Characteristics of nails
Nails are a type of modified skin composed of keratin, a type of very tough fibrous protein. They are living parts of our body at the end of the fingers and toes and experienced an average growth of 1 mm in 10 days. Fingernails growth is quicker than toenails. Nails growth is faster in summer.
Parts of the nail
The main parts of a nail are:
- The nail plate: The visible part of the nail, what it is " normally" called nail. It is formed of hard keratin that is continuously growing from the root.
- The matrix or nail root. It is the part of the nail below the skin, where the nail grows.
- The nail folds: It is the hard skin surrounding the nail plate and covering the matrix.
- The lunula: It's the palest part of the nail placed at its the base. It is the only visible part of the matrix.
- The cuticle: Formed by the skin surrounding the nail. It is also called eponychium when it refers to the dead skin or paronychium to the live skin.
- The free edge: It is the part of the nail surpassing the finger. This part is the one that we cut.
- The nail bed: That portion of the skin where the nail rests.
Nails health and maintenance
Like the rest of the body, nails can be sick or healthy. Nails aspect provide us with significant cues about overall body health. For example, when nails adopt a yellowish color, they are probably indicating that the liver is not working too well.
In addition to these manifestations, nails, like the rest of the skin, suffer the assaults of the external environment and require proper care not to become sick.
The overall condition of nails is a matter of aesthetics concern and a medical issue. Well kept and clean nails demonstrate good body hygiene and general cleanliness.
Passion for caring and decorating the nails is not only a matter of personal cleanliness but it is a matter of fashion and aesthetics.
People of all cultures, and especially women, have been concerned with maintaining beautiful nails as a resort to attract the opposite sex. Thus, it is no wonder the custom of decorating, through painting them with lacquer, or making them more visible by covering them with artificial nails.
Manicure and pedicure are not creations of our time, but for many millennia they have been used as normal techniques to embellish the appearance of both hands and feet.
On the other hand, It is important to keep nails healthy and well-cared because they have the function to protect the tips of fingers and toes and help pick up objects more easily.
Symptoms of nail diseases
Among all the possible symptoms showing some anomalies in nails we can mention the following: horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, yellow spots, white spots, brittle nails, fungus, sagging nails, and so on.
Causes of nail diseases
The main causes that produce diseases in nails are:
- Physical diseases. As we mentioned before, nails can show some signs of body diseases, such as, for example:
- Blue nails often indicate a poor blood circulation or oxygenation problems due to diseases such as asthma.
- Yellowish nails can inform us about poor liver condition or about the presence of a fungus.
- Fragile, easily broken nails tend to show problems of rheumatism or poor general health.
- Nails presenting grooves may indicate a lack of vitamin B.
- When a lack of vitamin C, there is tendency to suffer hangnails
- Improper diet : The lack of vitamins, minerals and proteins can cause many health problems in the nails. It has been proved that iron deficiency produces brittle nails, lack of biotin - vitamin H - produces quite thin nails that break easily. Vitamin A, Vitamin B and vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, zinc and iodine are necessary for optimal nail health. (More information about nail diet in the listing above)
- External aggressions: Nail contact with chemicals - detergents, cleaning products in general -, prolonged contact with water or with very dry and absorbent products - paper, chalk, etc.- can lead to excessive dryness of nails. These aggressive agents can remove or absorb the natural fat that protects the nail cuticle.
Being located located at the tip of the fingers or toes, nails can suffer from blows or can easily be stumped which can cause them some damage.
Natural Treatment of nail diseases
The natural treatment of nail diseases involves the use of a range of natural resources that help prevent or cure many anomalies and allow us to have nails more beautiful and attractive.
More information about the nails and its natural treatment in the listing above.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.