- Organ Name: Fingernail (Nail)
- Organ System: Integumentary system
- Organ Purpose: Protection, sensitivity and tooling
- Organ Location: Tips of the fingers, human hand
- Organ FMA ID: 54326
- Organ TA ID: A16.0.01.001
21 Fingernail Facts for Kids
- The fingernail is a hard, organic protein that covers the tips of the human fingers.
- Fingernails are part of the human integumentary system.
- Fingernails are made up of a protein called alpha-keratin, also known as a-keratin.
- Fingernails are found on the human hands.
- The fingernail has four main parts, and they are the cuticle, the matrix, the nail bed and the nail plate.
- The cuticle is the tissue at the base of the nail plate.
- The matrix is where the fingernail grows out from and is located beneath the cuticle.
- The nail bed is the skin located underneath the fingernail.
- The nail plate is the hard, visible part of the fingernail.
- A genetically normal human has 10 fingernails, five on the left hand and five on the right hand.
- Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
- A study found that the average growth rate of the human fingernail was 3.47 mm (0.136 in) per month.
- Males grow fingernails faster than females, expect during pregnancy.
- The rate of growth of your fingernails is based on the size of your fingers.
- The index fingernail grows the fastest, while the pinky fingernail grows the slowest.
- A fingernail takes between three and six months to grow back completely.
- Fingernails grow faster in the summer months and slower in the winter months.
- Fingernails are only half as thick as toenails.
- According to Guinness World Records the person with the longest fingernails on a single hand is Shridhar Chillal. In 2014, the total length of all ten of his fingernails was 358.1 inches.
- A person who often bites their nails may have onychophagia, which is an oral compulsive habit.
- A common myth is fingernails continue to grow even after you die. They don’t, it may appear that because the skin around your fingernails dehydrates after death.
Pictures of Fingernails
A diagram of the human fingernail.
A picture of fingernail fungus.
Credit: American Academy of Dermatology
A picture of painted fingernails.
Additional Resources on Human Fingernails
- Why We Have Fingernails – An interesting article on Live Science that explains why humans have fingernails.
- Nail Diseases – Learn about the different diseases that can affect fingernails on the MedlinePlus website.
- Fingernail – Britannica – Discover more fun fingernail facts on the Britannica website.
- Nail – Wikipedia – Find more information about fingernails on the Wikipedia website.