Onychomadesis - Symptoms, treatments & Onychomadesis in Children


Onychomadesis is known as an occasionally idiopathic disorder which refer to the total loss of the nail starting from proximal end of the nail, without discomfort or swelling, following temporary nail matrix arrest. Gradually, the entire nail gets separated from the nail bed.

Generally, it is caused by the temporary choking of the functions of the nail matrix, i.e. the tissue that the nail protects. It is a type of skin infection caused majorly by a group of fungi named Trichophyton.

Onychomadesis usually originates from an irritation of the lateral nail fold or perhaps because of blisters and hemorrhaging under a nail which has been struck or squeezed.

Doctors generally identify the existence of onychomadesis by scraping the finger nail or toe nail and discovering the form of fungus infection which causes the disease.

The prognosis of onychomadesis is not very good, because some people can always have recurrence after the end of therapy.


There are many causes may relate to onychomadesis, including:

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease.
  • Fungal infections: caused by moist skin or wear gloves, socks or tightly covered shoes.
  • Formation of multiple blisters on the nails.
  • Excessive emotional stress.
  • Kawasaki disease: it is an inflammation of the blood vessels throughout the body which can have consequences like onychomadesis.
  • Paronychia: it is a fungal or bacterial infection at the portion where the nail meets the skin at either the nail bed or the sidelined of the nail in fingers and toenails.
  • Some wrong medication.
  • Radiation treatments.
  • Systemic illness or physical trauma, the nail matrix ceases functioning.
  • Damage to blood vessels.
  • Reduced levels of estrogen in a woman’s body. (hence, onychomadesis is more common in old women.)
  • Diabetes Mellitus.

In addition, public contacts such as pedicure, manicure or in a swimming pool and certain neurological disorders also can cause onychomadesis.


Nails with onychomadesis usually have some symptoms, including:

  • A dull appearance, with white or yellow streaks present on their sides.
  • Become brittle and fragile.
  • Nails begin shedding towards the bottom where the nail bed is situated.
  • At times, the symptoms can be as minor as rashes on the skin or blisters.


The lost toenails often need 2-3 months to regrow, longer than fingernails.

Some treatment options may be helpful to onychomadesis, including:

  • Antifungal medication: it can fasten the process of healing, such as Lamisil, Diflucan, Griseofulvin.
  • Use ointments with urea or halcinonide.
  • Doctors may even remove the bad nails for the sake of patient’s normal use of hands or feet.
  • Avoid moisture.
  • Doctors may recommend not wear socks or shoes during this period.

Onychomadesis in Children

Onychomadesis can also occur in children and usually caused by viruses. Due to the nails can regrow, it is harmless, but the process is prolonged.

Unlike the adult patients, children often cannot afford the pain of dealing the bad nails. At the same time, due to children’s weak immune system, this nail disease can easily attack them.

Causes of onychomadesis in children may include:

  • Hand, foot and mouth disease (It is usually the main cause.)
  • Sometimes children are intolerant or insensitive to drugs and cannot bear their adverse effects.

The symptoms of onychomadesis in children may include:

  • Fever or a constant discomfort.
  • Blisters or rashes appear on hands, feet, and mouth and at times even on butts and groins.
  • Gradually, the infection slowly moves down to the toenails and causes them shedding or rupture.

Please consult your doctors for your treatments.

Keywords: onychomadesis.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.