Fact or Fiction: Fingernails

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About This Quiz

Fingernails are an odd thing if you really think about them. What are they there for, anyway? And why do we file, buff and paint them outrageous colors? Nails are for more than decoration, though. Did you know that they can indicate if you have serious health problems? Take our quiz to find out what could be wrong if you have yellow or purple nails.

We have fingernails to protect our fingertips and toes.

While we suppose certain people could use their fingernails as weapons, most of us have them as a sort of passive protection for our fingers and toes.

Some scientists argue that without fingernails, the tips of our fingers and toes would have genetically developed to become more sensitive.

The theory is that our fingers and toes would be less sensitive without nails.

Nails are made of keratin, which is also found in your skin and hair.

About a quarter of the kids and teens in the United States bite their nails.

Fifty percent of Americans between the ages of 10 and 18 are nail-biters.

Most people stop biting their nails by the time they're 18.

It's not until 30 that almost everyone is done with nail-biting.

Your fingernails will continue to grow for about a week after you die.

Nails don't continue to grow after death. The appearance of growth in the nails is actually just the shrinkage of the previously living skin from the nail plate.

Women's nails grow faster than men's nails.

Men's nails grow just a little bit faster than women's.

Fingernails grow about 2 to 3 millimeters every month.

Two to 3 millimeters is about right for most people -- except in the summer, when they grow a little faster.

Your toenails grow about 1 millimeter a month.

Your toenails grow at about half the rate as your fingernails -- 1 millimeter a month for most people.

If you lose an entire fingernail, it'll take about two months for it to fully grow back.

You might have to wait almost half a year for that nail to be back in business.

If you're right-handed, the nails on your right hand will grow slightly faster.

For some reason, the nails grow faster on your dominant hand.

The woman with the longest fingernails in the world hasn't cut her nails since 1965.

Lee Redmond hasn't picked up nail clippers since the days of disco -- 1979.

Lee Redmond's right thumbnail is almost four feet long.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's 2 feet 11 inches (88.9 centimeters) long.

You shouldn't use nail polish remover more than once a week -- it can weaken and dry out your nails.

Twice a month is the general rule of thumb for nail polish remover -- any more could damage your nails.

The most popular nail-salon treatment is artificial nails.

Artificial nails are the way to go, in the United States, at least.

Looking at your nails can give you important clues about your health. The next few questions will deal with symptoms that you can see in your nails. Here's the first one: Yellow nails may indicate a respiratory problem like chronic bronchitis.

Yes, yellow nails could be a sign of chronic bronchitis.

Bluish nails may be an indication of renal failure.

Nope, renal failure can be indicated by half-white, half-pink nails.

A melanoma could show up as a black, brown or purple nail.

Yes, you could get a bruise that discolors your nail, but if you know you haven't been injured, a black or brown nail could be a melanoma.

If your nail beds are pale, it can indicate that you're suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Anemic people often have pale-colored nail beds.

Yellowish nails -- with a slight pink hue at the base -- can be an indicator of untreated diabetes.

Get yourself to a doctor immediately if you see this shade on your nails -- you could have diabetes.

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