Some Interesting Nail Facts

There are many interesting facts that are related to nails. Some of these facts are pure superstition but most of them are scientific. Even some of the superstition beliefs draw attention with the presence of logic in them. So, here are some interesting facts about nails:

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  • Nails are actually the same as hair. Both hair and nails are made of the same protein, called keratin.
  • The nail plates are dead cells and contrary to the popular belief, they don’t breathe. So they don’t require oxygen. However, the nail beds and the cuticles are live cells and they do need oxygen, vitamins and minerals.
  • Nails don’t sweat. The nail bed does not have sweat glands, so it can’t perspire. It is the skin around the nails that gets sweaty.
  • Nails grow at the rate of 0.1 mm daily (or 1 cm in every 100 days). So, for a finger nail to regrow completely, it takes between 4 and 6 months. For toe nails, the period of complete regrow is 12 to 18 months.
  • Men’s nails grow faster than women’s nails.
  • Finger nails for both genders grow faster than toe nails.
  • Toe nails are about twice thicker than finger nails.
  • The fastest growing nail is on the middle finger. The slowest – on the thumbnail.
  • When nails are freshly cut, they grow faster than nails that are not cut often. That is why it takes so much time to grow nails longer than an inch (breaking nails is excluded).
  • Seasons and weather also affect nail growth. Nails grow faster in warm climates and during daytime, than in cold climates and at night.
  • Nails grow faster on young people than on old people. Also nails grow much faster during pregnancy.
  • Nails grow at different speeds on both hands. If you are right-handed, the nails on your right hand will grow faster than the nails on your left hand and vice versa.
  • Light trauma, like typing on a computer stimulates nail growth. Well, this kind of trauma looks more like a massage actually.
  • Cutting your nails after dark is bad luck. Although this is pure superstition, there is enough logic in it – if you cut your nails when there is not enough light, you can injure yourself.
  • Some mammals, for example elephants, have 5 nails on each of the their front legs and most often only 4 nails per hind leg.
  • It is a myth that hair and nails will continue to grow for several days after death. This is an optical illusion and is due to the fact that the skin shrinks, thus making it look as if the hair and nails are growing.
  • Nails are very tough (compared to skin of course) but even they will be dissolved in about 4 days, if you put them in Coke because Coke is highly corrosive.
  • Nail manicure is a very ancient activity. There is evidence that even 4,000 years ago it was known to our predecessors.
  • The longest finger nail ever recorded was that of an Indian guy and it was 48 inches long.
  • If you don’t drink enough water, this is bad for your health anyway but you might have never expected that it leads to dry nails as well.
  • A hang nail is painful because you have ripped open the edge of the living nail root.http://www.nail-care-tips.com/interesting-nail-facts.php

Our nails are a reflection of our health.  Here is some fab facts that I found on another great wordpress blog and I wanted to share them with you.   Thanks to  Alexandra Teagan for the info.  http://alexandrateagan.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/nail-diagnosis/

The nails, skin, tongue, and hair are all outward reflections of your inner health, and we can learn to read these signs with practice and study. The nails are alive and always growing and they’re quick to show us what might be going on in the body. REMEMBER- everything you see on the outside of your body, is a reflection of something going on inside your body.

Here are some examples:

Dry, brittle nails that break easily could indicate a deficiency of silicon, calcium, and zinc.

Ridges along nails could mean that you have poor digestion or lack hydrochloric acid.

White spots on fingernails may indicate zinc deficiency.

Thin, flat, spoon-shaped nails can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.

A deep blue color to the nails may indicate a lack of oxygen in the tissues due to asthma or emphysema.

Nails that come off or separate from the fingers may indicate problems with the thyroid.

Thick cuticles can indicate poor digestion of protein.

Unusually wide, square nails can suggest a hormonal disorder.

Brittle nails signify possible iron deficiency, thyroid problems, impaired kidney function, and circulation problems.

Brittle soft, shiny nails with a moon may indicate an overactive thyroid.

Dark nails and/or thin, flat, spoon-shaped nails are a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia.

Nails can turn gray or dark if the hands are placed in chemicals (most often bleach) or a substance to which one is allergic.

Deep blue nail beds show a pulmonary obstructive disorder such as asthma or emphysema.

Greenish nails, if not a result of a localized fungal infection, may indicate an internal bacterial infection.

Black, splinter like bits under the nails can be a sign of infectious endocarditits, a serious heart infection; other heart disease; or a bleeding disorder.

A half-white nail with dark spots at the tip points to possible kidney disease.

An isolated dark-blue bank in the nail bed, especially in light-skinned people, can be a sign of skin cancer.

Nail beading (the development of bumps on the surface of the nail) is a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

Nails that chip, peel, crack, or break easily show a general nutritional deficiency and insufficient hydrochloric acid and protein. Minerals are also needed.

Vertical ridges indicate poor general health, poor nutrient absorption, and/or iron deficiency; they may also indicate a kidney disorder.

Horizontal ridges can occur as a result of severe stress, either psychological or physical, such as from infection and/or disease.

White lines across the nail may indicate liver disease.

If the white moon area of the nail turns red, it may indicate heart problems, if it turns slate blue, then it can indicate either heavy metal poisoning (such as silver poisoning) or lung trouble.

White nails indicate possible liver or kidney disorders or/and anemia.

White nails with pink near the tips are a sign of cirrhosis.

Yellow nails or an elevation of the nail tips can indicate internal disorders such as problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disorders.

Downward-curved nail ends may denote heart, liver or respiratory disease.

 

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