What is Onychatrophia – Causes and Treatment

What is Onychatrophia?

When a fully grown nail is atrophied, it loses its shine; loses healthy look, starts to shrink in size, and may eventually falls away. This condition is called Onychatrophia and also known as atrophy. There are number of degrees of onychatrophia condition. An individual can have only one nail that has atrophied. However, this condition can never worsen because the condition was identified and treated as soon as possible. On the other hand, many times the primary cause of Onychatrophia is continuing and harmful for the nails and hence a person may lose all his/her nails.

Even the onychatrophia condition affects both women and men; this condition is not just limited to adults. Infants and Children can be suffer from, or born with, diseases that cause nails to onychatrophia. Onychatrophia is not likely to cause discomfort or pain. Internal diseases may cause onychatrophia or nail atrophy condition.


What are the Symptoms of Onychatrophia?

  • Discoloration
  • Nail detachment
  • Shrinkage of the nail
  • Formation of pus
  • Distorted shape of the nail

Onychatrophia disorder can affect both toenails and fingernails. It involves total or partial shrinkage of toenails and fingernails. If Onychatrophia is caused by an underlying disorder, treating the disorder may assist in the re-growth of the toenails and fingernails.

What are the Causes of Onychatrophia or nail atrophy?

Nail atrophy or Onychatrophia can be caused due to the following:

Nail atrophy or Onychatrophia may be caused by nail disease, skin disease, or other underlying diseases. Nail atrophy will not confuse with anonychia which is a result of congenital condition, where the toenails and fingernails does not develop.

This condition can be caused by contact, damage or impact with chemicals, but if onychatrophia is found on both finger nails and toe nails it is generally caused by a more various health condition. If this condition is accompanied by rashes or scabs across the body you need to immediate check medical attention because it is a sign of deadly skin disorder. If your skin appears fine then it could be caused by a long time untreated psoriasis or thyroid problem.

We don’t really understand why guys bite their nails. Of course, before clippers were discovered, teeth helped the role in maintenance of body, but extra chomping is likely a comfort gesture such as sucking of thumb.

Treatment of Onychatrophia

If you have nail shrinkage you need to meet a dermatologist quickly as it can be a sign of other underlying disorder. Your dermatologist can conduct tests to recognize the disease and correctly treat it.

Onychatrophia can be an indication of skin disease, a bacterial or fungal infection, or other health issue. You can consult a dermatologist if you observe signs of nail distortion, atrophy, and nail shrinkage, followed by the nail falling off.

A dermatologist may require diagnosing what is causing the problem in order to recommend a treatment. This can include

  • Ointments
  • Anti-fungal creams
  • Antibiotics etc.

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