Barack Obama and Michelle on the fingernails of a woman.

Last month Marc Ecko wrote a column titled ‘fetish friday’ which described quite a few celebrity women showing their long, crazy fingernails. Quite a few have faces on their fingernails!

Marc Ecko wrote e.g.:

“Today, we’re appreciating sexy women with sexy nails. Not just any manicured hand will do—we’re talking about nails with either scandalous length, crazy colors, or impressive nail art. Remember Coko from SWV? How about the O.G. Puerto Rican hottie, Ivy Queen? OK fine, those are a little extreme, but here’s our round-up of the 10 female celebrities with the sexiest nails.”

And recently popstar Rhianna was spotted with Barack Obama on her pinky fingernail.

Japanese nail art!
The basics of nail art designs
Famous hands: the hand of celebrities
Long nails pictures & tips
More fingernail art

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Eve showed support for Obama by putting his face as nail art on her hands:
Fingernails with faces.


Koilonychia is better known as a 'spoon nail'.

Koilonychia is a fingernail disorder.



What is koilonychia?

Koilonychia (a.k.a. ‘spoon nails’) occurs when the free edge of the nail is turned inside out (everted), resulting in a concave fingernail.

What causes koilonychia?

Two common causes of koilonychia are:

• thyroid abnormalities;
iron deficiency anemia.

But koilonychia can also be caused by direct trauma, excessive use of oils and soaps, or other more rare medical problems such as:

• impaired peripheral circulation;
• musculoskeletal conditions;
• systemic lupus erythematosus;
• hemochromatosis;
• renal disease;
• Nail Patella Syndrome;
• Raynaud’s Disease;
• Hypoplastic Patella.

One must also be aware that in the hands of children a ‘spoon nail’ may occur as a normal condition of the nail (not caused by a disease).

Koilonychia – also knows as a ‘spoon nail’

PHOTO – An example of ‘spoon nails’ (koilonychia):

Spoon nails (koilonychia)

Common disorders in the fingernail & toe nail!
News about fingernails!
Koilonychia is a common nail disorder in the hands of children

British researchers linked fingernail quality with the weather!

Fingernail manicure is ok, but the weather will shape your nails!

This week British fingernail research pointed out that the weather plays a major factor in the shape and quality of your nails. The researchers found that a humidity of 55% is perfect for growing strong, lengthy fingernails.

Good news for British women! For, the climate in the UK often meets the perfect weather condition for growing beautiful fingernails.

A lower humidity will make brittle fingernails, while a higher humidity will make your fingernails more bendy!

Researcher Dr Stephen Eichhorn said:

“We have found that fingernails cope remarkably well over a range of humidities – but it is best not to get them completely dry or wet. At an average of 55pc humidity, which is what you would experience normally, it appears nails have their optimum mechanical properties, and resist bending.”

“The mechanical properties of fingernails are important because of their impact in preventing damage and in maintaining their appearance. ‘In particular, knowing the effect of local environmental conditions can tell us how they might best be protected.”

By the way, it is not the first time the weather has been lauded for its beauty benefits. Actress Emma Thompson claims the wet weather in Scotland helps keep her wrinkle free. She said: ‘I think Scotland’s got a lot to do with it, I spend a lot of time up there and it rains a lot, which is good for the complexion.’


The medical causes of brittle fingernails!
A nail product search page!
More news about fingernails!

British actress Emma Thompson shows her fingernails:

British actress Emma Thompson shows her hands & fingernails.


Nail pitting - a disorder in the fingernail

Nail pits - fingernail disorders

Nail pitting


What is nail pitting?

Nail pits are small, round depressions on the surface of the nail plate. They are usually due to disease in the proximal matrix, or sometimes, the proximal nail fold. And the arrangement of the depressions in the surface of the nail is presumably due to the extent and location of the disease in the nail matrix.

Random pits in the nail can be seen as an idiopatic finding. When the pitting is uniformly distributed, giving the entire nail plate a roughned appearance, it is called trachyonychia.

Treatment of nail pits should be directed to the matrix of the nail.

What causes nail pitting?

