conditions and diseases which may cause the condition. From severe infections and matrix traumatisation, to systemic diseases, drugs and chronic skin pathologies and bruised nails.

The condition begins when the matrix stops producing nail plate cells. In most adult cases it happens due to the sudden loss of blood supply to the matrix. For example, with a bruised nail, severe nail infection or an e-file manicure when the matrix area is injured. The matrix drops the nail which sounds painful but in most cases of onychomadesis this is painless.

Who does it affect?

Anyone – particularly children as well as individuals with allergies to the nail products. Clients of manicure salons who use improper techniques and perform e-file manicures have also recently been identified.

How can we help?

No special treatment is required from the nail technician, other than to advise the client to consult a doctor. When the separation occurs, and the cavity from the proximal side of the nail is deep, an antiseptic solution can be applied.

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