Illnesses In Fingernails

993 Words 4 Pages
Fingernails are capable of showing sicknesses or diseases that are happening inside the human body. The plate of the nail is made of a protein named “keratin” which is transparent and flexible but durable enough to retain a shape and protect the nail bed. Underneath the nail plate is the nail bed which is composed of two parts, the dermis and the epidermis. The purpose of the nail bed is to house the nail matrix, which grows the nail and stabilize the nail’s foundation. The nail plate and nail bed work as a barrier for the skin but also a way for any diseases to be noticed from outside the body. Problems within the body can affect the texture and shape of the nail plate and the color of the nail bed. Illnesses such as cirrhosis, melanoma, and …show more content…
Melanomas are formed when unusual creation of skin cells called melanocytes occurs which darkens a small area of the body due to over pigmentation. The irregular formation of skin cells beneath the nail plate create black lines on the nail called “melanonychia.” These black lines are similar to moles on the skin and are very dark in comparison to the surrounding nail. Melanin is the reasoning behind the darkening area that is affected by melanoma since it is a dark brown pigment for the skin. Melanomas are only common in areas of the body that lack more pigmentation than the rest meaning fingernails and the nail beds are highly susceptible to attracting skin cancer. Though the fingernail is present to protect the fingertips from any sort of injury, it lacks any sort of sun protection and can actually make the fingertips more vulnerable to melanomas (“Melanoma,” “Skin …show more content…
The nail beds are a sensitive part of the nail that is affected by many problems in the body. The enzymes of the nail help to quickly react to diseases such as cirrhosis, melanoma, and Raynaud’s disease, and the nail bed and nail plate change color or texture due to this reaction. The nail plate is the most protective part of the nail and protects the fingertips and the cuticles. Healthcare providers use fingernails as a way to diagnose malnutrition, dehydration, stress, or other sicknesses. If the fingertips change as a result of problems within the body, the fingernails are directly affected as well making them reliable for figuring out diseases (“Nail

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