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.