Free Edge of Fingernail

The free edge of the fingernail (or distal edge) is located beyond the nail body, where the fingernails terminate. It is also beyond and detached from the nail bed. As with the nail body, the nail edge consists of keratinized epithelial cells, dead but pushed forward by the growing nail cells within the nail matrix and nail root. At its junction between the nail body, nail bed, and the epidermis at the front of the finger, the free edge of the nail is protectively sealed to the skin at the...

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    Full Free Edge of Fingernail Description

    [Continued from above] . . . thin onychodermal band (which is sometimes glassy in appearance). The greater hyponychium, which is a layer of protective epithelial cells sealing the distal end of the nail bed to the epidermis to prevent bacterial or fungal infection of the nail, joins the skin of the fingertip to the free edge.