Having a properly formed nail structure is a key factor in determining the overall health of the nail. A nail is formed by the combination of a number of soft tissue structures and the nail plate. During growth, the structure will continue to change, making it essential to maintain a properly formed arch. This will help to ensure that the free edge remains strong and unbreakable.
The nail structure has six parts. These include the nail plate, the matrix, the hyponychium, the lunula, the cuticle, and the lateral structure. These are the parts that function to provide the nail with protection and nourishment. In addition, the structure is also responsible for assisting in scratching and manipulation of small objects.
The nail plate is a hard outer structure that serves as a shock absorber. It also contains a number of dead cells that compress to create the nail’s flexibility. As the plate ages, it becomes translucent. The growth rate of fingernails is faster than toenails, which can take up to 18 months to grow from the root to the tip. Typically, fingernails will grow at three millimeters per month. Toenails grow at about one millimeter per month. The structure also includes several soft tissue structures that are responsible for anchoring the nail plate. The nail plate itself can also form vertical ridges. If the nail has deeper ridges, this may be an indication of an underlying health condition.
The nail matrix is the most sensitive part of the nail structure. This is because it contains nerves and blood vessels that provide nourishment for the cells. The matrix is also the primary site of nail production. Typically, it produces keratin cells that are then attached to the nail plate. It also includes nerves that help to identify temperature and pain.
The nail matrix can be separated into two sections: the germinal matrix and the sterile matrix. The germinal matrix is located behind the root of the nail and is responsible for the majority of nail growth. This part of the nail matrix is sometimes visible as the lunula, a crescent-shaped white portion of the matrix. The lunula is sometimes covered by the cuticle. This portion of the nail is prone to infection, called paronychia.
The lunula is the distal part of the germinal matrix. This is the only part of the nail that is not covered by the cuticle. It is also the part of the matrix that is most sensitive to mistreatment. It can become damaged and deformed, which can cause irregular growth.
The hyponychium is an epithelial tissue that forms a seal between the nail plate and the nail bed. The hyponychium is also responsible for the formation of the nail bed. This area is rich in white blood cells. The hyponychium and the nail plate are joined by a band called the onychodermal band. This seal helps to keep the nail from contaminating the environment.
The lunula is a whitish crescent-shaped part of the nail that is located at the root of the nail. The cuticle is a thin layer of skin that overlaps the base of the nail. In addition to covering the nail matrix, the cuticle also helps to protect the nail matrix from infection.