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Chapter 8: Nail Structure and Growth
vocab flash cards
26
Cosmetology
08/29/2010

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Term
natural nail
Definition
Technically referred to as onyx. The hard, protective plate of the nail.composed mostly of keratin.
Term
onyx
Definition
The technical term for the nail of the fingers or toes.
Term
nail unit
Definition
All the anatomical parts of the fingernail necessary to produce the natural nail plate.
Term
nail plate
Definition
Hardened keratin plate covering the nail bed. While it appears to be one piece, it is actually constructed of about 100 layers of nail cells.
Term
nail groove
Definition
Slit or furrow on the sides of the nail.
Term
nail fold
Definition
Fold of natural skin that surrounds the nail plate.
Term
nail bed
Definition
Portion of the skin that the nail plate sits on. Richly supplied with blood vessels, it has a pinkish appearance. It also is supplied with many nerves.
Term
matrix
Definition
Area where the natural nail is formed. This area is composed of matrix cells that make up the nail plate. It contains nerves, lymph, and blood vessels to nourish the matrix cells. It extends from under the nail fold at the base of the nail plate.
Term
lunula
Definition
Whitish half-moon shape at the base of the nail plate caused by the reflection of light off the surface of the matrix.
Term
ligament
Definition
Tough bank of the fibrous tissue that connects bones or holds an organ in place. In the nail, they are located at the base of the matrix, and around the edges of the nail bed.
Term
hyponychium
Definition
The slightly thickened layer of the skin that lies beneath the free edge of the nail plate.
Term
free edge
Definition
Part of the nail plate that extends over the top of the finger or toe.
Term
eponychium
Definition
Living skin at the base of the nail plate covering the matrix area. It is NOT the cuticle. Cuticle = dead tissue. Eponychium = living skin.
Term
cuticle
Definition
Incredibly sticky dead tissue that tightly adheres to the nail plate. It seals the space between the nail plate and the living skin to protect it from injury and infection.
Term
bed epithelium
Definition
Thin layer of tissue between the nail plate and the nail bed.
Term
nail porosity
Definition
The nail plate is relatively porous to water, allowing it to pass much more easily than it will pass through normal skin of equal thickness.
Term
nail water content
Definition
The nail's water content is related to the relative humidity of the surrounding environment.
Term
healthy nail
Definition
May look dry and hard, but actually has water content between 15% - 25%. Water content directly affects the nail flexibility.
Term
how poor health affects nails
Definition
Growth of the nails can be affected if an individual is in poor health, a nail disorder or disease is present, or there has been an injury to the matrix.
Term
matrix cells
Definition
Make up the matrix. Their sole job is to create nail plate cells.
Term
nail growth
Definition
The growth of the nail plate is affected by nutrition, exercise, and a person's general health.
Term
normal nail growth
Definition
The normal nail grows forward from the matrix, and extends over the top of the finger. Normal healthy nails grow in a variety of shapes, depending on the shape of the matrix.
Term
nail shape
Definition
The width, length, and curvature of the matrix determine the thickness, width and curvature of the nail plate. Thus a longer matrix produces a thicker nail plate and a highly curved matrix creates a highly curved free edge.
Term
nail growth rate
Definition
The average rate of nail growth is about 1/10 inches per month. Nails grow faster in the summer than they do in the winter. Children's nails grow more rapidly, whereas nails of elderly people grow at a slower rate. The middle finger grows fastest, and the thumbnail grows slowest. Changes in hormones also affect nail growth. A pregnant woman's fingernails grow quickly, and her toenails become thicker and harder. THIS IS NOT BECAUSE OF PRENATAL VITAMINS.
Term
nail malformation
Definition
If disease, injury, or infection occurs in the matrix, the shape or thickness of the nail plate can change. The natural nail will continue to grow long as the matrix is healthy and undamaged. Ordinarily, replacements of the natural nail takes about 4 to 6 months. Toenails take 9 months to a year to be fully replaced.
Term
Which grow faster, toenails, or fingernails?
Definition
Fingernails grow faster than toenails. They are not "shed" like hair is. They grow continually.