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Separating Fingernails

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title

Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

Onycholysis is one of those ridiculous terms in medicine, but Onycho is our word for nail and lysis means it’s separating. So what happens is when your nail starts to lift off of the pad of your finger or fingers. And a lot of times this happens because of repetitive trauma. Whether that repetitive trauma is from constantly washing your hands and getting water that’s underneath there, whether your nails are too long and it forms a lever and it starts to lift off, whether you’re using really harsh nail polish or nail polish remover, there’s all sorts of reasons for it.

But most of the time, unless it’s on absolutely all of your nails, and then you definitely need to see a dermatologist to see if something else is going on, but most of the time if it’s just on one nail, then if you just trim the nails short, so if there’s not that lever to lift off, and put one drop of rubbing alcohol between the nail and the pad of the finger once a day, that will help dry it out and hopefully help that nail stick to the pad. If that doesn’t work after a couple weeks, please see your local dermatologist. There is a chance that there could be an infection under there or other things going on. But most likely it’s just due to repetitive trauma, mostly from wet, dry, wet, dry, wet, dry.

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