Have you noticed the white, half moon shape at the base of your fingernails? This is called the lunula, which means small moon, and it’s very important to the health of your nails. Looking at your lunula is also a good way to keep an eye on the health of the rest of your body.
How Your Nail Grows:
Underneath the skin covering the base of your nails is the root, or matrix. This root is where new nail cells are made, and it’s the only place the fingernail is alive. If the root is damaged the nail will become permanently deformed, so it is important to protect it. The rim of skin covering the root is the cuticle. It protects the root from water and bacteria which might harm your nail as it forms. The condition of the root, cuticle and lunula are all important indicators of your health.
A normal nail has a clearly noticeable half moon shape of lunula, and a pink nail bed. The lunula lies right over the part of your nail bed where the new nail is growing out. As the new nail grows the nail cells are compacted down so they can be stronger. While blood vessels underneath the bed normally make the nail look pink, they are harder to see in this area and looks white. A strong, white lunula is considered evidence of a rich blood flow to the matrix. This also indicates a healthy and energetic person with a strong immune system.