Anonychia congenita – Unusual Ailment, Born Without Fingernails or Toenails
I recently learned about an unusual and extremely rare medical condition named Anonychia Congenita, which unfortunately affects babies at birth.
Babies born with this condition will be born without fingernails or toenails. This is an extremely rare condition. I mean it’s super rare, but we’ll get to that in a few minutes. First things first, let’s figure out exactly what Anonychia Congenita is all about.
What is Anonychia congenita?
Anonychia congenita affects the growth of a person’s fingernails and toenails. Individuals suffering from this condition are normally missing all twenty nails.
Apparently, their fingernails and toenails scheduled a meeting while they were still in the mothers womb and decided they were gonna sit this one out.
The absence of nails is noticeable from birth (congenital). In some cases, only part of the nail is missing, which I can only assume means these particular nails didn’t make it to the emergency meeting in the womb or it’s possible they are what union workers like to call scabs.
In all seriousness, when some of the fingers and toes are not affected it’s called (hyponychia).
All other tissues at the tips of the fingers and toes, including structures that usually support the nail and its growth (such as the nail bed), are present and seem normal with Anonychia congenita.
In most cases individuals with anonychia congenita will not have any other health problems related to the condition.
What are the Causes of Anonychia congenita?
According to MedlinePlus, mutations in the RSPO4 gene is the main cause of Anonychia Congenita.
It can also be part of syndromes that affect multiple parts of the body, including Coffin-Siris syndrome and nail-patella syndrome.
When anonychia congenita is part of a syndrome, it is caused by mutations in the gene associated with that syndrome.
Anonychia congenita caused by RSPO4 gene mutations is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations.
The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
Other names for Anonychia congenita are listed below
- Absent nails
- Aplastic nails
- Congenital absence
- Hyponychia congenita
Anonychia congenita is an extremely rare condition!
If you’ve never heard of Anonychia congenita, don’t be too hard on yourself, you are most definitely not alone. There’s only been around 20 documented cases worldwide. Which makes your chance of knowing someone with this unusual condition slim to none.
Photo Gallery of Anonychia congenita patients
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