What affects nail cuticle growth and repair, and how long does repair take

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Bridget asked the Naked Scientists:
I just listened to the piece on fingernails, and I'm now extraordinarily curious about several things...what is the half moon white bit on our fingernails/how is it made/what is it called? 

Also, what influences the growth of your cuticle and the bits of skin on the sides of your nails?  Do some people have cuticle tears more often than usual?  How long does it take a nail to repair itself after some sort of injury?  When you look at the curvature of your nail, how come some are almost perfectly round, and others are sort of "banged in"?  Is there any way to fix this?  How does this part of your body heal itself? 

Sorry for the plethora of questions, but even as a biologist, I've never heard the answers!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/04/2010 18:30:02 by _system »


Offline Karen W.

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I am not sure exactly on your answers but do know that a healthy diet is vital to good nail health as well as skin. I can say that In my youth my cuticles or hang nails were easily come by working in the dirt and garden, but also, washing dishes by hands loads of harsh cleaners, etc.. I am now more protective of my hands and you need a good source of calcium for nails as well as a balanced diet to keep nails and cuticles healthy.. I always called the part you refer to as the moon but it has another name,, I do believe there is another thread about nails etc.. I will look around!

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