What are the nonmicrobial causes of onycholysis?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Melanie S Hecker, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Nonmicrobial factors in onycholysis (may be encountered at the job site, ie, as occupational onycholysis) are as follows:

  • Mechanical - Mechanical force (trauma), repetitive minor trauma, or maceration

  • Chemical - Allergic or irritant contact dermatitis from various nail cosmetics (methyl methacrylate monomer, formaldehyde 1-2%, nail base coat/hardeners, polymerized 2-ethylcyanoacrylate adhesive used in artificial nails, nail lacquer), [2] gasoline, paint removers, dicyanodiamide, thioglycolate, solvents, and hydroxylamine sulphate in color developer

  • Chemical - Irritant contact dermatitis from prolonged immersion of nails in water, sugar onycholysis in confectioners/bakers, and exposure to highly destructive toxins (eg, hydrofluoric acid)

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