How is onycholysis treated?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Melanie S Hecker, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Treatment for onycholysis varies and depends on its cause. Eliminating the predisposing cause of the onycholysis is the best treatment. Onycholysis related to psoriasis or eczema may respond to a midstrength topical corticosteroid. Pulsed dye laser treatment was reported as effective for psoriasis-induced onycholysis in one small series, [16] but caution is advised until more data are available regarding this intervention. Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) treatment has also been reported as an effective therapy for psoriatic onycholysis. [17] Note the following:

  • Patients should avoid trauma to the affected nail, and keep the nail bed dry.

  • Patients should avoid exposure to contact irritants and moisture (important).

  • Patients should clip the affected portion of the nail, and keep the nails short.

  • Patients should wear light cotton gloves under vinyl gloves for wet work.

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