Trachyonychia in childhood: Clinical aspects and outcome


Marouene Rahmouni
Talel Badri


Introduction : Trachyonychia means rough, longitudinally ridged nails with a sandy, brittle and thin aspect. It is a rare condition that occurs mainly in children. Studies on trachyonychia are rare.

Aim: To describe the clinical aspects and outcome of trachyonychia, as well as its treatment.

Methods: We studied three cases of trachyonychia in childhood seen at the outpatient clinic, and performed a literature review on the same subject.

Cases: Two boys aged 11 and 14 years old and a girl aged 6 years presented with nail dystrophy of the fingers and toes. Patient 1 had also a scaly patch on the glans penis, and patient 2 was atopic. Trachyonychia associated with psoriasis was suspected in patient 1 and the idiopathic form was retained in the other two patients. All patients were treated with topical steroids for a few months. The patients did not show any improvement at the six-month follow-up. Only one patient was contacted again after two years and showed spontaneous healing.

Commentaries: The diagnosis of trachyonychia is mainly clinical. In the literature, 62% of pediatric patients had an idiopathic form. However, a strong association was observed between trachyonychia and alopecia areata. Trachyonychia of childhood appears to have a good prognosis, with spontaneous improvement within six months to two years. Therapeutic abstention is the rule.


Trachyonychia, Trachyonychia of childhood, Twenty nails dystrophy, Sandpaper nails



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