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Archive for March, 2008

How Long Does It Take For Fingernails to Grow

Posted by admin on March 17th, 2008

Ever wonder how long it takes for fingernails to grow?  Maybe you’re trying to be the next World’s Longest Fingernail record holder.  Maybe you’re nail fell off from a serious accident?  In either case, here are some statistics that can help you determine how long your fingernails grow.

According to CDLIB.org, a collaboration of libraries of the Universities of California, here is a good determinate in finding out the growth rate of fingernails.

"FINGERNAIL GROWTH

William B. Bean studied his own nail growth for 35 years and published
the data in Arch Intern Med, 1974, Vol. 134, 497-502 (30 yrs) and ibid,
1980, Vol. 140, p. 73-76 (35 yrs).  He found that nails grow more slowly
with age; growth rate at age 32 was 0.123mm/day, but by age 67 had decreased
to0.095mm/day.  No variation with geographical location, physical activity,
or season.

Dan Mitchell, MD"

This coincides with stories of people who have injured their nails and given time frames of how long it took for them to grow back.  If you’re relatively young (younger than 67 yrs according to above), you can expect about 2 full months for your fingernail to grow back if it has previously fallen off from injury.

In addition to this, you can take the above data to help you determine how long it might take you to grow your fingernails long enough to beat Lee Redmond’s world record.  As you can see, Ms. Redmond claims a pretty noteworthy record as she has had to continually protect her nails for close to over 30 years!

Long Fingernails – Anatomy and Conditions

Posted by admin on March 7th, 2008

Look closely at your nails. Do they look strong and healthy? Or do you see dents, ridges or areas of unusual color or shape? Many of these nail conditions can be avoided through proper care, but some actually indicate an illness that requires attention.

Although your nails often go unnoticed, they play an important role, serving to improve dexterity and help protect your fingers. It is important to keep them healthy and to accomplish this, it is helpful to learn more about them. 

To better understand the clues that fingernails can give you to your general health, we will describe the different parts of your fingernail and some common conditions that many often experience.

Anatomy of Fingernails:

Your nails are made up of keratin or laminated layers of protein.  Each nail is comprised of several different parts: nail plate, nail folds, nail bed, cuticle, and lunulaw6_fingernail

  • Nail plate – the hard portion of the nail that is most visible. 
  • Nail folds – the skin that frames three sides of your nail. 
  • Nail bed – is as it sounds, a bed for the plate (the skin underneath the nail plate). 
  • Cuticle  – consists of the tissue that overlaps the base of your nail plate and protects the new keratin cells that grow on the nail bed. 
  • Lunula  – is the whitish, half-moon shape at the base of your nail underneath the plate.

Now that you know the different parts of your fingernail, we can focus on what condition they are in and what that condition indicates.

Healthy nails are smooth, without ridges or grooves. They are uniform in color and consistency, and free of spots or discoloration.

Some of the common nail conditions are harmless such as vertical ridges, white lines or spots.  These are often associated with aging or injury. Verticle Ridging

Other conditions can indicate disease such as yellow discoloration, your nail pulling away from the nail bed, and indentations that run across your nails (Beau’s lines). 

Yellow discoloration may result from a respiratory condition, such as chronic bronchitis, or from swelling of your hands (lymphedema) or from yeast or bacterial infection beneath the nail.

If your nail pulls away from the nail bed, it could indicate psoriasis or intolerance to certain medications.

Beau’s lines (Indentations that run across your nails) appear when growth at the area under your cuticle is interrupted. This might occur because of an injury or severe illness.

You can learn ways to ensure your nails remain healthy in our article, "Six Tips for Healthier Nails".

If you have a nail problem that persists or is associated with other signs and symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out.