Nail disorders in infants and children

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2014 Aug;26(4):440-5. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000116.


Purpose of review: Nail diseases in infants and children are an uncommon cause of consultation and are often difficult to diagnose and to manage. This review will cover nail diseases that are most commonly seen in clinical practice, including congenital and hereditary disorders and inflammatory, infective, and neoplastic nail diseases. The purpose of the review is to help the reader to recognize nail disorders at an early age and to manage them appropriately.

Recent findings: Two recent large studies have reported the clinical findings of genetic disorders involving the nails, that is, pachyonychia congenita and epidermolysis bullosa. Only a few articles gave a comprehensive review of a disease, as occurred for onychomycosis, while the majority of the reports published in the recent literature involve single cases.

Summary: Nail diseases in children and neonates are not easy to diagnose by nonexperts. Basic knowledge of the anatomy and biology of the nail facilitates their diagnosis as the understanding of their pathophysiology. This review gives hints at the most common nail diseases that affect infants and children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nail Diseases / congenital
  • Nail Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nail Diseases / etiology
  • Nail Diseases / therapy
  • Nails / anatomy & histology
  • Nails / growth & development
  • Nails / pathology*
  • Nails, Malformed / diagnosis*
  • Nails, Malformed / etiology
  • Nails, Malformed / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Sex Factors


  • Antifungal Agents