There are other meanings of the word nail
In anatomy, a nail is a horn-like piece at the end of a human or animal finger or toe. See also claw and hoof.
Fingernails and toenails are composed of
- the nail matrix or the root of the nail - this is the growing part of the nail still under the skin at the nail's proximal end.
- eponychium of cuticle which is the fold of skin at the proximal end of the nail.
- paronychium which is the fold of skin on the sides of the nail.
- hyponychium which is the attachment between the skin of the finger or toe and the distal end of the nail.
- nail plate which is what we think of when we say nail, it is the hard and transluscent portion, composed of dead keratin.
- nail bed which is the adherent connective tissue that underlies the nail.
- lunula which is the crescent shaped whitish area of the nail bed.
Nails can become thickened (onychogryphosis), loosened (onycholysis), infected with fungus (onychomycosis) or degenerative (onychodystrophy); for further information see nail diseases