10 Curious Facts About Nails

From social status indicative to the tool already used by our ancestors, nails play an important role in the human body! Here are some curiosities about them!

1. Body showcase


If the eyes are the showcase of the soul, nails also play an important role in exposing our physical health. When they have two shades of color - whitish at the base and more reddish at the tips - they may be indicative of kidney and liver disease.

White spots point to excessive nail and finger trauma or even excessive chewing.

Bruised nails, with very thick cuticle skin, may signal lung, cardiac, liver or intestinal disorders. Stress levels reveal themselves when they are peeling or brittle.

2. Own diseases


Speaking of pathologies, the nail itself can get sick. Although more common on the skin, psoriasis can also affect keratin structures. When very severe, even, it points to cardiovascular risks.

3. Social Status


If healthy and beautiful nails indicate health, well-groomed and painted nails are also a sign of social status. Or so it was in ancient cultures, which used nail art to indicate wealth and power.

4. Post mortem nail


Contrary to popular belief, nails do not keep growing after a person dies. What happens is that when we die, the base and the skin around them retract because they are no longer receiving fluids, and this gives the impression of growth. In fact, it is the fingers that are shrinking.

5. 0.1 millimeter per day


This is the speed of growth of human nails; That is why, after being cut for 1 month, it seems to have increased by almost half an inch.

Another curiosity is that they do it faster in summer and also during the day compared to night. This is probably related to the fact that these are the periods when we are most exposed to vitamin D.

6. Four Parts


Although appearing to have a simple structure, the nails are divided into four parts: the matrix, the nail plate, the nail bed and the surrounding skin - which includes the cuticle. All this is also part of the integumentary system of the human body, the same as the hair and skin.

7. "The Claw!"

Yes, our nails are actually derived from the claws of the ancestral primates of humans - which were in fact also made of keratin. Interestingly enough, while in the past they were probably well curved, the nails flattened out to make tool handling easier.

8. Gnawing the nails


You no longer have to feel guilty if you have been suppressed for biting your nails. Be aware that between 20% and 30% of people do too, scientists estimate. What makes us do this is still a mystery, but it usually happens when people are bored, frustrated and anxious, or even when they need to focus.

On the other hand, this is really not recommended. Hyponychium, that part of the skin that lies under the blade's edge, is always a festival of bacteria that can lead to gastrointestinal problems.

9. Sensitivity


While nails are strong and sturdy, fingertips are more sensitive. This is because the nerve fibers of the tips have high density.

10. Nail Clippers


The first nail clipper was patented in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1875 by an inventor named Valentine Fogerty. But he was quite different from what we know today. The current format is actually a creation by Eugene Heim and Oelestin Matz, recorded in 1881.