Onychorrhexis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, & More - Healthroid

Onychorrhexis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, & More

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on September 21, 2022

Onychorrhexis is a condition that results in the thinning and fragmentation of the nails. The nails may appear to be ridged, brittle, or have a crumbly appearance. Onychorrhexis is a common nail disorder that can affect people of all ages. The exact cause of onychorrhexis is unknown, but it is thought to be due to an underlying medical condition or injury to the nail. Treatment for onychorrhexis is typically not necessary, but if the nails are causing pain or are cosmetically displeasing, there are a few options available.


There are many potential causes of onychorrhexis, including nutritional deficiencies, physical trauma, and underlying medical conditions.

Nutritional deficiencies are a common cause of onychorrhexis. The nails may become brittle and break easily if the body does not have enough of the nutrients it needs to support healthy nail growth. Common nutrients that are essential for healthy nails include protein, iron, and vitamin A.

Physical trauma to the nails can also lead to onychorrhexis. This can include things like repeatedly typing on a keyboard or playing a musical instrument. The nails may become thin and weak over time as a result of this type of repetitive trauma.

Underlying medical conditions can also cause onychorrhexis. Some medical conditions that may be associated with this condition include psoriasis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders.


Symptoms of onychorrhexis can be difficult to spot because they often mimic those of other nail conditions. The main sign of onychorrhexis is brittle, fragile nails prone to breakage and splitting. The nails may also appear thin, ridged, or have a mealy appearance. If you suspect you have onychorrhexis, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist for a diagnosis.


There are a few different tests that can be done in order to diagnose onychorrhexis. A doctor may take a small sample of the nail to look at under a microscope, or they may do a biopsy of the nail. They may also order blood tests to check for certain conditions that can cause onychorrhexis.



Onychorrhexis is a condition that results in the thinning and fragility of the nails. Treatment options for onychorrhexis include:

-Moisturize the nails and cuticles regularly. This can be done with a number of different products, including lotions, oils, and creams.

-Avoid harsh chemicals and detergents that can dry out the nails. Wearing gloves when exposed to these substances can also help protect the nails.

-Using nail hardeners or supplements containing biotin or other nutrients that are important for healthy nails.

-Applying a nail hardener to the nails twice per week. These products are available over the counter and can be easily applied at home.

-If a person has an underlying condition that is causing onychorrhexis, treating the condition may help improve the nail appearance.


Onychorrhexis is a condition that results in the thinning and fragility of the nails. It is a common problem, and while it is not serious, it can be painful and unsightly. There are several things you can do to prevent onychorrhexis.

First, be sure to protect your nails from trauma. Keep them short and filed smooth to avoid catching them on things. Wear gloves when doing yard work or housework to prevent your nails from being damaged.

Second, keep your nails well-moisturized. This will help to prevent them from becoming dry and brittle. Use a hand cream or cuticle oil regularly, and consider using a humidifier in your home during dry winter months.

Finally, eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

Risk Factors

There are a number of risk factors that can contribute to onychorrhexis, the medical term for the brittleness of the nails. These include:

* Age: As we age, our nails become thinner and more brittle.

* Environmental factors: Exposure to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures can damage the nails.

* Nutrition: A lack of certain vitamins and minerals (such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12) can lead to nail brittleness.

* Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as psoriasis, thyroid disease, and anemia, can cause brittle nails.

* Medications: Some medications (including beta-blockers, retinoids, and anticancer drugs) can cause nail changes.


There are a few potential complications that can arise from onychorrhexis, though they are relatively rare. One is the possibility of the condition worsening and becoming onycholysis, which is when the nail separates from the nail bed. This can happen if the nails are constantly exposed to water or other chemicals. If onycholysis occurs, it is important to seek medical treatment, as it can lead to infection. Another potential complication is paronychia, which is an infection of the skin around the nails. This often happens if onychorrhexis is left untreated and can be quite painful. Finally, there is a small risk of permanent damage to the nails if they are severely affected by onychorrhexis. This damage may include thinning, brittleness, and changes in color.


Onychorrhexis is a common nail disorder that is characterized by thin, brittle nails. Although the exact cause of onychorrhexis is unknown, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment for onychorrhexis is typically aimed at improving the appearance of the nails and preventing further damage.

Overall, onychorrhexis is a relatively harmless condition that does not typically require medical treatment. However, if you are concerned about the appearance of your nails, there are several treatments that can improve their appearance. If your nails are severely damaged or you have other health concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor to ensure that onychorrhexis is not indicative of a more serious condition.

Published on September 21, 2022 and Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by: Mayank Pandey

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on September 21, 2022

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