What is Onychodystrophy, Know its Causes & Treatment

What is Onychodystrophy?

Onychodystrophy is a pathological condition of the nails which basically represents malformation of the nails. Onychodystrophy actually is the name given for a variety of nail disorders which may be caused due to an infection or even noninfectious causes of nail disorders like dermatophytic onychomycosis, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. Onychodystrophy is a genetic condition which causes problems in the finger bones which in turn results in nail deformation and Onychodystrophy. Onychodystrophy defines a broad range of conditions affecting the nails which include deformity of the nail, change in the dimensions of the nail, the nails becoming very brittle, and any bacterial infections of the nail.

What is Onychodystrophy?

What are the Causes of Onychodystrophy?

There is no clear cut etiology for Onychodystrophy, although it is believed to be a genetic disorder. In some cases where there is no family history of Onychodystrophy and still an individual gets this condition then the reason given for this is a fetal ischemic damage could be the trigger. This ischemic damage occurs as a result of reduced blood flow and oxygen being delivered to the region. In cases of Onychodystrophy, this could be due to reduced blood flow to the fingertip region resulting in nail deformity throughout the formation of the fetus.

How is Onychodystrophy Treated?

Treatment for Onychodystrophy depends on the underlying cause of it. In order to identify the main cause behind Onychodystrophy, nail cultures are required to be done so as to determine if the cause is infective or noninfective. In case, an infection is not identified despite repeating the tests for a few times then a noninfective cause is presumed to be causing Onychodystrophy. In some cases nail biopsies are done.

Once the condition is identified then treatment is done to treat the underlying condition resulting in Onychodystrophy. For a definitive treatment for Onychodystrophy, surgery is recommended and this is only for cosmetic reasons. There is no other treatment required for Onychodystrophy and research is still ongoing to find out a better treatment methodology to definitively cure Onychodystrophy.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2018

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