Nails are more complicated than we think! Apart from the stubbed toe, broken fingernail or occasional manicure, many of us usually take our nails for granted. We do not give them much beyond a passing thought. For starters, nails comprise of more than just the conspicuous part that we paint over with good-quality polish.
Fingernails and toenails are largely similar, except that fingernails grow 3-4 times faster than toenails. A nail is a hard body part at the tip of the toes and fingers, of which many humans have ten. They comprise of the same type of material (keratin) as the claws of other animals. Only specific mammals have nails: mostly. Primates mostly have nails.
Like hair, nails grow continuously. It does not hurt when you cut your nails regularly. Some people like to paint their toenails and/or fingernails to make themselves look nice. A protein known as keratin makes up the nails. Skin and hair have keratin as well.
The painting and cutting of the nails is referred to as a manicure. Some nails can grow into the skin, and they’re known as ingrowing nails. They can hurt, so a doctor can give you the right medicine to treat them.
Most of us do not know many facts about nails. Some of these facts are quite interesting, and I believe you would love to know. In this post, we would like to share with you some little-known, interesting facts about nails.
1. Several aspects affect nail growth. Many things such as hormones, gender, hand activity and weather affect the rate of nail growth. The nails of women grow slower than men’s nails. On average, fingernails grow for nearly 3.5mm every month.
If you would observe, nails usually grow faster in the summer than in the winter. However, the nails of women tend to grow faster due to high hormone secretions during pregnancy.
Also, the nails on the dominant hand grow the fastest, and that’s why getting a nail massage, playing sports and typing with nails stimulate nail growth. As a result, toenails grow a bit slower, with the average of 1.6 millimeters a month. Interestingly, the longer the fingers, the faster the nails grow – the thumbnail grows the slowest, and the middle nail grows the fastest.
2. Nails can reveal a lot about your overall health. If you’ve unusually pale nails, you might have anemia. Just by examining your nails, a well-educated dermatologist can tell about your body health. Dark, vertical lines on your nail bed mean you might be having melanoma.
Thickening and yellowing nails are signs of fungal infection. Meanwhile, bluish discolorations might indicate lung disease. Small cracks and depressions in nails are usually associated with psoriasis. Thin and brittle nails might mean thyroid problems.
Consult your dermatologist immediately if you see something unusual about your nails. Do not think of it as just a skin condition.
3. Nails are made of similar material as our hair. While different in structure and color, our nails (on both toes and fingers) are made of similar material as our hair, which is keratin. Since keratin is a protein, your body needs healthy fats and oil to keep both hair and nails moisturized and strong. In fact, foods that are good for the nails are also good for the hair.
4. Our cuticles are not just for decoration. They play a crucial role! That’s why it is imperative to avoid picking at your cuticles. They seal moisture and keep environmental germs out of the body.
5. According to the Guinness World Records 2011, a woman called Lee Redmond has the longest fingernails in the world totaling 28 feet, 4.5 inches long. Lee has not cut her nails since 1979.
6. You can wait for four to six months for a fingernail to grow. In average, the nail grows only 1 cm in every 100 days. The toenails have slower growth rate since they grow in 12-18 months.
7. Sleep and stress affect nails. Having an inadequate sleep or inappropriate sleeping habits can affect your nail growth. Your stress levels can also inhibit nail growth. Therefore, next time you find your nails getting weaker, check your sleeping habits and keep calm. Improper sleep and stress divert nutrients and energy away from nails.