What do you know about your nails? Besides it being those things that grow on the ends of your fingernails and feet or that thing you paint for fun? We tend to overlook our nails and only pay attention to it when we stub our toe or get a nail infection. Nails are more complicated than it looks.

The nails consist of the nail plate, the part of the nail that you clean and apply nail polish on. The matrix where the nails come from. The nail bed, it is the skin underneath the nail plate and the half-moon part of your nail is called the lunula.

Now, you know the basics of your nail anatomy. Here are some other facts you never knew about your nails.

Your Nails Can Tell a Lot about Your Health

There are a lot of things your dermatologist can tell you about your health just by looking at your nails. Your nails can tell a lot about your overall health by examining your nails. Discoloration on your nail bed, color in your cuticles, yellow pigments in your nails, banded nails, white marks in your nails and more can say a lot about your health. You can even diagnose life threatening illnesses by looking at your nails. Nails that are blueish in hue can mean poor blood circulation. Discoloration in the nail bed can mean an autoimmune disease.

Nail Growth

The fingernails can grow up to a 3.5 millimeters a month. This is a tenth of an inch. The fingernails grow faster in your dominant hand than in your non dominant hand. Men’s nails grow faster than women’s.

White Spots on the Nail

White spots on the nails can be either caused by a nail injury or a trauma to the nail plate. This is very common and should not be seen as anything serious. It’s been a common myth that white spots on the nail can be a sign of zinc or iron deficiency. This information is completely false.

Nail and Hair

Nails are made out of the same material as hair. Hair and nail is made up of keratin. This indicates that the same food and materials that can make your hair healthy can also make your nails healthy. Pick a diet that are rich in antioxidants. Eat more fruits and veggies. Take in more protein, vitamin and minerals. This will help create healthier nails and hair. You can improve nail health by taking in more fats and healthy oils in your diet.

What Separates Us

Our nails make us different from other mammals. Most mammals have claws to perform their daily task. Our fingernails help distinguish us humans from primates. Our nails help us with daily tasks such as gripping and eating. Our ancestors used nails to hunt for food, climb trees and to protect themselves from predators.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common nervous habit, this is in the same group as hair pulling, picking at the skin and tooth grinding. It is considered self-mutilation. Out of ten preteens and teenagers five of them will be nail biters, though most people outgrow this negative habit before they reach the age of thirty. Nail biting is basically harmless, but it can cause a lot of serious health problems such as infections, nail bed disorders and nail damage.

Nail Polish

It is essential to nail health, that you give your nails at least a week or two of nail polish rest. Do not apply any nail polish within this week. The nails need to breath, covering it up with nail polish is cutting down its oxygen intake. If you keep applying a new coat of nail polish every time you are making your nails prone to dryness, brittleness and damage. Remove nail polish at least one week a month.

What do you think about your nails now? The nails should never be taken for granted. Our nails are designed like claws. It makes peeling and eating easier. It also helps give you’re a better grip on objects. Take care of your nails and avoid damaging it. Unhealthy diet, pressure and using of unsanitary nail cleaning material can damage the nails and cause nail infections.

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