The 411 on Nails!

Pedicure Parable        

A girlfriend told me recently that she has never been for a pedicure. Naturally, I asked "why?" She is a soccer player and she replied "all of the girls I know who have had pedicures, had toe nails fall out". Being the curious cat that I am, I wanted to know if this was in fact true. So I sought out expert advice.

This is going to get a bit technical but I promise, it will all make sense in the end.
When you cut your nails, if you cut the free edge, the part of the nail that hangs over your finger, it doesn't hurt. But if you break a nail and it breaks into the nail body, then it feels like an excruciating pain. Although the nail itself is dead, the nail bed, the part that grows under the nail, is alive.  
The nail root, also known as the matrix, is the most important part of the nail and grows about 10mm beyond the nail. The root determines the thickness, shape and length of a persons nail. If the root is damaged, we will often see a ridge in the nail.    
Our nails are built with natural barriers such as the cuticle, which is at the base of the nail, the perioncyhium, the skin on the sides of the nails and the hyponychium, the attachment under the free edge that connects the nail bed to nail plate. These act as waterproof barriers that keep bacteria out of the nail bed. When any of these are damaged, you are more prone to nail infection.      

Although it may not seem like it, our nails are delicate. If we damage the cuticle, this can break the bond between the nail and the matrix, allowing the nail to detach and possibly fall out. Bruising the nail bed also has the same results.    
Back to the original question: "Do pedicures make toe nails fall out?"
Nope, not at all! If anything go get regular pedicures. First off, make sure you go to a certified esthetician. If they don't know what they are doing, they can be doing serious damage. Secondly, go somewhere reputable. Bacteria can be transferred but if they sanitize the equipment, then you're in the clear. Lastly, keep toe nails short.
Long nails tend to get jammed into a soccer shoe and that can cause trauma to the nail and cause it to fall out - runners should keep this in mind too!        

After all that technical jargon, I hope you understand the point. My pedicure appointment is booked! I wonder if she, my girlfriend who has never been for a pedicure, will join me?  

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