Fact or Fiction: Nails

By: Alison Cooper

Fact or Fiction: Nails
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Meike Marks

About This Quiz

Your nails are handy for so many things -- scratching itches, peeling oranges, drumming on tables. But what do your nails say about your health? And what can you do to keep them strong and healthy? Do your hands a favor and take our quiz.
Nails are made of a protein called keratin, the same as animal hooves and horns.
fact
When skin cells die, they're replaced by keratin protein deposits, which grow into nails.
fiction
almost fact: Nails are made of keratin, but hooves and horns are made of calcium.

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Vitamin B12 is great for your nails.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's vitamin B7, otherwise known as biotin.
Vitamin B7, or biotin, has been shown to strengthen brittle fingernails.

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Walnuts, sunflower seeds and brown rice are good sources of biotin.
fact
Yes, all of these foods are great for your nails. You can also try green peas, oats and soybeans.
fiction
almost fact: Walnuts and sunflower seeds are good, but brown rice doesn't have vitamin B7.

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Manicures are generally great for your nails, but you should steer away from polish that contains formaldehyde and toluene.
fact
fiction
almost fact: You can also add dibutyl phthalate to that list.
All three of these nail polish ingredients can dry out your nails and make them brittle.

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Your fingernails grow about a millimeter a day.
fact
fiction
Nope, it's even slower than that. Most people's nails grow about a tenth of a millimeter per day.
almost fact: They grow about half a millimeter every day.

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If you completely lose a fingernail, it will take a year to grow back.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It will take about six months.
You'll have to wait about six months for the nail to be fully grown.

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Your toenails grow twice as fast as your fingernails.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Other way around -- your fingernails grow about twice as fast as your toenails.
Your toenails grow at about one-half to one-third the rate of your fingernails.

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If you have black, brown or purple discoloration under a nail that wasn't caused by an injury, it could be a melanoma.
fact
You should see a doctor if you have this issue -- it could indeed be a melanoma.
fiction
almost fact: Melanomas don't grow under nails, so it's most likely a blood clot.

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The same type of fungus that causes athlete's foot can give you a fungal nail infection.
fact
True. Most fungal nail infections are caused by the athlete's foot fungus and tend to pop up after an athlete's foot outbreak.
fiction
almost fact: The athlete's foot fungus can cause problems near your nails, but it won't affect the actual nail.

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If you have a fungal nail infection, your nail could turn brown or black.
fact
fiction
Nails with fungal infections more often turn yellow or white.
almost fact: The nail will turn purplish-blue.

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You Got:
/10
© iStockphoto.com/Meike Marks

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