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The Nail Bed: This is the portion of skin upon which the nail plate rests.

It has
very rich supply of blood and lymph vessels to keep nail healthy. The function
of the nail bed is to supply nourishment and protection.
Nail Plate: The nail plate is composed of layers of keratinized skin cells. The
layers are packed very closely together with fat but very little water content.
The nail gradually grows over the nail bed and becomes free edge. There are
no blood vessels or nerves in the nail plate. The pink color of the nail plate
derives from the blood vessels that passes beneath it. The main function of
the nail plate is to protect the living nail bed of the fingers and toes.
The Free Edge: The nail plate leaves the end of the finger and forms a
projection that is called the free edge. This is attached to the nail bed and
appears as white. The function of the free edge is to protect the fingertip and
the hyponychium. This is the part we file and shape!
The Hyponychium: This is a part of the epidermis under the free edge of the
nail plate. Its function is to protect the nail bed from infection.
The Nail Grooves: This lies alongside of the edge of the nail plate. The
function of the nail groove is to keep the nail growing in a straight line.
The Matrix: This is the growing area of the nail and sometimes called as the
nail root. The shape and size of the matrix determines the thickness of the
nail. The process of the keratinization takes place in the epidermal cells of the
matrix, forming the hardened tissue of the nail plate. The function of the matrix
is to produce new nail cells.
The Nail Mantle: The nail mantle is the layer of epidermis at the base of the
nail, before the cuticle. The function of the nail mantle is to protect the matrix
from physical damage.

The Lunula: This is located at the base of the nail, lying over the matrix. It is
white in color and known as half-moon. The nail is slightly soft in this area and
can be easily damaged.
The Cuticle: The overlapping epidermis around the base of the nail is called
the cuticle. The function of the cuticle is to protect the matrix from infection.
The Nail Walls: These are the folds of the skin overlapping the sides of the
nails. The function of the nail wall is to protect the nail plate edges.
The Perionychium: This is the collective name given to the nail walls and the
cuticle area.
The Eponychium: This is the extension of the cuticle at the base of the nail
plate, under which the nail plate emerges from matrix. The function of
eponychium is to protect matrix from infection.
Is that a lot of info to digest? Well, atleast now you know your nails are so
much more than a bunch of dead cells! We are big on the how and why of
thing. And now that you know all that happens with these beauteous things,
we can’t wait to share more with you about caring for your nails and even
creating some funky nail art.