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Additional recommended knowledge
Parts of the nail
Anatomically fingernails and toenails, which are made of a tough protein called keratin and are produced from living skin cells in the fingers and toes, are made up of many different parts:
In common usage the word nail usually refers to the nail plate only.
This growth record can show the history of recent health and physiological imbalances, and has been used as a diagnostic tool since ancient times.Mees' lines, small white spots, receded lunula, clubbing (convex), flatness, spooning (concave) can indicate illness in other areas of the body, nutrient deficiencies, drug reaction or poisoning, or merely local injury. Nails can also become thickened (onychogryphosis), loosened (onycholysis), infected with fungus (onychomycosis) or degenerative (onychodystrophy); for further information see nail diseases.Major illness will cause a deep groove to form across the nails. Discoloration, thinning, thickening, brittleness, splitting, grooves,
Health and care
Nails can dry out, just like skin. They can also be infected: toe infections, for instance, can be caused or exacerbated by dirty socks, specific types of aggressive exercise, tight footwear and walking unprotected in an unclean environment.
Manicures and pedicures are health and cosmetic procedures to groom, trim, and paint the nails and manage callouses. They require various tools such as cuticle scissors, nail scissors, nail clippers, and nail files.
Nail tools used by different people may transmit infections. Regarding nail tools such as files, "If they're used on different people, these tools may spread nail fungi, staph bacteria or viruses", warns Rick Lopes, a spokesperson for the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.In fact, over 100 bacterial skin infections in 2000 were traced to footbaths in nail salons. To avoid this, new improved contactless tools can be used, for example, gel and cream cuticle removers instead of cuticle scissors.
Biting the nails often indicates internal tension, stress, boredom, hunger, or it may simply be a habit.
Nail biting can result in the transportation of germs that are buried under the surface of the nail into the mouth. It may also cause excessive or abnormal wear of tooth enamel.
In western culture, long nails are a symbol of femininity. Nail decoration is usually limited to females.
In some Asian cultures men may also grow long fingernails, or only the nail on the little finger, to show that they do not do much manual labor, but instead work in an office setting.
In the 19th century in the Balkans, white-collar workers, such as clerks, grew their fingernails long to distinguish them from people in lower classes who worked with their hands.
Some guitar players, notably classical and fingerstyle players, will purposely grow long nails on the hand they use to pluck the strings. Their longer nails serve as small, easily-maneuverable guitar picks. For some serious musicians, daily nail care can become a mark of pride and dedication.
In comparison, pianists must keep their nails trimmed short to avoid clicking noises on the keys and avoid dangerous situations where in fast passages the nail may be caught under a key and rip off, and most string players, such as violinists and guitarists, must keep at least the nails on their fretting hand short to allow the strings to be fingered correctly.
Someone whose occupation is to cut any type of nail, apply artificial nails and care for nails is sometimes called a nail technician. The place where a nail technician works may be called a nail salon or nail shop (also "nailshop").
Painting the nails with nail polish (also known as nail lacquer) is a common practice dating back to at least 3000 B.C.
Ornamented fake nails are sometimes used to display designs, such as stars or sparkles, on nails. They are also used to make nails look longer.
Health care and pre-hospital care providers (paramedics) often use the fingernail beds as a cursory indicator of distal tissue perfusion of individuals who may be in shock. However, this test is now accepted as reliable in young children only.
Procedure: briefly depress the fingernail bed gently with a finger. This will briefly turn the nailbed white; the normal pink colour should be restored within a second or two. Delayed return to pink colour can be an indicator of certain shock states such as hypovolemia.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nail_(anatomy)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|