Anatomy of the Fingernail

Your fingernail has several components. The nail plate, or nail body, is made of keratin protein and several layers of dead cells. It is flexible and strong, depending on the shape of the underlying bone. It is attached strongly to the nail bed, but does not contain nerves or blood vessels. The nail is also covered with the corresponding cuticle, which is the skin-like structure that surrounds the nail. This layer is often a source of sensitivity and irritation.


The anatomy of the fingernail is essential to a thorough understanding of the physiology of the digit. It is the most important sensory organ in the body, forming an integral part of the digital tip. The nail organ has four main components: the plate, the cuticle, the distal interphalangeal joint capsule, and the ligaments and tendons. This anatomy is vital to the health of the fingernail.

The lateral part of the nail plate is the hyponychium, which is the region between the nail plate and the pulp epidermis. This area is specialized in histology, and it provides protection to the adjacent nail structures. Minor injury or trauma to these structures may create an environment that is favorable for bacterial infection. In the proximal nail groove, the eponychium acts as a “finishing” layer for the nail.


There are several functions of the nails. They protect the skin underneath and increase tactile sensitivity. They also increase a person’s strength by providing counterpressure. Without them, it would be impossible to tell the difference between a dime and quarter. Nails also serve as an indicator of overall health. Here are some of the most important functions of the nails:

Nails are a protective plate covering the fingertips. They are composed of layers of keratin, which functions as a matrix for cells. All skin cells contain keratin, but nails contain higher amounts. Because of the high concentration of keratin, nails appear harder than other skin tissues. They also serve many functions, including filtering contaminants and heating the body. Therefore, it is important to understand the different functions of the nails to keep your hands warm and safe.

Fingernails protect the distal phalanx, the tip of the finger, and the surrounding soft tissue. As a counterforce when we touch something, fingernails help protect our fingers. They also increase sensitivity of the fingertip. Nails also serve as a tool and can be used for scraping and cutting actions. The nails also serve as a counterforce to the skin. They can be very sensitive, so we need to protect them from being harmed.


When nails look healthy, they are smooth, free from spots, streaks, or unusual shapes. However, if they start to ridge, streak, or yellow, there could be a health problem that needs treatment. Nails are made of keratin, the same material that makes hair, and grow from the base to the tip. The appearance of your nails depends on your health, diet, and contact with different substances.

If your dog begins limping or licking its legs, it could be an indication of nail problems. Problem nails are brittle, weak, or misshapen. They may also have pus and swelling in the area around the nail bed. Your veterinarian can prescribe a prescription medication or recommend treatment. For dog owners, it’s best to have a veterinarian examine the nails to rule out any underlying conditions. If the nails are painful, consider surgery.


A topical treatment for nail fungal infections is ineffective in the majority of cases. To get rid of the infection, you will need to take a tablet. Tablets are more effective and take less time than topical treatments. Some people cannot take tablets because of health risks. Consult your doctor to determine which treatment is best for your condition. In the meantime, you can find out more about the different treatment options for nail fungal infections on the IQWiG website.

A fungal infection of the nail is often caught from moist areas. Communal showers are common sources of fungus and nail salons don’t always properly disinfect their instruments. Another risk factor is wearing tight-fitting shoes for long periods of time. A fungal infection of the nail can be caused by athlete’s foot or another medical condition, so your doctor will need to diagnose your condition before recommending a treatment plan.