Onycholysis, is the medical term for when the nail detaches itself from the nail bed underneath. Once a nail detaches from a nail bed, it will not reattach. Instead, a new nail will grow back. This can take up to 18 months for a toenail, and about 6 months for a fingernail.
There are many reasons why a nail may separate (detach/lift) from the nail bed, some examples include:
It is advisory to see a podiatrist if you don’t feel comfortable cutting your own nails, especially if you have certain health conditions such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, or a suppressed immune system. These conditions can cause loss of sensation or impaired circulation to the lower limb.
If nail injuries are left untreated, it can lead to infections, ulcers and other serious complications.
This depends on how damaged the nail is. If the whole nail is detached from the nail bed underneath, then nothing can be done to reattach, repair, or even replace the nail.
If adjacent tissues, nail matrix, proximal nail fold or the nail bed is damaged, it could result in scarring.
If a part of the nail is still stuck to the nail bed, it should be left intact. However, if a portion of the nail is loose and detached from the nail bed it should be removed.
Treatments provided by a podiatrist include:
The podiatrist will give advice on how to prevent infection e.g. by keeping the nail dry and ways to promote healing.
Provided the nail matrix and nail bed is not damaged, the nail should grow back normally.
Onycholysis is the detachment of the nail from the nail bed which can sometimes lead to losing part or all of the nail. Causes include, nails being too long, injury/trauma to the nail, certain health conditions and chemicals, footwear and fungal infections.
Treatment depends on the severity of the nail damage and how much of the nail is detached from the nail bed. Some do not need any treatment and will resolve/heal themselves. However, once a nail has fully detached from the nail bed, it is unlikely it will reattach itself and a new nail may grow back instead.
Podiatry intervention is needed if the nail is not fully detached, if there is infection or you have certain health conditions such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease or suppressed immune system. A podiatrist can help correctly manage the nail and provide information and advice on how to prevent it from recurring.
For more information about the services that are available or to book an assessment please call 0161 883 0099
Our clinics are open Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm, and 9am - 4pm on Saturday. We can usualy see you within 24 - 48 hours. Sometimes same-day appointments are available.
Manchester Podiatry offers a range of podiatry services that are suitable for all individuals. This means that whether young or old, amateur or elite athlete - Manchester Podiatry can help you!
Manchester Podiatry is a leading provider of quality podiatric assessment and treatment services in Manchester and Merseyside.
We are part of Chiropody.co.uk - We provide immediate access to a high quality, value for money bespoke podiatry service. Our podiatrists provide specialist treatments to meet the needs of individuals, case managers, solicitors, organisations, care homes, and sport teams.