Nail pits are usually the result of:

• psoriasis (10-50% of patients have nail pits);
• alopecia areata;
• eczema;
• Reiter’s syndrome;
• incontinentia pigmenti;
• in children nail pitting can be a normal condition of the nail (not caused by a disease).

Nail pitting – a disorder in the nail

PHOTO – Nail piting in fingernails:

Nail pitting in the ring finger nail

Common diseases in the fingernail & toe nail!
News about fingernails!
Fingernails are the barometer of your health!

Michael Jackson's fingernails in 2005.Michael Jackson's fingernails at the World Music Awards, november 15, 2006.Michael Jackson's fingernails spotted earlier this year (february, 2009).
Michael Jackson’s fingernails in 2005 (left), 2006 (center) & 2009 (right) – ‘click’ for larger versions!

Michael Jackson had abnormal fingernails, but his nails were not related to his vitiligo & lupus!

While the first autopsy results related to Michael Jackson’s death were presented earlier this week, there are still many discussions about the state of Michael Jackson’s health – only a few days before his death his health was described by his spokesman Doctor Tohme Tohme as: a ‘perfect health‘.

In the perspective of his death it is also important to know that Michael Jackson was diagnosed in 1986 with vitiligo and lupus. Lupus is known as a potentially lethal disease (heart disease is a major complication in lupus!), but in Michael Jackson it was recognized to be in remission. Anyhow, one can still wonder: can his fingernail problems be related to the vitiligo and/or the lupus? The answer to this question appears to be a simple: ‘no’!

For, vitiligo is related to the following nail disorders:

• Longitudinal striations;
• Trachyonychia (thin & lusterless nails);

And lupus is related to the following nail disorders:

• Nail spooning;
• Irregular, twisted, and dilated vessels at the cuticle.


Out of the 4 described fingernail disorders related to vitiligo and lupus, the 4th can be related to his hand deterioration that was observed in 2009. But none of these fingernail disorders can be related to the typical looks of Michael Jackson’s fingernails during the last 3 years of his life.

But one should not forget that Michael Jackson’s fingernail problems were first recognized by the media in 2006, when members of Michael Jackson’s family were terrified that his escalating dependence on prescription drugs had become a danger to his life.

While Michael Jackson’s lupus was considered to be in remission, one could also speculate that his hand deterioration + his sudden death might have signaled a lupus relapse … due to an excessive use of prescription drugs???


In memoriam: ‘The hands of Michael Jackson’!
How Michael Jackson’s autopsy results relate to his hand
Michael Jackson’s hands: a clue to his sudden death?
Michael Jackson’s hands: a manicurist’s worst nightmare!

Another example of Michael Jackson’s “unhealthy” dark fingernails:
Michael Jackson's fingernails in 2007.


Beau line - a disorder in the fingernail

Beau's lines - fingernail disorders

Beau lines


What are Beau lines?

Beau’s lines are horizontal grooves in the nail plate that represent an arrest or slow-down in the growth of the fingernail (more specific: the nail matrix).

The depth and width of the Beau line reveals the abruptness and duration of the causal event, and Beau lines move distally with the growth of the nail plate.

This finger nail condition was named by a French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau (1806–1865), who first described the condition in 1846.

What causes Beau lines?

Beau’s lines are usually caused by:

• a sever medical event;
• allergic reaction to medication;
• infection in the nail fold;
• skin disease;
• systemic disease;
• or a serious trauma.

Beau line – a fingernail disorder

PHOTO: Beau lines in various fingernails:

Beau lines in various fingernails

Fingernail disorders in the hands of children!
Fingernail disorders in elderly patients!
Michael Jackson had abnormal fingernails!

Woman has George Bush & Lech Walesa on her fingernails.Popstar Rhianna had Barack Obama on her pinky fingernail.

Recent developments in fashion indicate: fingernail trends come and go. While in the 70’s long fingernails became very popular – as a sign that the person belongs to the ‘leisure class’ – with the rising popularity of artificial nails that trend disappeared quickly. Will ‘faces on fingernails’ become a new trend?

