Retronychia: A Common and Misdiagnosed Condition

Main Article Content

Carla Barbini
Y. Rashid Benitez
Agustina Lambertini
Lourdes M. Pérez-Chada
Corina I. Busso


We report the case of two patients who consulted because of yellowing and thickening of their toe nails, with several relapses throughout time. Hand nails were unaffected. Both patients presented negative potassium hydroxide test and fungus culture, which excluded a diagnosis of onychomycosis. Further examination showed signs of trauma and growth of several overlapping nail plates, which lead to the diagnosis of retronychia, a common but misdiagnosed condition. We aim to emphasise the clinical aspects and possible treatments available for these types of cases.

Retronychia, nail, paronychia, onycholysis.

Article Details

How to Cite
Barbini, C., Benitez, Y. R., Lambertini, A., Pérez-Chada, L. M., & Busso, C. I. (2021). Retronychia: A Common and Misdiagnosed Condition. Asian Journal of Research in Dermatological Science, 4(1), 19-24. Retrieved from
Case Study


Ventura F, Correia O, Duarte AF, Barros AM, Haneke E. Retronychia-clinical and pathophysiological aspects. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereo l. 2016;30:16-19.

Robledo A, Godoy E, Manrique E, Manchado P3. Retronychia: An underdiagnosed disease. Dermatol Online J. 2017;15:23.

Kim M, Kan JH, Cho BK, et al. Great toenail dystrophy: A single-center experience and review of the literature. Korean J Fam Med. 2015;36:113-120.

Gerard E, Prevezas C, Doutre MS, Beylot-Barry M, Cogrel O. Risk factors, clinical variants and therapeutic outcome of retronychia: A retrospective study of 18 patients. Eur J Dermato l. 2016;1:26:377-81.

Cabete J, Lencastre A. Recognizing and treating retronychia. Int J Dermatol. 2014; 54:51-52.

Sudy E, Ubina F, Wortsman X: Retronychia. AJRDES. 2018;1:1-9.

Litaiem N, Drissi H, Zeglaoui F. Retronychia, Khachemoune A. Retronychia of the toenails: a review with emphasis on pathogenesis, new diagnostic and management trends. Arch Dermatol Res; 2019.

Fernández J, Reyes-Baraona F, Wortsman X: Ultrasonographic Criteria for Diagnosing Unilateral and Bilateral Retronychia. J Ultrasound Med. 2018, 37:1201-1209.

Chang P,Rosales D: Retroniquia Dermatol Rev. 2018;57:264-266.

Campos MA, Santos A. Retronychia: Clinical diagnosis and surgical treatment. BMJ case; 2017.

Dahdah MJ, Kibbi AG, Ghosn S: Retronychia: report of two cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58:1051-1053.

Lencastre A, Lorizzo M, Caucanas M, Cunha N, et al Topical steroids for the treatment of retronychia. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;70:388-390.

Noureddine L, Haifa D, Faten Z, Amor K. of the toenails: A review with emphasis on pathogenesis, new diagnostic and management trends. Arch Dermatol Res; 2019.

Vastarella M, Annunziata MC, Panariello G, Ferrillo M, Fabbrocini G: A novel treatment for retronychia: Case Series. J Dermatolog Treat. 2019;20:1-5.

Berker DAR, Rendall JRS: Retronychia-Proximal ingrowing nail. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 1999;12:126.