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Nail Bed

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The nail bed is the area directly under the nail plate and consists of two structures: the nail bed epithelium and the underlying dermis. The nail bed epithelium is epithelial tissue and is extremely sticky, gluing itself onto the underside of the nail plate, and holding it in place. The dermis beneath it holds onto the nail bed epithelium by having a series of interlocking ridges and grooves which allow the nail plate to smoothly grow while ensuring it is firmly held in place. The dermis of the nail bed has a rich supply of blood, sebaceous glands and lymph vessels to keep the nail plate healthy and moisturised.

Ask the Experts

What is nail bed epithelium?

The nail be epithelium is a specialised type of skin that comes from the birthplace of the nail: the matrix. It has a strong attachment to the nail plate and attaches to the nail bed via a series of grooves. This attachment allows the nail to grow forward smoothly. It also acts as a defence if the there is any attach by allergens or pathogens. It can thicken under the free edge to help form a barrier from these invaders from reaching the delicate nail bed or matrix.

What type of tissue is epithelium?

There are many types of epithelium. It  is modified depending on the role it plays. For example, the lining of the mouth, the stomach, the intestines and many more. They all have their own role to play and will be modified accordingly. They are linings or coverings

Is the nail bed epidermis or dermis?

The nail bed is dermis. It doesn’t not have epidermis covering it. But it does have a rich supply of blood and lymph vessels and nerve endings. All of which have the role of keeping the nail plate healthy and protecting it and the matrix

Do damaged nail beds heal?

It depends on the type of damage. If it is relatively minor, it will heal over time.  If it is severely damaged there is a possibility that the nail will not reattach to it but this is rare.

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