The Anatomy Of A Nail

Fingernails and toenails may just be hardened skin cells and keratin, but as any dermatologist or knowledgeable manicurist can tell you, there are actually quite a few components to these paintable parts. Here's a quick lesson to help you get to know your nails better.

NAIL PLATE
The visible part of the nail on your fingers and toes.

NAIL BED
The skin that lives beneath and acts as support for the nail plate.

LUNULA
Most prounounced on the thumbs, this is the white part of the nail at the base that resembles a half-moon.

NAIL FOLDS
Delicate skin that frames and protects the nails on all three sides.

CUTICLE
Tissue that rims the base, protecting the hardening nail as it grows out.

MATRIX
The living portion of the nail hidden underneath the cuticle, where growth takes place.

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