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Dont Point That Finger At Me

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Fingernails and toenails grow from a point near the roots below the skin, at the base of the nail where the nail is very thin. White in color, and half-moon in shape, this semi-circle is appropriately named the "lunula," and comprises a group of cells that manufacture keratin, a dead, hoof-like protein. The keratin like protein produced, gathers and merges with the nail plate, the dead armor that protects the soft and tender nail bed underneath, and pushes the entire nail up and out. Though the fingernails and toenails grow an average of two inches per year, their growth slows with age, and the average adult's fingernails grow only one inch over the course of eight months.

The base of the fingernails and toenails, as well as some of the nail along both sides of the nail, are embedded into the skin. Unlike other skin, this skin contains elastic fibers that connect it to the fingernail or toenail, and hold it firmly in place. The cuticle, a rim of skin over the lunula, protects it from bacterial infection, serves as a shock absorber, and shields the nail from any sudden impacts.

Though many consider dressing the fingernails up to go out a statement of beauty, or one of vanity, they serve those in the medical field as a diagnostic tool. Normally, the lunula, or half-moon, is white in color, indicating proper nutrition and good overall health. Blue lunula raise red flags that circulatory problems to the fingers may exist. Nails that are hard, brittle, and tend to split easily, may also be clues to poor circulation, infection, or disturbances of the glandular and nutritional systems.

Further nails that curl sharply around the finger point to coronary, liver, or lung diseases. Nails that are sunken in appearance often indicate anemia, a condition where an insufficient amount of oxygen is carried by the blood.

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i satand corrected with the hair growth........

Changes with Age

Declining Active Follicles:

As we age, some general changes to hair follicle growth cycles occur. In general, the duration of the growth stage becomes shorter, and the length of the resting stage becomes longer. A shorter growth stage results in shorter hairs, and eventually thinner and less pigmented hairs. The rate of growth of the hair shaft stays roughly the same throughout our lives, however the number of actively producing hair follicles declines.

From Birth to Death:

In humans, around the time of birth, hair follicles on the scalp begin to grow thicker hairs. Fine light-colored baby hair becomes darker and more dense. From childhood through the teenage years, the greatest quantity of scalp hair follicles are active. At puberty, hormone level changes cause certain hair follicles to shift from growing fine colorless vellus hairs ("peach fuzz"), to growing full-size darkly pigmented hairs. Beginning in the early 20's in men, hair follicles on the scalp that are programmed to become less active, begin to do so. When women reach menopause, hormone changes can contribute to hair loss as certain hair follicles respond to the changed hormone signals by producing finer hairs. In old age more hair follicles spend a greater period of time in the resting stage, with many completely inactive, and the result is thin hair. At death hair growth ceases

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well you do learn something new........neither do nails continue to grow

What determines the speed at which fingernails grow? Do they continue grow even after we die?

A special growth area (called the matrix) at the base of the nail controls the speed. The matrix lies in a deep groove in the skin dermis (the thick inner layer alive with nerves and blood vessels) and makes nail material, which is a dead, hoof-like protein, called keratin. It makes nails constantly-from birth to death at an average rate of 0.004 inches (0.1 mm) each day, or 1.5 inches (36.5 mm) in a year.

However, the matrix doesn't make nails at a steady rate. Nails grow faster when it's warm, when we're young, when we apply pressure to the nails, such as by playing the piano or biting, cutting, filing, polishing, or scrubbing them. Nails grow slower when the matrix is short of blood, when the blood contains stuff that stunts growth (like chemotherapy material or cigarette byproducts), when we suffer malnutrition, or have a high fever.

Death stops growth. However, after death, skin dries and shrinks. When it shrinks back from nails, the fingernails (and toenails) appear to lengthen because more nail shows.

By the way, fingernails grow four times faster than toenails.

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