Genetics and general health play a role in how quickly keratin—the protein that makes up nails—grows. Nails don’t slow down when submerged in water to soak. However, maintaining moisture in the nails might make them seem stronger and less brittle. Water does more harm than good to fingernails, rather than promoting faster nail growth.
The matrix of the nail is directly below the cuticle. The cells in the matrix, known as keratinocytes, produce keratin, a protein that makes up the nails. Dying keratinocytes are propelled forward by freshly created matrix cells. The nails develop as a result of this process. Nail growth is not directly impacted by water. However, maintaining body hydration is crucial for overall health, which can support the development of strong nails. By consuming enough water, you can keep your nails from becoming dry and brittle.
Several health illnesses, including anemia, thyroid issues, psoriasis, and eczema, which may affect the rate of nail growth and appearance, can also have an impact on the appearance of the nails. If you have any concerns, it is crucial to address these underlying conditions.
When your nails are submerged in water for too long, two things happen to you.
- The area of skin around your nails contracts, creating the appearance of longer nails.
- Your excited fingernails become longer when your nails are submerged in water.
Sebum is the term for the oily upper layer that covers our skin. Sebum often acts as a protective layer on the skin’s surface. For instance, during swimming, the sebum that serves as waterproof is destroyed, allowing water to further penetrate the upper layers of your skin and giving them a flooded appearance.
Fingers’ skin may have excess water present or trapped there, causing some areas to expand more than others. That is precisely why using the swimming pool for a prolonged period of time makes nails appear lengthy and wrinkled.
You can only wait for your skin to return to normal after it has shrunk, which is likely to occur after swimming or doing the dishes. If your job frequently involves getting your fingers wet, wearing rubber gloves will help you avoid this. This will stop the protective oil, Sebum, from being harmed by prolonged water exposure.
When nails are submerged for an extended period of time, the nail plate grows as a result of water absorption, giving the appearance of longer fingernails.
Factors that Affect Nail Growth
Several factors can affect the rate of nail growth, including:
- Nail growth is partly influenced by genetics; thus, some people may naturally have longer, faster-growing nails than others.
- Age: Nail growth has a tendency to slow down as we get older.
- Nutrition: Lack of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron, zinc, and biotin, might impair nail growth.
- Health issues: Psoriasis, eczema, thyroid issues, anemia, and other medical diseases can all slow down the growth of your nails.
- Medication: Some drugs may have an impact on how your nails grow. Chemotherapy, for instance, could stop the growth of nails.
- Chemical exposure: Some chemicals, such as those found in cleaning products, might hinder or even impair nail growth.
Nails do not grow more quickly in water. Many of us mistakenly believe that our nails are growing as soon as we exit the pool, but in reality, our skin is actually shrinking and expanding somewhat, returning to normal over time. When you maintain a healthy diet, keep your fingernails moisturized, engage in regular exercise, and most importantly, refrain from biting them, your fingernails will only grow faster.