O is for Onychauxis

June 3, 2022

Onychauxis is when there is a thickness of the toenail with no deformity of the nail plate. It is commonly associated with older age and there may be a history of repeated trauma.

Onychauxis refers to the thickening and overgrowth of the toenails. Several factors can contribute to the development of onychauxis, including:

Age: Onychauxis is more common in older individuals. As we age, the nails can naturally thicken and become more brittle.

Trauma: Injuries or trauma to the toenails, such as repetitive pressure or impact, can lead to thickening of the nails as a protective response.

Fungal Infections: Fungal infections of the toenails, known as onychomycosis, can cause thickening and distortion of the nails. Fungal infections can occur due to exposure to moist environments, poor foot hygiene, or compromised immune system.

Psoriasis: Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, can affect the nails, causing thickening, pitting, and discoloration.

Onychogryphosis: Onychogryphosis is a condition characterized by excessive nail curvature and thickening. It often occurs in the elderly or those with underlying foot problems, such as toenail damage, fungal infections, or poor circulation.

Systemic Conditions: Certain systemic conditions, such as peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, and thyroid disorders, can affect nail health and contribute to nail thickening.

Genetic Predisposition: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to thickened toenails, making them more susceptible to onychauxis.


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