Nail matrix arrest in the course of hand, foot and mouth disease
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Onychomadesis describes complete nail shedding from the proximal portion; it is consecutive to a nail matrix arrest and can affect both fingernails and toenails. It is a rare disorder in children. Except for serious generalised diseases or inherited forms, most cases are considered to be idiopathic. Few reports in literature concern common triggering phenomena. We present four patients in whom the same benign viral condition in childhood appeared as a stressful event preceding onychomadesis. In each case, spontaneous complete healing of the nails was achieved within a few weeks. Conclusion: onychomadesis and/or onycholysis is a newly recognised complication in the course of viral infections presenting clinically as hand, foot and mouth disease, and because of mild forms, is probably underestimated.
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