Basic knowledge of fingernail cosmetics

Free nail edge and smile line

Free nail edge – begins at the smile line

The free nail edge is the part of the fingernail which does not adhere to the nail bed. The free nail edge begins at the smile line and protrudes beyond the fingertip. By the similarity with a smiling mouth emerged the term smile line and comes from the manicure branch.

Nail plate and nail bed

Nail plate on the nail bed

The nail plate arises at the nail root and adheres to the nail bed. Finest horn cells form the horny layers and protect the sensitive fingertips, which have about 3400 nerve endings. The nail plate is about 0.3 to 0.7 mm thick and consists of three horn layers each having its own cell structure. The uppermost layer is called dorsal nail. It is the hardest layer of the nail plate and serves as a protective layer against external influences.

The middle horn layer is softer than the first horn layer and is referred to as an intermediate nail. It is connected to the first horn layer and consists of keratin. The lowest horny layer, which is very soft, is called the ventral nail. It is connected to the second horn layer and also consists of keratin.

The connective tissue of the nail bed is connected to the lowest layer of the horn and is used for the growth of the nail plate. At the transition to the free nail edge is a fine cuticle which is called Hyponychium. The Hyponychium protects the nail bed and prevents the penetration of foreign substances. A rich blood supply in the connective tissue gives the nail bed a pink color. Through the color of the nail bed, trained medical professionals can recognize the diseases of organs in the body.

Nail wall and nail fold

Nail wall and nail fold

The nail wall, which is also called a skin fold, covers the nail plate at the growing U-shaped area. The nail fold lies between the nail wall and the nail plate and is a furrow around the fingernail and protects the nail plate.

Nail skin (Cuticle)

Nail skin (Cuticle)

Between the nail plate and the nail fold there is still a skin layer which is called a nail skin or also a cuticle. The combination of the nail wall, the nail fold and the nail skin prevents the penetration of foreign substances into the growing and sensitive area of the nail plate.

Half moon (Lunula)

Half moon (Lunula)

The visible area of the nail root is referred to as a half moon or as a lunula. The visibility of the half moon is dependent on the size and structure of the nail root, so the half moon is not visible on all fingernails.

Nail root (Nail matrix)

Nail root (Nail matrix)

The nail root, which is also called a nail matrix, is the most important area of the fingernail. The nail plate is produced by the cell production in the nail root. The width and thickness of the nail plate depends on the size and shape of the nail root. The width of the nail root also determines the width of the nail plate. The length of the nail root determines the thickness of the nail plate. Injuries on the nail root should be avoided. All injuries to the nail root are visible on the growing nail plate and can also lead to the growth break.

Note: All information without guarantee for completeness and correctness. No liability can be assumed for any damage that may occur.

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