Dermatology pp 1141-1162 | Cite as

Diseases of the Nails

  • Otto Braun-Falco
  • Gerd Plewig
  • Helmut H. Wolff
  • Walter H. C. Burgdorf


The nail unit (unguis, onyx = nail) consists of the nail matrix, the nail plate, the nail bed and the periungual skin or paronychium (Fig. 32.1). The nail matrix is the area of growth; it extends 3–6 mm proximally under the proximal nail fold. The nail matrix has two parts: the proximal nail matrix contributes to the dorsal part of the nail plate, while the distal nail matrix provides the ventral part of the plate. The nail plate continuously grows distally over the nail bed. At the distal end it becomes free, lying over the hyponychium. The proximal nail fold and cuticle mark the proximal end of the nail, while to the sides it is bordered by the lateral nail folds. The proximal end of the nail often has a half-moon shaped whitish area, the lunula. The bulk of nail has a faint red to pink color and often contains longitudinal ridges. At the distal end, where the nail is not attached, a 0.2–2.0 mm wide transverse white band (onychodermal band) is present.


Lichen Planus Epidermolysis Bullosa Alopecia Areata Glomus Tumor Nail Plate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Acquired Nail Changes

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Subungual and Periungual Tumors

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otto Braun-Falco
    • 1
  • Gerd Plewig
    • 1
  • Helmut H. Wolff
    • 2
  • Walter H. C. Burgdorf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and AllergologyLudwig Maximilians UniversityMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology and VenerologyUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany

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