What is Onychogryphosis?

1 Answer

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Onychogryphosis is a nail disease that causes one side of the nail to grow faster than the other. This condition usually affects toe – specifically the big toes. It even has a nickname: “ram’s horn nails”, for the affected nails look like horns or claws. If the condition gets worse, it may cause:
  • Ingrown nails
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Inability to pursue physical activities like sports or physically active careers
  • Time away from work
Symptoms: The nails of people with onychogryphosis will look:
  • Yellow or brown
  • Unusually thick
  • Long (extending beyond the toe)
  • Curved
Causes: The following 6 factors may lead to onychogryphosis:
  • Foot trauma
  • Fungal infection
  • Psoriasis (a common autoimmune disease)
  • Peripheral vascular disease (peripheral artery disease PAD)
  • Ichthyosis
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex (a rare genetic disease)
Treatment: The only treatment for people suffering from this condition is surgery. Specific type and frequency of surgery depends on the cause. People whose condition is genetic have to receive the same surgery over and over or remove the affected nail plate to solve it permanently, while those who get it due to trauma or infection just need a surgery to correct the problem. Managing onychogryphosis: If you have onychogryphosis, you can manage it by:
  • Wearing adapted shoes
  • Regularly visiting a podiatrist
  • Using a wheelchair or motorized scooter to keep pressure off your feet
Here are some things you can do to make your nail healthier so that the risk can be reduced:
  • Keep nails trimmed short
  • Cut nails so they are straight, rather than curved at the edges
  • Wear shoes that fit and have enough room in the toe box
  • Wear cotton socks that absorb moisture
  • Change socks regularly
  • Wear gloves when handling chemicals
If you have any problems, please visit your doctor. Keywords: onychogryphosis; symptoms; causes; treatment; managing onychogryphosis