fingernails

A healthy fingernail has the function of protecting the distal phalanx, the fingertip, and the surrounding soft tissues from injuries. It also serves to enhance precise delicate movements of the distal digits through counter-pressure exerted on the pulp of the finger. The nail then acts as a counter-force when the end of the finger touches an object, thereby enhancing the sensitivity of the fingertip, even though there are no nerve endings in the nail itself. Finally, the nail functions as a tool, enabling for instance a so-called “extended precision grip” (e.g. pulling out a splinter in one’s finger), and certain cutting or scraping actions.