Recently popstar Rhianna was spotted with Barack Obama on her pinky fingernail (left photo). And other likewise examples are seen on the hands of quite a few women. But wearing a ‘face on fingernail’ is actually just another example of nail art – which was already classified under the header: ‘bad fingernail trends’.

Julyne Derrick described 5 categories of ‘bad fingernail trends’:

• Fingernails ‘Faux Pas’ 1: Fake Fingernails;
• Fingernails ‘Faux Pas’ 2: Nail Art;
• Fingernails ‘Faux Pas’ 3: French Manicures;
• Fingernails ‘Faux Pas’ 4: Fingernails of Various Lengths;
• Fingernails ‘Faux Pas’ 5: Unkept Nails.

Fingernails with faces.

Structure of your fingernail: the nail matrix attaches the finger with the nail plate.

The matrix is an ‘invisible’ part of the fingernail – but nevertheless it’s the most important aspect of the nail because nails grow form the matrix!

The process of a growing nail can be described as follows:

Fingernails are composed largely of keratin – a hardened protein which is also present in your skin and hair! As new cells grow in the nail matrix, the older cells are ‘pushed out’, compacted, and take on the familiar flattened, hardened form of the fingernail.

In An Atlas of DISEASES OF THE NAIL the ‘matrix’ is described as follows:

“The matrix of the nail the germinative epithelium from which the nail is derived. There is controversy about whether the nail bed and nail fold contribute cells to the substance of the nail plate. Regardless of this, the matrix is responsible for the majority of the nail plate substance.

The proximal portion of the matrix lies beneath the nail folds and the distal curved edge can usually be seen through the nail plate as the white lunula. The proximal matrix forms the superfiscial portion of the nail plate and the distal matrix makes the undersurface of the nail plate.”

NOTICE: The so-called ‘root’ of the nail is also known as the germinal matrix.

Example of a nail matrix injury (A) + the repairment (B).

Example of a nail matrix injury (A) + the repairment (B).

Fingernail clubbing may signal lung cancer + other lung, heart & stomach diseases.

Fingernail clubbing relates to lung cancer!

More than 2 centuries before today the Greek philosopher Hippocrates had recognized that a ‘clubbing fingernail’ is often a sign for the presence of a serious disease. Now the ‘clubbing fingernail’ (a.k.a. the ‘Hippocratic fingernail’) is associated with lung cancer and various specific other diseases, including: lung, heart and gastrointestinal problems.

Some statistics on fingernail clubbing & lung cancer:

“Nail clubbing has been reported in 29% of patients with lung cancer and is observed more commonly in patients with non–small cell lung carcinoma (35%) than in patients with small cell lung carcinoma (4%).”

How to recognize a ‘clubbing fingernail‘?

‘Clubbing fingernails’ are characterized by increased distal finger tip mass + increased longitudinal & horizontal curvature of the nail plate. This fingernail condition is characterized by a large angle between the nail plate and the proximal nail fold: larger than 180o, whereas in normal nails the angle is less than 160o: see the picture below.

How to recognize a 'clubbing fingernail'?


Development of the clubbing fingernail: treatment & prevention!
The meaning of clubbed fingernails in elderly patients!
Did Michael Jackson suffer on skin cancer?

Example of a normal lunula in a female thumb.

The lunula, or lunulae (a.k.a. the ‘nail moon’), is the crescent-shaped whitish area of the bed of a fingernail (or toenail). The lunula can also be described as the visible part of the nail matrix – which is the ‘root’ of the nail.

The lunula or the white ‘half moon’ at the base or proximal end of the fingernail is particularly smooth, flat and shiny. The whiteness of the lunula is still a matter of controversy but its absence – especialy when the lunula is not present in the first finger (thumb) – could be described as notable and important.

In certain chromosome abnormalities the lunula is absent, i.e., monosomia 4 and the lunulae may be diminished in trisomy 21 (= Down syndrome).

A technical description of the ‘lunuala’ from An Atlas of DISEASES OF THE NAIL:

“…the matrix is responsible for the majority of the nail plate substance. The proximal portion of the matrix lies beneath the nail folds and the distal curved edge can usually be seen through the nail plate as the white lunula.”

Example of a normal lunula in a male thumb.