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Fast Nail Facts

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Author: Janet Martin

For something that's dead, nails are important since they perform many different functions. Without them, it would be impossible to do certain things.

Nails or claws (if you want to be more specific) help animals catch and tear the food they eat. Humans who are blessed with eating utensils don't rely on nails to eat. However, they protect the ends of the fingers and toes, and enable us pick up small things.

Some male guitarists, particularly classical and fingerstyle players, grow long nails to serve as guitar picks and help them pluck strings. Without nails, it would also be impossible to scratch whatever itchy part you have!

Nails grow from the nail root that is found underneath the skin. They are made of keratin, the main protein in skin and hair. The hooves of a horse and bird feathers are also made of keratin. This makes the nail cells harden. As new cells form underneath, they push out the hard cells that we see as nails.

Contrary to popular belief, nails don't grow after death since they are already dead in the first place. They appear to be growing since the skin shrinks. Neither do nails perspire since they don't have sweat glands. What gets wet is the skin around the nails. Since they are dead, nails don't need food or nourishment either. Their pink color comes from the tiny blood vessels underneath.

"The nail plates are dead cells and contrary to the popular belief, they don't breathe. So they don't require oxygen. However, the nail beds and the cuticles are live cells and they do need oxygen, vitamins and minerals," according to the people at

Toenails are thicker than fingernails but the latter grow faster. It takes about four to six months for fingernails to grow back while toenails take from 12 to 18 months. In general, men's nails grow faster than women's nails. Young people and pregnant women also have fast growing nails.

"Seasons and weather also affect nail growth. Nails grow faster in warm climates and during daytime, than in cold climates and at night. Nails grow at different speeds on both hands. If you are right-handed, the nails on your right hand will grow faster than the nails on your left hand and vice versa. Light trauma, like typing on a computer stimulates nail growth. Well, this kind of trauma looks more like a massage actually," said the people at

Nails reflect a person's state of health. When you are sick, it will definitely show in your nails. One of the most common nail problems is onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the nails that can make your nails ugly and deformed. To prevent this, take good care of your nails by washing and drying them thoroughly, wearing well-ventilated shoes and synthetic socks that absorb perspiration, and using a good foot powder.

For stubborn and embarrassing fungal nail infections, try Somasin AFS, a safe and effective herbal formula that penetrates deep into the nails and surrounding tissues, and strengthens your immune system to restore your nails' healthy look and shine. Visit today for details.

About the author: Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine

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