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Мain objectives and components of nails



Image:©Zoja/Fotolia

Nails have several purposes. One of them is to protect the fingertips from getting hurt. Without them we would not be able to pick up and handle small objects or even scratch ourselves. As an additional purpose today nails are used to decorate our hands and are a big part of our image.

Nails are made out of a horny material (keratin). It is a special material, which also plays a role in the formation of skin and hair. The main components of the nail are: nail matrix, nail plate, nail crescent and nail membrane.

 

Nail matrix

This is the layer that contains the nerves, lymph and blood vessels which are very important for nourishing the nails. When cells in the nail matrix divide, they form the nail plate.

Nail plate

This is the sturdy and slightly bulging layer which we basically call a nail. It is formed when keratin produced in the nail matrix moves up to the top and hardens. The nail bed is right bellow the nail plate and serves to support the nail.

Nail crescent

This is the light, almost white arch at the base of the nail. It owes its color to the fact that it is not thoroughly attached to the tissue beneath it. The nail crescent connects the plate with the matrix.

Nail membrane

This membrane is a thin layer of skin from the finger which protects the nail matrix and the cells underneath the nail plate, which take part in the formation of the nail. The cuticle is part of this membrane and caring for it should be undertaken cautiously, because if the water resistant area under the skin is broken, this can lead to infection. The membrane should not be treated too often, whether by mechanical means (cutting and pushing) or by chemicals, because this can make your nails uneven.

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