Onycopathies: small dictionary on nail problems
29 Apr 2019
Onycopathies: small dictionary on nail problems

Have you ever wondered if saying “broken nail” is the correct term? Or what is the correct name of the ingrown nail?

With this small glossary, every nail “problem” has its name (to learn about all the pathologies, read the in-depth “Nail disorders”).

Let’s see the words of the nails together!


Glossary on nail disorders


Absence of toenails; if congenita, individuals are generally missing all the nails in a permanent condition. It may occur transiently, after trauma or systemic diseases; and is also observed in case of onyco-osteodysplasia. Read more in the dedicated article.



Condition in which nails become feeble and thin and prone to fissures; it associated with endocrine disorders and malnutrition, as well as following contact with strongly alkaline substances.



Concavity of the nail plate in both longitudinal and transverse axes, associated with nutritional disorders, iron deficiency anemia and endocrine diseases.


Watch-glass nails or clubbing

Is a nail deformity associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary, or heart, disease.



Hemorrhages appearing under the nail plate, may result from a vitamin C deficiency, subacute bacterial endocarditis and dermatological diseases. The subungual hematoma is caused by injuries on the nail bed.


Subungual hyperkeratosis

Hypertrophy of the ungual bed that might be associated with onychomycosis, psoriasis and other skin disorders.



Refers to the white discoloration of nail as the result of trauma or systemic disorders like nutritional and endocrine deficiency. Read more in the dedicated article.


Beau’s lines

Band-like depressions extending from one lateral edge of the nail to the other, they are the sign of recurrent cessation of nail growth. They may be due to trauma or systemic diseases.



Nail disorder that causes nails to grow abnormally thick, caused by persistent micro trauma and/or onychomycosis. Read more in the dedicated article.



Inflammation of the nail matrix causing deformity of the nail plate and is due to trauma, infections and systemic disorders like rash.



Generally indicates nails inflammation.



Nail atrophy or underdevelopment, due to trauma, infections, endocrine dysfunction or systemic diseases.



Nail plate breaking or fracture.



Ingrown nail or, more specifically, hypertrophy of the nail fold; called also referred to hypertrophied ungualabia, is one of the more frequent nail disorder. Read more in the dedicated article.



Is a hypertrophy that may produce nails resembling claws or a ram’s horn; either of congenital origin or resulting from many systemic disorders, as trychophytia. See also onychauxis. Read more in the dedicated article.



Distal separation of the nail plate from the nail bed caused by trauma, chemical damage or diseases; it associated with psoriasis. Read more in the dedicated article.



Complete loosening and shedding of nails.



Condition in which nails become abnormally soft and start to break.



Tumor originating from a nail bed.



Fungal infection of the nails associated with foot mycosis. What are onychomycosis? Read the article here



Longitudinal ridging or fissuring of nails due to dermatitis, nail infections, systemic diseases, aging or chemical damage.  Read more in the dedicated article.



Splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails due to dermatitis, infection, syphilis or chemical damage. Read more in the dedicated article.



Disease or deformity of the nail plate, also termed onychopathy.



Hard thickening of all the nail plate. Nails get a more solid consistency and more regular shape in respect of onychogryphosis. Generally, is a congenital disorder associated with hyperkeratosis of palms and soles. Read more in the dedicated article.



Copyright ©2018: Podolife