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Nail Matrix

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The nail matrix is the most important structure within the nail unit. This is where new nail plate cells are created and as these new cells are created, older cells are pushed forward and the nail plate grows. The shape and size of the matrix determines the thickness and width of the nail. The longer the matrix, the thicker the nail, and vice versa. Damage to the matrix can cause a range of different nail imperfections, such as white spots or ridges, and weaken the nail plate as a whole.

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What happens if the nail matrix is destroyed?

If the matrix is destroyed it will not be able to create the nail. If there is minor damage it will be seen by a ridge or groove in the emerging nail. This can heal and the nail will grow without any noticeable damage. More serious damage can result in a permanent fault seen in the nail plate.

Does nail matrix grow back?

It can heal if the damage is minor. Major damage can result in a permanently deformed nail. If it is destroyed that it may not be able to continue producing a nail

Where is the nail matrix?

The nail matrix is behind and under the base of the nail. It is protected by a fold of skin called the proximal nail fold. This is the area of skin from the last joint of the finger or toe to the base of the visible nail. The edge of this is often mistaken for the cuticle.

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