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This is the nail seal under the free edge of the nail plate at the distal edge of the finger. It forms a very tight seal that prevents bacteria and pathogens from entering the delicate and sensitive areas of the nail unit. There are many nerve endings within the hyponychium to act as a warning if this seal is broken.

Ask the Experts

How is hyponychium overgrowth treated?

This is called inverse pterygium. It will usually have blood and nerve endings and needs to be left alone. Regular applications of a good nail oil will help keep it supple and not become dry.

How do you push back the hyponychium?

You don’t push back the hyponychium. It is a important seal of the nail unit and should be left alone.

What is the difference between hyponychium and eponychium?

The hyponychium is a strong seal at the end of the finger and under the free edge. The eponychium is an area under the proximal nail fold that sheds the dead skin cells of the proximal nail fold called the cuticle. The cuticle and proximal nail fold form another strong and important seal of the nail unit.

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