We have nails because they help protect us from viruses and bacteria. But one question still remains: why do toenails grow so much slower than fingernails? Scientists don’t like mysteries and have studied this topic to get some answers.
We decided to find out the reason behind this simple question and we discovered a few different theories. Also, there is a curious bonus feature waiting for you at the end.
Toenails Have Less Circulation
The cells in our body need certain things to grow, such as energy, nutrients, and circulation. Therefore, these factors may be the main responsible for this slow growth.
Yes, nails and feet are part of our body, but we treat them differently. We don’t wear shoes or socks on our hands so they can breathe more than our toes and have more circulation.
Also, there is a more significant factor. Our hands are located much closer to our hearts. Because of this, less blood flow reaches our feet. This means that they receive less oxygen for the production of new cells.
As a result, our nails grow slowly. It may be an explanation for why they grow more slowly in winter. The colder, the slower the blood flow we have.
Toenails Get Fewer Nutrients
Another growth factor is nutrients. Some of us may notice that when we begin to consume healthier nutrients, nails and hair begin to grow faster.
Basically, the same idea applies to toenails. As soon as the circulation of our body in the feet decreases, the toenails receive fewer nutrients.
Typically, due to these factors, nails grow, on average, 0.13 inches per month (3.47 mm) or about one-tenth of a millimeter per day. And the average growth of toenails is 0.06 inches per month (1.62 mm).
Toenails Are Less Traumatized
One more explanation is the tendency to be traumatized. This is a recent theory and complements all the others. Try to remember how often your fingers and nails are injured.
You can hit them or traumatize them during a manicure. Then the repair process begins at a concentrated rate of cell turnover.
We can have microtrauma to the nails more often than to the feet. And the repair process also affects faster growth.
Bonus: Curious Facts About Nails
It has been found that men generally experience faster nail growth, but there is one exception. Women’s nails grow faster during pregnancy.
Also, one study found that the nail on your little finger grows more slowly than the others.
If you are right-handed, the nails on that hand grow faster than those on the left, and vice versa. This is because this hand is more active.
How often do you do a manicure compared to a pedicure? Would you rather do it yourself or find a professional?