What Is a Nail Bed?

What Is a Nail Bed?

Taking care of our nails is important for many reasons, even beyond looking good and feeling confident in our own skin. When we care for our nails properly, we can maintain strong and healthy nails, prevent infections and irritations, and contribute to our overall health and wellness. 

One of the most important steps in nail care is learning about the different sections of the nail—like the nail bed. The more you know about your nails, the easier it will be to keep them healthy for a long time to come. 

Nailboo is here to help. To start, we’re dedicated to providing easy-to-use nail dip kits that give you salon-quality manicures without the salon-quality costs. But we also want to provide the information and tools you need to protect your nails before, during, and after the next manicure. Here’s a look at the best tips and tricks for caring for your nail beds. 

What Is a Nail Bed? 

Your nails may be relatively small, but there are actually many complex parts and systems that go into proper nail growth. One of the parts of your nail makeup is the nail bed, and it plays a crucial role in both the appearance and the health of your nail. 

The nail bed is actually pretty true to its name and serves as the foundation for the nail plate, though it’s a little more complicated than tucking yourself in at night. The hard surface of the nail is known as the nail plate, and it is connected to the tissue below, the nail bed. If you’ve even cut your nails too short or closed your finger in a car door, you’ll know just how sensitive the tissue below the surface of the nail can be. 

The nail bed is sometimes referred to as “the quick,'' as well. In fact, the sensitive nature of the nail bed has led to the phrase, “cut to the quick,” which can refer to cutting your nails too short and to hurting someone’s feelings in a decisive and stinging blow. 

Your nail bed is connected to many other systems of the nail. The nail plate is attached above the nail bed, to protect the soft tissue below, and the series of matrices that help to grow the nail bed is found below the surface of the skin past the nail plate. All of these interconnecting systems and parts help to keep your skin and nails safe so you can focus on picking out the next great manicure. 

Why Is It Important To Care for Your Nail Beds? 

Nail beds come with their own natural protection, so you might be wondering if it’s really important to manage their care, as well. The truth is, our nail beds can tell us a lot about the health of our nails, as well as our overall wellness, and there are many reasons you’ll want to keep your nail beds safe and well-cared for. Here are just a few. 

It Reduces Pain 

The surface of the nail bed is extremely sensitive. You’ll want to avoid biting your nails for many reasons, but one of them is that you can often bite your nails to the quick, which leaves exposed nail bed tissue. Not only is this extremely painful, but it can lead to further health complications like inflammation that you’ll want to avoid. 

Your Nails Can Tell You a Lot 

Our nails are often the first line of defense against illness and health concerns, which is another reason it’s so important to inspect and care for them regularly. If you notice unusual colors, spotting, nail ridges, inexplicable bruising, or swelling below the surface of the nail, it may be a sign of an acute or chronic health condition that should be addressed as soon as possible. Look out for indications including discoloration, swelling, nail-splitting, or black or white spots. 

It Reduces the Risk of Infection 

We use our hands a lot throughout the day, which means they’re especially vulnerable to pathogens and bacteria. The nail plate helps to protect your nail bed against potential irritants and allergens, but if the nail plate suffers damage or if your nails have been cut too short, it can make your nail bed more prone to infection and irritation. Always wash your hands and watch for any damage that might affect your hands or fingers. 

It Ensures Healthy Nail Bed Growth

You want to make sure that the nail bed continues to grow strongly and safely, and protecting and caring for your nail bed can help to make that happen. Taking proper care of your nails will reduce the chance of bacteria setting into the new nail bed tissue and will help to keep your new tissue strong and healthy. 

How Do I Care for My Nail Bed? 

There are many reasons why nail bed care is important in the long and short term, but how do you properly maintain your nails? Here are a few steps you can take to ensure nail bed health and wellness. 

Clean Under the Nail 

Microabrasions and damage under the nail mean that bacteria can get into the nail bed and cause inflammation and irritation over time. That’s why it’s especially important to keep your nails clean and to remove dirt and debris from below the nail. Always make sure you use care and precision when cleaning below the nail to prevent damage. 

Use the Right Tools 

Your manicure kit will have many tools, but you always want to make sure you’re using the right nail tools for the job. This will help to reduce the likelihood of damaging the skin and protect your nail bed from infections and inflammation. Always be sure to sanitize and clean your nail tools between uses. 

Keep Your Skin Moisturized 

Exposure to soap, sun, and other environmental factors can leave our skin feeling dry and cracked, which can lead to damage and allow bacteria to enter the skin. Use lotion on the skin around the nails to keep it smooth and reduce the risk of cracking, and apply cuticle oil to keep your nail plates soft and healthy. 

Avoid Biting Your Nails 

It can be difficult to stop the nail-biting habit, but very important, as well. Not only can biting our nails introduce bacteria from the saliva into the nail bed, but we often bite down too far, exposing the nail bed and causing painful irritations that take time to heal. There are many products and tools for reducing or replacing the nail-biting habit that can help to keep your nails safe. 

Eat Well and Stay Hydrated 

Your nails can provide a lot of information about your overall health and wellness, but taking care of your body can also ensure your nails are healthy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to provide your nails and nail beds the essential nutrients they need to grow properly, and make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep your skin hydrated.  

Keep Those Nail Beds Strong

There are many different ways to care for your nails, whether you love adorning your nails in beautiful colors and styles or you’re more interested in the simple manicures that will keep your nails neat and clean. A little bit of nail care goes a long way, and nail beds are just the beginning. Your nail beds are the section of living tissue below the nail plate, and there are many reasons to take that extra time to give them the care they need. 

To start, your nails can provide essential information about your body’s health and any chronic or acute conditions you may be experiencing. They can also help to prevent invention and even ensure the healthy growth of future tissue. 

And it’s easy to care for your nails with a few simple steps. Maintain proper nail care, avoid biting your nails, and make sure you always use the proper tools for cleaning and cutting your nails. It’s also important to keep your nails and the skin around them properly moisturized, to prevent cracking and to help avoid infection. 

Whatever your nail care needs might be, Nailboo is here to help. We carry a wide inventory of easy-to-use nail dip kits and we’re sharing the information you need to protect and care for each part of your nail, from the cuticle to the nail plate, to the nail bed. When you’re ready to take the next step on your nail care journey, turn to the team here at Nailboo, and begin finding the best resources for your needs right here in our library. 



6 Things Your Nails Says About Your Health | Cleveland Clinic 

How to Stop Biting Your Nails | American Academy of Dermatology Association 

11 Foods You Should Eat for Stronger Nails | Insider