First described in 1961, photoonycholysis (PO) is a rare nail alteration that may result from drug intake, from topical aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy or from photosensitive conditions such as porphyria or pseudoporphyria. Spontaneous PO is rare. This review updates the numerous causes of PO and highlights some new ways producing this condition.
Four different types of PO are clearly recognized without relationship with the responsible drug. An updated list of potential inducing drug is provided. Some practical points on PO have been raised. The inability to reproduce photoonycholysis experimentally should be emphasized, and the pathogenesis of PO still needs to be clarified.