What are nails but dead cells hardened and accumulating! And did you know that your nails have the ability to show signs and symptoms of various illnesses? Nails might be a small portion of our body, but if you understand a little bit about it, you’ll realize the enormous significance it plays in your day-to- day life.
Go ahead and read many things about your nails that you never knew!
Surprising isn’t it? Yes, your nails and hair are both made of keratin. Keratin is the fibrous structural protein that protects cells from damage or stress. Apart from being the composition of your hair and nails, keratin is also the fundamental building block of our outer skin or epidermis.
The next time you go to the zoo or play with your dog, make sure to check their nails. However the structure at the end of your pet animals is not nails, rather they are claws. Evolutionary biology claims that nails are what separate the primates from other mammals. So be proud of your nails, not every animal has it!
What do you do when you are tensed? Tap your foot? Tighten your palms? Bite your nails? For a great number of people in the world, nail biting is the most common reaction to a situation that involves tension and nervousness. Thankfully, today we even have a name for this habit; onychophagia. Onychophagia is a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A harmful obsession with nail biting can severely affect your nails and the skin around it.
Cuticles are the dead skin at the moon of your nails. They have an important function in maintaining the moisture of your nails. Cuticles also protect your nail from infection. This is why nail technicians often take care of your cuticles well, massaging them with cuticle oil, so that they remain healthy.
Since ancient times, nails were used to diagnose illnesses. Discolored nails or changes in the shape of the nail etc are clinical tools to know the presence of disorders in the skin and the body. Clubbing, spooning, concave nails and spots are the general indications of illness through nails.
You might be surprised to know that typing on a keyboard can stimulate faster nail growth. Activities, like tapping the table and playing the piano, can increase the speed of your nail growth. This is because activities that cause light trauma to your nails can increase the number of dead cells, which comes out as your nails. So if you fancy having long nails at a short notice, you can try applying some pressure through activities such as typing, piano playing etc.
Although there is no answer as to why this difference occurs, research has shown that nail growth is faster in males than females.
This is quite obvious, for if you are left –handed, the trauma from everyday use to your nails will much higher than the other hand. This increases the blood circulation thereby causing the nails to grow faster. Therefore for left-handers, the left-hand nails grow faster than the right-hand nails and vice versa.
Our skin sweats, scalp sweats, and even our fingers sweat. However, our nails don’t sweat. Nails have no water inside them as they are just dead cells, as opposed to other parts of the body.
If you have tried cutting or trimming your toenails, you would have found that the toe nails are harder. There is a reason for this. Since toes and feet are what support our entire body during motion, it requires considerable strength. Toenails are harder and stronger because of the pressure it experiences.
The popular understanding was that nails continue to grow even after we die. This is not true because for the new nail to grow, it requires glucose supply. Since the glucose supply is cut at death, your nail can’t grow. Then how come we can see longer nails? When we die the skin becomes dehydrated, leading to its retraction. This exposes new nail region which appears to be longer. Thus the longer nails you see in a dead person is not the nails growing, but rather the skin retracting due to the lack of water.