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    Do the fingernails and toenails grow at the same rate?

    Ever wondered why nails on fingers and toes grow at the same rate? Find responses from experts on this page.

    The humans have ten fingers and 10 toes. Do the fingernails and toenails grow at the same rate? Also, do the rate of growth of nails in all the ten fingers is equal? In case the nails are dead cells then why they bleed when cut deep? Do the nails of dead persons also grow?
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  • Answers

    2 Answers found.
  • Finger nails and toe nails do not grow at the same rate. In fact, growth rate of nails of fingers and toes is very drastically different. Finger nails grow at rate of 3.5 mm per month. Toe nails grow at rate of 1.6 mm per month.

    Reasons behind change in growth rate between finger and toe nails are:-
    Trauma or injury creates more blood and nutrient supply to the affected area. Fingers are often subjected to such injuries whereas toes are securely closed down with socks and shoes and receive injury relatively less and thus decreased blood supply is seen in case of toes. More the amount of blood supply, more growth of nails take place.

    Growth of nails in fingers:-
    1) Growth of nails in all the fingers do not take place at the same rate. Fingers which we use more often i.e., finger that does more activity attracts more blood flow from heart as well as more nutrients are supplied to it and thereby more nail growth takes place.
    2) Finger that is frequently exposed to injury that may even by minor one and the finger which is doing all the tapping, typing and other acts is seen to grow more nail.
    3) Fingers of dominant hand i.e., one which does most of the work is seen to have more nail growth when compared to non-dominant hand.
    4) Longer digits grow nails faster when compared to little ones as lots of wear and tear is done on its nail as they constantly come in action.

    Growth rate:-
    Growth rate of nails is dependent on several factors like-
    1) Age,
    2) Sex,
    3) Hereditary factor,
    4) Climate or season,
    5) Exercise,
    6) Nutrition,
    7) Trauma,
    8) Blood supply etc.....

    Nail consists of different parts like:-
    - Nail plate,
    - Nail bed,
    - Distal matrix,
    - Cuticle,
    - Eponychium
    All these parts have blood supply along with nerve and lymph supply. Once new plate cells are formed, the older one will be pushed outside. The one which is pushed outside can be trimmed and since it is made up of dead cells will not bleed. However, one which is in the nail plate appears pink in color due to the underlying capillaries and when this particular part is trimmed, it starts bleeding as one will be damaging the capillaries carrying blood.

    Nails in dead people:-
    Nails do not grow after death. However, it appears that they are growing and this is due to drying of surrounding tissues of nails causing them to shrink away from nail shafts. This creates illusion of growth. Skin gets dehydrated after death as it has lost all its moisture. Death of skin result in pulling away of skin from nails. Since skin around nails get retracted, nails prickle up with more prominence. This appears to us as if nails are growing even after death, however that is not true.

  • There are many reasons under which the fingernails and the toenails may grow. Though a lot of reasons are dependent on one of the following -

    1. Age
    2. gender
    3. health.
    4. stress
    5. calcium deficiency
    6. food patterns

    These things affect the fingernail and toenails may end up having some of the issues with the growth. so the growth is less likely to be quick in some cases. often growth may be slow and sometimes it goes on normal routine.

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