Why do we have nails? Are they useful for anything?

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The nails They are some keratin structures that we have in our fingers and toes that, although we do not need them to survive, they serve to protect the tips of these and help hold objects children and carry out daily actions that make our lives better.

For example, without nails we would have clear problems scratching ourselves or undoing a knot. Furthermore, they serve as an indicator of the health of a person.

How are they formed? Due to a keratinization process. Skin cells located under the root of the nail move toward the surface. Those on the outermost part flatten and compress. Each cell transforms into a thin plate, which is stacked on other layers and creates nails.

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In short, just as happens with hair, when cells accumulate, the nail pushes forward.

Those on the hands grow faster than those on the feet. And as with hair, they grow faster in summer than in winter. Additionally, if a nail comes off and the base coat is not excessively damaged, it will grow back.

Protective function

What exactly do nails protect? Nails protect the nerve endings in the extremities in the fingers. This reason explains why we must take care of them and go to a professional if we find any problem.

In Podoactive They explain that the protective structure is made up of two main components: keratinwhich is what provides hardness, and calcium.

On the other hand, the toenails have another important function and that is that they help maintain the balance when walking. They also allow us to manipulate and pick up objects, and without them we could not feel the same as we feel having them.

Furthermore, they fulfill a water absorption function, as if they were sponges. This prevents the fabric from softening the tissues of the tips of the fingers and toes.

health indicator

But if there is a function that does not go unnoticed by anyone, it is health indicators. Nails are capable of revealing much more than we can think, which is why it is essential to be attentive to changes in color, lamination or the appearance of stains.

Do you want to know what each change means? Pay attention! We remind you of the 10 health warning signs that your nails can give you, according to Dr. Vicente Delgado, which we already mentioned in EL ESPAÑOL:

Stretch marks: They can be longitudinal, these appear with age and have no pathological significance; or transversal, which appear after an alteration in the growth of the nail due to acute febrile processes, nutritional alternations, the use of cytotoxic drugs or serious illnesses.

Soft and weak: They are usually associated with chronic diseases or related to rheumatism.

Separated by layers: scientifically it is known as lamellar onychoschisis and occurs after the age of fifty due to excessive hand washing.

Yellow color: It may not be a pathology, but it may be due to external agents such as tobacco or excessive use of nail polish, although it also responds to bacterial or fungal infections.

Incarnated: They are generally presented by young people and happen when the nail digs in. in the flesh and inflames it.

with mushrooms: It can manifest with different symptoms such as a color change in the white part, which turns yellow, hyperkeratosis and the formation of dust under the nail.

Microtrauma: Stripes indicate that we have been hit or that the shoes are too tight.

white spots: They generally respond to microtrauma near the cuticle. But if the size is considerable, it can warn of kidney failure or cirrhosis.

Bites: They are usually the manifestation of some type of mental health pathology, especially those related to stress or anxiety.

brittle: Weak nails could be reflecting a significant lack of protein or endocrine problems related to the thyroid.

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