Nails

Nails are one of the most important parts of our bodies. They protect our fingers and toes from injury, help us pick up small objects, and provide sensation. Nails are made up of a hard protein called keratin.

The average person has ten fingers and ten toes, each with its own nail is composed of keratin. Keratin is also found in our hair and skin. This protein is what gives nails their strength.

Nails grow from the base of the nail bed and are pushed out by new nail cells that form in the matrix. The matrix is the area beneath the cuticle where new cells are generated. Nail growth occurs as old cells are pushed out and new ones take their place.

Nails grow about 3 millimeters per month on average. Fingernails grow faster than toenails, and nails on the dominant hand grow faster than those on the non-dominant hand. Nail growth is the fastest in children and slows down as we age.

There are many things that can affect nail growth, such as nutrition, illness, and injury. For example, a lack of protein can cause nails to become brittle and break easily.

Nails can tell us a lot about our overall health. For example, yellow nails can be a sign of jaundice, while white spots may indicate a zinc deficiency. Brittle nails can be a sign of hypothyroidism, and clubbed nails may indicate heart or lung disease.

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