Feb 15, 2013

Fingernail and Toenail Facts

Fingernails grow about 3.5 mm per month and toenails grow about 1.6 mm per month on average. The exact rate at which your nails grow depends on several factors, such as age, sex, diet, exercise, etc. Nails also grow faster in summer when it is warmer. Fingernails can be seen on babies after the tenth week of pregnancy.

Nails consist of many different parts. The visible part is known as the nail plate and below that is the nail bed. The white, half-moon shaped part at the base is called the lunula or distal matrix. The tissue over the top of the matrix is called the cuticle, and the soft tissue directly over the cuticle, is called the eponychium.

Ninety percent of nail growth comes from the matrix. Pressure within the matrix forces dead karatinized cells out. Speed of growth is caused be blood supply and it seems the increased activity of our fingers vs. our toes causes more blood supply to our fingers which leads to faster growth.

The longest fingernails ever recorded on a women belonged to Lee Redmond of Las Vegas. After growing for 30 years, they measured a combined length of 28 feet 4.5 inches. Unfortunately, she lost her fingernails in a car accident in February 2009.

Clean trimmed nails are more noticeable to the beholder than the owner.