|The Makeup Of Fingernails and Toenails
What Are Toenails Made Of?
One of the commonly asked questions that not many people actually know the answer to is the question “what are your fingernails and toenails made of?” the answer may be surprising to you, due to the fact that your fingernails and toenails are actually much like the hooves or horns of animals in their makeup. With respect to humans and most nonhuman primates, the term “nail” is in reference to a hard, rain of the dorsal aspect of the terminal phalanges of the fingers and toes. The makeup of the toenail or finger nail is quite similar to other animals claws in that they are made of a tough protein called “keratin.”
The nail is made up of several parts, including the nail plate, matrix, and bed. The matrix itself is the tissue upon which the nail rests, as well as the portions of the nail bed that extend beyond the root which contains the blood vessels and nerves. The matrix itself is responsible for the production of the nail plate in that it makes the cells that comprise it. The shape of the nail plate along with its width and thickness is determined by the shape of the matrix, and coordination with the shape of the fingertip itself. The matrix defines the length and thickness while the finger tip or toe tip determines the shape. The matrix produces nail growth as long as it continues to receive nutrition and remain healthy. As a new cells are created, they push forward from the matrix and are colored a light white color, and as they pushed for word the older cells become more flat and compressed, as well as a translucent color which allows the pinkish nature of the capillaries in the nail bed to show through.
The portion of the nail which is a whitish color and crescent shape at the base is called the “lunula” or the “moon” of the nail. It is generally largest on the thumb or large toe and it is sometimes completely absent on the little finger ot little toe.
The skin that beneath the nail plate is called the nail bed. Like all the skin on the body it is composed of the “dermis” which is connected to the bone and contains the glands and capillaries, and the “epidermis” which is the layer just beneath the nail plate. The epidermis is connected to the dermis by small grooves known as matrix crests. As we get older, we will notice that the plate is growing thinner and these grooves become a more obvious.
The nail root is situated in the nail sinus, which is a deed furrow in the skin, and is embedded under the skin at the base. It is made up of the actively growing tissue underneath it.
The nail plate is the actual nail that is observed on the ends of the fingertips and toes, and is made up of keratin proteins and amino acids. The nail itself is a hard yet flexible material consisting of several layers of flattened and dead cells. The nail is actually translucent and only up years payment due to the underlying capillaries.
The end of the nail is called the “free margin” or “distal edge” and is usually relatively abrasive and has a small cutting edge. The “hyponychium” which is also known as the quick is located under the nail plate at the very edge of the fingertip and represents the skin connecting the free edge of the nail and the underlying tissue. It is the seal that protects the nail bed itself. The “onychodermal band” is the seal between the hyponychium and the nail plate itself. It is found under the edge, and is the part of the mailed at the very end, usually looking glassy and grayish.
The”eponychium” is a small band that extends from the base of the nail into the posterior nail wall. It is often called the cuticle, however the eponychium is actually the end of the fold that comes back upon itself to shed the upper layer of skin into the newly formed nail plate. This is a layer of dead, and almost completely invisible scan that moves out on the nail plate surface. Together, these to form a completely protected seal. One thing to keep in mind is that the cuticle is often removed during a manicure. Care must be taken not to touch the living cells during this kind of procedure.
The last parts of the nail are the “nail wall” which is the folds overlapping on the sides of the end of the nail and the “lateral margin” which lies beneath the nail wall on the sides of the groove and are this lets into which the margins are embedded.
Toenails themselves act as the protection of the thin bone tips on the toes. Due to the fact that the toes are hard working extremeties which are utilized in a service capacity ever step that is taken, one can see why toenails must be kept healthy in order to maintaine mobility and quality of life. Diseases of the toenails like toenail fungus compromise the overall health of the person, as well as leading to issues socially and physically. Avoiding the potential sources of infection of the toenails, and the areas where fungus can be transmitted from infected toenail to healthy toenail, will reduce the risks.
• Footcare Prevention