Anatomy of a Nail

If you have ever noticed your nail is different than the rest of your body, you may want to understand more about its anatomy and functions. To do so, read this article. We will learn the anatomy of your nail, its functions, and how the nail grows. You will also learn how to take care of your nail. Listed below are the parts of a nail. You can also watch a video about nails. We will go over some of the most common nail problems.


Your fingernails and toenails serve a variety of functions, from scratching and protecting your digits to improving your sense of touch. The condition of your nails reflects your overall health and well-being. Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating tissues! Here are some fun facts about nails and their functions! You’ll be glad you did! Let’s start by exploring some of the most important uses of your fingers and toenails.

The main function of your nails is to protect and reinforce your skin. The skin around your nails has a number of nerves and glands to keep you safe from the environment. Nails protect the tips of your fingers and toes and aid in picking up small objects. They are an essential part of our body. If you’re not careful, you could break your nail! The nail bed contains millions of nerves and blood vessels.

Your nail and underlying distal phalanx have a close embryologic relationship, which changes after birth. Both parts are involved in the formation of the nail, and bone morphogenic proteins play a role in nail formation. Nail dystrophies are congenital defects of the nail. Adults with psoriatic arthritis often have nail manifestations. Inflammation in the underlying joint or bone can disturb the proximal nail matrix, resulting in crumbly or pitted nails. The nail unit has numerous anastomotic channels, which help the blood to flow throughout the body.

The keratin plate, also known as the nail body, is the main component of your nail. It’s composed of layers of keratinized skin cells and is very dense. Its color comes from the blood vessels beneath the nail. The surface of the nail is translucent and has grooves that anchor the nail to the nail bed. The nail plate’s main function is to protect the living nail bed. The skin beneath it is made up of nerves and blood vessels.


The structure of the nail is divided into six distinct parts, each performing a specific function. When one component is damaged or weakened, the whole structure of the nail may be affected, leading to an abnormal appearance. The first part is the root or germinal matrix, which extends several millimeters into the finger. It produces most of the volume of the nail, including the nail plate. Next, is the mantle, which is the skin that covers the nail plate.

The third “superficial” arch is located at the base of the distal phalanx and has a dual vascular supply. The first branch comes from the palmar digital artery on the proximal phalanx and crosses the distal interphalangeal joint dorsally. The second branch arises from the distal interphalangeal joint and anastomoses to form the superficial arch. Because the nail unit is independent of the distal phalanx, a condition that threatens the vitality of the nail is usually temporary.

The nail plate is made of keratin, a protein that forms the nail’s surface. The plate is flexible and hard, and the surrounding soft tissues are also composed of keratin. A thin layer of skin covers the nail plate and varies in thickness from fingertip to fingertip. The nail plate itself is divided into two areas: the sterile matrix and the nail wall. The matrix contains a crescent-shaped base, known as the lunula. A fold is formed at the base of the nail, forming the nail wall. The nail bed contains a rich vascular network.

The nail plate, also known as the nail body, is the horny plate that grows on the back of a finger or toe. Its shape is similar to that of a vertebral hoof, talon, or claw. The nail plate is composed of highly specialized epithelial cells, and is attached to the nail bed, which supplies it with nutrients. A network of blood vessels located in the underlying dermis forms a pink layer over the nail plate.