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What is Pterygium and what causes it?

Pterygium is a disorder that occurs by an overgrowth of the proximal nail fold on to the nail bed. In severe cases the nail plate is eventually replaced with scar-like tissue. The condition typically effects the nail matrix, nail bed and nail plate but sometimes all parts of the nail unit are involved.

Two types of the condition can occur – Dorsal or Ventral. Dorsal pterygium is seen at the proximal nail fold and ventral pterygium at the hyponychium known as inverse or ventral pterygium.

Common causes of the condition include systemic immune disorders, traumatisation, chemical burns and injuries.

Who does it affect?

Anyone but ventral pterygium is more common in women.

How can nail technicians help?

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment or cure for the condition. Nail technicians can perform a professional and safe manicure providing care is taken. When ventral pterygium occurs, the hyponychium area can become very sensitive, or even painful, for the client.

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