I've had this problem for about the last 7 years. I've been to 3 dermatologists and an endocronologist, but nobody has been able to help. I was slightly hypothyroid and I've been on Levoxyl, so I don't think it can be my thyroid. They've checked for yeast and fungal infections, but I never had these. I've tried everything possible! All my nails returned to normal about 2 years ago except for my thumb nail, but now they are all affected again except for a thumbnail. At least now, the unattached part of the nail comforms to the same shape as the rest of my nail, so I just keep them really short. I've tried cutting off all of the affected nail, but that always didn't help. I'm open to trying anything! Any advice will be gladly accepted
Do you wear nail polish or any type of artificial nail? In all my years in the salon, I found only 2 conditions that presented themselves as nail separation, and that was persons with Thyroid problems and persons on cancer drugs. If you have either of these problems, even wearing polish can 'trick' your body into thinking that an 'invader' is attempting to attack you. The anti-bodies will rush to the site and when they don't find anything to 'fight', they will virtually turn on healthy tissue which can result in onycolysis (nail plate separation).
Hi Marti- I do wear nail polish because it looks really weird to have half of the nail white and uneven. Is there any kind of polish that I could use that wouldn't cause a problem? (Since I work in the public schools, I would spend too much time explaining my nails to my students- since they tend to notice everything and I'm sure it is a little vanity since they really do look terrible!)
No, you should leave ALL coatings off the nails and this includes any type of polish. Polish is polish and your nails will recognize any type of covering. Get a prescription for Naftin from your dermatologist and apply it under the nail in the area of separation according to the prescription. This will help to either prevent or eliminate any type fo yeast (candida) infection that may be present. Yeast infection is the result of too many anti-bodies at the site, and yeast infection does not always show up on a culture since it doesn't leave any debris in the area of separation.
I'm having the same problem with my nails. I was diagnosed with slight hypothyroidism, but after a year of being on levothyroxin, my nails are getting worse. I'm afraid I they are going to fall off. I do not think that hypothyroidism is the underlying cause. Have you had any more luck treating your nails?
I have been doing nails for over 30 years and according to everyone with knowledge greater than mine, Thyroid problems cause 99% of nail separation whenever the nail plate is covered with anything - even one coat of nail polish. Sometimes, the body will even recognize the nail plate as a 'foreign' object, making the problem worse.
I'm going to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. My pcp doesn't seem concerned and just told me to see another dermatologist... Thanks for the info, Marti. It's nice to know that other people out there care enought to write. I appreiciate it.
Since the medical profession doesn't seem to be able to help, I'm going to try Marti's suggestion. I just got an RX for Naftin creme and started using it yesterday. I know it will take months to probably see a difference, so I'll let you know as soon as possible. I'm also going to try leaving nail polish off as much as possible, but if none of this helps, I'm just going to live with it. I guess I'm still curious, though, why all of my nails aren't affected. Marti-do you have any idea why that is?
I'm sorry I couldn't be more help, but if I see a difference at all, I'll let you know.
Last edited by louise88; 12-22-2007 at 05:05 PM.
Reason: wrong name for addressee
Thanks, Louise88. Yea, it's weird that not all the nails are affected. My pinkie and ring fingers are not separating. I'm making an appt. with an endocrynologist. I'm fine with living with it... if only I was certain my nails won't separate completely.
I'm really glad that you found something to help!! I've been taking biotin for years, about 3 mg/day. Are you taking a specific brand because mine doesn't say "forte", just biotin. It really hasn't made a difference, I'm just keeping my nails short and polished. The naftin creme hasn't made a difference. so I'm just learning to live with it. I'm still looking for a cause, though.
Yes, mine says Biotin Forte 3mg. I went to a different dermatologist and this is what he prescribed. He thinks it's stress-related. People take stress out on a lot of things, one of which can be the nails. He also told me to put on a cream called Theraplex at night on my hands/nails and wear those white dermal gloves. I don't do that every night, but I do take the biotin forte once every day. I'm thinking the cream isn't all that effective, but sometimes, if the brain thinks you're doing something good, it relieves the stress of the situation... you know what I mean? My nails aren't completely back t normal. I'm guessing that will take another three months or so. But they are definitely improving each week. One other weird note... I put polish on my nails (oh, my dermatologist said to use gentle nail polish remover and don't wear polish with any "nail strengtheners" etc. in it.) and my nails seem to do better the weeks I have polish on them... Maybe because they are "out of sight out of mind" OR... I was thinking... maybe they're somehow sensitive to light? I know that sounds weird, but just thought I'd throw that out there.
Thanks for the update- I think I'll go and buy some of the biotin forte and see what happens. It can't hurt! I think I'll wait to try the Theraplex creme since I really think the problem is from the inside-out. I don't think a creme will help, but I will try the biotin forte. I'll let you know if it works. Thanks for keeping me updated!