Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Do Fingernails Grow?

How Do Fingernails Grow?

Fingernails grow from the matrix. As new cells grow in the matrix, the older cells are pushed out, compacted and take on the familiar flattened, hardened form of the fingernail.

Fingernails and toenails are special growths of hardened skin cells. These skin cells are filled with a tough, horn-like material called keratin.

The living and growing part of the nail is beneath the white, crescent-shaped area at the nail’s base. As the new nail cells form, they pack together tightly and slowly push the nail forward.

The fingernails grow about two inches (5 centimetres) a year, slightly faster than the toenails. The nail of the index finger grows faster than that of the little finger; and fingernails require three to six months to grow again completely whereas toenails require 12 to 18 months.

Nails generally grow faster in young people, in males, and in the summer. The fingernails on the right hand of a right handed person grow faster than those on their left hand, and vice versa.

Actual growth rate is dependent upon age, sex, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors. Nails grow faster in the summer than in any other season. Our nails are very useful. They protect the ends of our fingers and toes. Our fingernails also help us to pick up small objects.

What vitamin deficiency causes vertical lines in fingernails? Causes and symptoms of ridges in fingernails. If your body is low in protein, calcium, zinc, or vitamin A, a deficiency can sometimes be revealed by ridges in your fingernails.

Content for this question contributed by Lynda Mitzel, resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA