I've been trying to lure myself out of my one-track focus on nails. It's...kinda not working. Even in Nichole's makeup discussion group on Facebook, I find myself mostly only piping up when nails are mentioned. Being part of that group hasn't exactly gotten me to wear makeup often, but it has brought me into contact with people who aren't as nail-focused. I used to be way more into makeup than nails, if you can believe it. I know how it feels to be confident in one, but not the other...partly because I've kinda switched over the years. Somewhere along the lines, with a lot of help from the Nail Board and intensive reading of loodieloodieloodie, I got my nails under control, but I can still relate to how overwhelming nail care can look from "outside". Now I enjoy offering advice when I can.
Nail care is a massive topic and my head spins a bit even trying to pick a jumping off point. Cuticle care is a foundation, and a crash course in nail anatomy seems like a good next step. If you're setting out to have the best nails you can grow, you might as well know how they grow, right?
|I couldn't think of a name for this post, so I borrowed one from The Colbert Report|
For our purposes here today, this is a finger...kinda.
|...band-aids don't have fingernails. :P|
Jumping right in, there's the part we paint. It's casually just called the nail, of course, but it's more properly known as the nail plate:
The entire visible nail surface is the nail plate, but the part that's grown past the underlying skin is called the free edge.
The faint, white-ish "half-moon" you may be able to see on some of your nails is called the lunula.
Moving on from the visible nail structures to the skin around the nail, we come to the cuticle first.
Just behind the dead cuticle is the living eponychium.
The paronychium or lateral nail fold is the skin along either side of the nail plate.
Turning the finger over we can see the hyponychium.
Moving below the visible structures and down into the "guts" of the nail, here's the nail matrix.
Under the rest of the nail plate is the nail bed.
Hopefully that made sense! There's more to all of this, of course. I mentioned that we're all at least a little off from "textbook normal" and I think that's what I'll touch on next time.
I know I'm not great about replying to comments (I'm still trying to find a workaround to a technical issue), but if you have questions please either leave a comment or ask me on Twitter.