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A nail is a horn-like piece at the end of a human or animal finger or toe. See also claw and hoof[?].

Fingernails and toenails[?] are composed of

  • the nail matrix or the root of the nail - this is the growing part of the nail still under the skin at the nail's proximal end.
  • eponychium[?] of cuticle which is the fold of skin at the proximal end of the nail.
  • paronychium[?] which is the fold of skin on the sides of the nail.
  • hyponychium[?] which is the attachment between the skin of the finger or toe and the distal end of the nail.
  • nail plate[?] which is what we think of when we say nail, it is the hard and transluscent portion, composed of dead keratin.
  • nail bed[?] which is the adherent connective tissue that underlies the nail.
  • lunula[?] which is the crescent shaped whitish area of the nail bed.

Fingernails require 3 to 6 months to completely regrow. Toenails require 12 to 18 months. Any major illness will cause a groove to form in the nails, marking in time the past medical history of its owner. These are called Beau's lines.

Nails can become thickened (onychogryphosis[?]), loosened (onycholysis[?]), infected with fungus (onychomycosis[?]) or degenerative (onychodystrophy[?]).

A manicure or pedicure[?] is a health and cosmetic procedure to groom and trim the nails. It is accomplished with cuticle scissors, nail scissors, nail clippers, and nail files[?].

A nail is a pin[?]-shaped, sharp object of hard metal, typically steel, used to fasten things together. It is driven into the workpiece by a hammer. Sometimes a nail holds materials together by friction alone; in other cases the point of the nail may be bent over or clinched to prevent it from pulling out.

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