What anatomy is relevant to nailbed injuries?

Updated: Sep 27, 2017
  • Author: Darrell Sutijono, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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To fully appreciate the consequences and treatment of nailbed injuries, reviewing the anatomy of the nailbed and the surrounding tissues is useful. [1, 9, 10, 11]

  • Nail - Hard structure composed of desiccated, keratinized squamous cells

  • Perionychium - Composed of the nailbed and paronychia

  • Nailbed - Soft tissue below the nail that is bound to the underlying periosteum of the distal phalanx and consists of the germinal and sterile matrix [11]

  • Paronychia - Lateral nail folds

  • Hyponychium - Junction between the nailbed and fingertip skin that contains large numbers of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and lymphocytes, which protect the subungual tissue from infection

  • Nail fold - Holds the proximal nail

  • Eponychium - Commonly known as the cuticle, or the distal portion of the nail fold where it attaches to the dorsum of the nail

  • Lunula - White opacity distal to the eponychium, caused by the presence of nail cell nuclei in the germinal matrix as they stream upward and distally to create nail

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