Rehab Your Nails: Anatomy of a Nail

12:48 PM

This is a pretty simple chart which shows you the basic parts of your  nail.  The free edge is the white-ish area of the nail which grows beyond the nail bed.  This is the part of the nail that is not attached to the skin of your finger.  The nail plate is the actual nail which sits on top of the nail bed.  It is the hardened nail which IS attached to your finger.  The nail BED is the area of your  nail which is attached but it refers to the actual skin underneath of the nail plate.  The lunula is the little half moon at the base of your nail.  Some can see this and some cannot and still others can only see it on some of their nails.  Whether you can see it or not makes no difference in the health of your nails.  Then we have the cuticle...which I think we've thoroughly covered on this blog!!  Why am I showing you this?  There is a lot of buzz on the web lately as to what makes a long nail bed and before I get into showing you what is or is not a long nail bed, I want you to understand what it is.  

If you were to think about your actual bed (you know, the one you sleep in!) you can think of the nail plate as your sheets.  They cover and protect your mattress and, like your nail plate, you can change them to any color you want!  The mattress would be like your nail bed.  It's there, under the nail plate but you don't expose it (well...maybe on laundry day!) it's there just for support.  Most of us probably don't pay any attention to our nail bed but it's really very important to our nail health.  Damaging the nail bed can cause irreparable damage to your nail plate. How?

Did you ever bite your nails?  If you have you might have experienced the pain of biting too far and hitting skin. Even if you haven't you may have gotten hurt and had a cut under your nail plate which hurt for sometime.  It probably healed and now looks pretty normal but repeatedly injuring the bed can cause the skin to form a "scar".  When this happens the nail bed becomes part of your paronychium and the nail will no longer attach to it.  This shortens your nail bed.  The damage can be temporary and some people who are chronic biters may be able to have normal nail beds again after many years of not biting.  For others, the damage is too much and the nail bed will be shortened for life.  Serious injury can cause this as well as long term nail diseases and disorders.  

If you have short nail beds whether they be self inflicted or genetic, then the next series of posts will be of some interest you!  I'm going to show you, not only what makes a long nail bed but also what you can do to increase your nail bed length and to fake a long nail bed.  I'll even show you how to make your fingers appear longer and slimmer simply by shaping your nail.  Stay tuned next month for my New Year New Nails series! And if you are a biter...make it a resolution to stop right now!!

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  1. Oh my! That sounds fabulous, can't wait to see what you're going to write about it!

  2. I remember this facebook conversation :)

    Could you explain what the paronychium is again? The sides? The nail bed?

  3. Oh I am so excited for this. I was a chronic nail biter (but I'm in the process of stopping) and the nail bed on several of my nails (particularly my pointer fingers) is super short--plus, my nails are super thin and they like to flake and break. I'm excited to see what you have to say, and hopefully it will help :)

    1. Ah stop biting!! There is hope that if you stop your bed may return to normal! :)

  4. So *that's* what's up with my funky nailbeds. I used to bite my nails until my dad bribed me with jewelry! Ha! Can't wait for your next posts!

  5. I can't wait to read on (behind on my emails lol). I have never bitten, but just have short and wonky nail beds. Looking forward to your information.

    Thanks for sharing!



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