cuticle


The cuticle is a layer of colorless skin that is constantly shed from the underside of the proximal nail fold and attaches to the nail surface as it grows out. The word “cuticle” is often wrongly used when referring to the eponychium — which leads to much confusion. To clarify, true cuticle is dead skin clinging to the nail plate that acts as a plus to keep bacteria from finding its way underneath the living border of skin called the eponychium. Although some cuticle is necessary to keep the nail healthy, most of it can be safely removed during a manicure. The eponychium, however, must never be cut.

Keywords:   cuticles     nail anatomy  

Required Reading

21st Century Tools: Multitask Implements

October 1, 2008

Multitasking is a way of life in today’s high-speed world, and nail implements are no exception. From double-sided nail art brushes to triple-tasking pterygium removers, the ingenuity behind these inventions makes you wonder what they’ll think of next. Here’s a sampling of some of the latest multitask implements to help you speed through your workday.

Overgrowth Gone

April 1, 1999

Removing excess cuticle growth is an essential part of any nail service, Nail technicians have their own preferences as far as what implements and products to use for removing unsightly growth.

The Cuticle: The Nail's Front Line Against Infection

December 1, 1994

The cuticle is more delicate and more important to healthy nails and fingers than previously thought.

Cuticles Help Protect Against Infection

June 1, 1993

Although structurally small, the cuticle plays an important role in maintaining the integrity and function of the nail and its surrounding tissues.

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