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Onychoptosis, also known as nail shedding, (from Greek onyx “nail” and ptôsis, “falling”) is a medical term used to describe the abnormal shedding or falling off of nails from the nail bed.  It is not a specific medical condition in itself, but rather a symptom that can occur due to various underlying causes.

Causes of onychoptosis

It includes:

  1. Trauma: Injury to the nails, such as from crushing or repetitive stress, can lead to nail shedding.
  2. Infection: Fungal or bacterial infections of the nails can weaken the nail structure, leading to onychoptosis.
  3. Psoriasis: A skin condition that can affect the nails, causing them to become thickened, pitted, and prone to shedding.
  4. Onychomycosis: A fungal infection that specifically affects the nails, causing them to become discolored, brittle, and prone to breakage.
  5. Nutritional deficiencies: Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly biotin (a B-vitamin) or iron, can impact nail health and result in onychoptosis.
  6. Systemic diseases: Some systemic conditions like thyroid disorders or autoimmune diseases can cause changes in the nails and lead to shedding.
  7. Medications: Certain medications or chemotherapy can have side effects on nails, causing them to become weak and brittle.
  8. Age: As people age, their nails may become more prone to shedding due to natural changes in nail structure.

Treatment for onychoptosis depends on the underlying cause.  It is essential to determine the specific reason for nail shedding through a medical examination and appropriate tests.  Treatment may involve addressing the root cause, such as treating infections, nutritional supplementation, or managing systemic conditions.  Protecting the nails from further trauma or damage is also important during the healing process.

Are you suffering from this condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. ✅ Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.