The nail unit describes the anatomy of your fingernail.

The basic function of your fingernails could be described as a combination of: (1) to assist in picking up objects; (2) to protect the tip of your finger; (3) to improve fine-touch sensation; (4) and to enhance the esthetic appearance of the hand!

The fingernail is a unique structure whose component parts are collectively called the ‘nail unit’ (see the picture above).

Let’s take a quick look at the 10 basic aspects of the ‘nail unit’, which include:

• The nail plate (upper + lower picture)
• The free edge (upper picture)
• The lunua (upper picture)
• The cuticle (upper + lower picture)
• The proximal nail fold (upper + lower picture)
• The lateral nail fold (upper picture)
• The hyponychium (lower picture)
• The nail bed (lower picture)
• The nail root (lower picture)
• The nail matrix (lower picture)


This blog will include a daily news report about how your fingernails relate to your health! The content will relate to a mix of news, research and basic knowledge about nails. And for sure the focuss will be to bring the most interesting & innovating news about the human fingernail!

Over the past years I have collected a growing database of facts about the human nail – and there is a continue stream of fingernail reports on the internet around the world. Now the time has arrived to present this database about fingernails to the world!

This blog will likely be updated on a daily basis. Often the content will be related to specific aspects of the human nail – such as: the nail plate or the surrounding nails folds. But sometimes the report will be focussed on an aspect of the fingernail that relates to how we use our fingernails in daily life!

I hope you will enjoy this “fingernail-trip” focussed on the many fascinating aspects of your finger nails.

Martijn van Mensvoort, MSc.