Why doesn’t it hurt when I cut my nails?

Nails, in the anatomy of humans and primates, may be defined as the hard plate that grows on the back of each finger and toe.

Have you ever wondered what is the process of feeling pain? How does our body process the feeling of pain when we are hurt?

When any part of the body is injured, the nerve cells from there start sending a particular type of message to the brain, the received messages are then processed by the brain and the sensation of pain is felt.

The human nail is a keratinous. transluscent structure that is made up of specialized epithelial cells. Nail growth occurs from a deep groove in the dermis of the skin. The specialize nail cells grow from the base of the nail and as the new cells develop, they push the old cells in front of them. The hard nail plate is in contact with the highly vascularized nail bed just below it that provides it with the necessary nutrients. Now, as the nail continues to grow, tjhr front edge of the nail plate loses contact with the nail bad and ides and turns white. Therefore, since they are no longer alive, we do not feel any pain when we cut them off.

Then, what is the function of nails in our body?

Nails are not the most essential part of the human body. A person can live their life without nails also. Even though, it is of some importance in the human body.

  • Nails protect the soft tissue of the tip of the fingers.
  • They help us to scratch.
  • They allow us to pick up small things.

Now, let’s take a look at the different parts of a nail:

  • Nail plate– It is the visible hard part of the nail.
  • Nail folds– It is the skin that surrounds the nail plate from three sides.
  • Nail bed- It is present below the nail plate part of the nail. It provides nourishment to the growing, specialized nail cells.
  • Cuticle- It is present at the base of the nail plate. Its main function is to protect new keratin cells present at the base of the nail plate.
  • Lunula- It is found at the base, under the nail plate. It is the whitish part, moon-shaped thing visible on the nail.


Fun Facts:

  1. Fingernail growth slows down as we age.
  2. Keratin protein is found in nails, hair and skin only.
  3. The habit of biting nails is called “Onychophagia”.

Additional Questions:

  1. Explain the importance of keratin in your nail.
  2. Do nails require blood supply? Explain.

True or False:

  1. The whitish part present at the bottom of the nail plate that is moon-shaped is called a the cuticle.
  2. Nails are required for a person to be alive.
  3. Nails have a protein called keratin.
  4. We do not feel any pain while cutting nails.

Objective Quiz:

1. One of the function of nail is to ___________.

  • Protect the soft tissue from the tip of a finger
  • Does the oxygenation of blood
  • Allows for the gaseous exchange to happen within it
  • It is of no use

2. Nail bed part of nail is responsible for __________.

  • The production of cells which makes nail
  • Protecting the nail plate from three sides
  • Picking up things
  • None of the above

3. Nail has a special type of protein called keratin, it is also found in _________.

  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Liver
  • Both 1) and 2)

4. Nail plate is ________ part of the nail.

  • Visible hard
  • Invisible hard
  • Visible weak
  • Invisible weak

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