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Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do We Have Half-moons under Our Fingernails?

Why Do We Have Half-moons under Our Fingernails?

The pale half-moon area at the base of the fingernail is known as the lunula (luna is the Latin word for “moon”). All the growth that pushes the nail forward takes place under the lunula. Here, the nail cells are constantly dividing. As they increase in number, they push the old cells forward.

When nail cells are first pushed out from under the lunula, they are white, and that is the reason for the white half-moon at the base. Further along the nail, the cells become transparent, and we see the pinkish color of the blood showing through the skin beneath.

One can usually see the Lunula on the thumbs, forefingers, middle fingers and a little bit on the ring finger. If you do not see the Lunula on your nails, it just means that your nail plate is thinner because of reduced nail cell production. This is always genetic and doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your nails.

Content for this question contributed by Billy Coldicott, resident of N. Tonawanda, Niagara County, New York, USA