Do you think of your nails all the time? Most people don’t unless you’re a nail junkie or a manicurist who is totally in love with your job. Aside from the stubbed toe, a broken fingernail, or the occasional mani-pedi, we don’t give our nails much thought.
For sure, there are things you don’t know about nails and your nail polish. We list some of the fascinating facts about them:
1. Nails are made of the same material as our hair.
Although different in color and structure, our nails (both in fingers and toes) are made of the same material as our hair, which is keratin. That means the same foods that are good for the hair are good for the nails also. Keratin is a protein, so healthy fats, and oil is needed to keep both nails and hair strong and moisturized.
2. Many aspects affect nail growth.
The rate of nail growth is affected by a lot of things like gender, hormones, weather and hand activity. On average, fingernails grow for about 3.5 millimeters a month. Women’s nails actually grow slower than men’s. But during pregnancy, women’s nails tend to grow faster due to hormone secretions. If you would observe, nails typically grow faster in the summer than in the winter.
The dominant hand also contains the nails which grow the fastest, and that is why typing with nails, playing sports and getting a nail massage actually stimulate nail growth. Because of that, toenails grow a little bit slower, with an average of 1.6 millimeters a month. Strangely, the longer the fingers, the faster the nails grow – the middle nail grows the fastest and the thumbnail grows the slowest.
3. Nails can tell a lot about your overall health.
A well-educated dermatologist can tell about your body health just by examining your nails. If you have abnormally pale nails, you might have anemia. Dark, vertical lines on the nail bed mean you might be having melanoma. Depressions and small cracks in nails are often associated with psoriasis. Brittle and thin nails might mean thyroid problems. Yellowing and thickening nails are signs of fungal infection. Meanwhile, bluish discolorations might indicate lung disease. If you see something unusual about your nails, don’t think of it as just a skin condition. Consult your dermatologist immediately.