What Are Cuticles: Formation & Function of Nail Cuticles

Sometimes we overlook the existence of trivial things on our body though it’s very foolish to do so. Because every subtle thing serves a purpose. Maybe we aren’t still aware of the reason behind the creation of everything, but a popular quote says ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ Though nail cuticles are not trivial, they aren’t given much importance either. They’re not just holding your nails, they protect the matrix of nails from which the nails get proper nourishment to grow. So, knowing about cuticles is a must. I am replying to your curious question “What are cuticles?” in this article.


What Are Cuticles?


Cuticles are skin that surrounds the nail plates from the bottom edge. These are the base of the nails. Apparently, it seems that nails are growing from the cuticles. Actually, they grow from matrix and cuticles protect the underlying matrix from any probable damage. Let’s get enlightened on the formation and functions of nail cuticles.

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Formation of Nail Cuticles

Anatomy of nail

The cuticles consist of keratin, a translucent protein, that helps the cuticle hold onto the nail plates. Cuticles are formed by the proximal nail fold. Cuticles are the outer coverings of the parts of the nail organism. In human anatomy, a tough and flexible skin which is a thick layer of skin made up of a secretion of the epidermal cells is called a cuticle. It is also known as eponychium by medical terms. Some people call it proximal nail fold or the medial nail fold. The nails and the cuticles grow together for a short time till the cuticles have a firm hold of the nails, then the cuticles gradually disappear exposing the nail plates. Don’t confuse cuticles with the epidermis of the nails. Eponychium or the cuticles are a specialized form of the epidermis.


Function of Nail Cuticles

functions of nail cuticles

The prime function of cuticles is to protect the area between nail plates and nail beds from bacteria and infection. Cuticles prevent the epidermis from getting exposed to bacteria. The coating of a cuticle is waterproof, thus it provides protection to the matrix which is right beneath the top layer of our skin at the bottom edges of the fingernails. Besides, cuticles are important as they have direct contact with the nail plates and all sort of nail polishes and nail products are applied on or around the cuticles. Usually, cuticles are pushed back with a cuticle pusher to create more space on the nail plates. And, you can’t have a good-looking manicure without having healthy cuticles.

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Hope you have got answers to all of your inquiries regarding the formation and function of nail cuticles. As you already know what are cuticles, now it’s your turn to take proper care of them. Especially, knowing how to cut your cuticles is important in order to have healthy cuticles. Stay safe, stay healthy.

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