Why do fingernails grow faster in the summer?


| 2 Comments
By a show of hands (or nails), how many of you noticed that your fingernails grow faster in the summer?  One of my biggest pet peeves is long nails so I, for one, raised both hands.  This phenomenon has intrigued me for years, but I never took the time to figure out why.  But hey - a blog post is the perfect excuse to do some nerdy nail research!

 

The majority of research doesn't specify the causes of fingernail growth differences, but rather, just comments on the interesting fact that it happens (unfortunately without explaining why).  All blog posts and wiki-type pages I've come across in my search thus far concluded that exposure to sunlight, and therefore possibly more vitamin D, speeds growth.  I also read that finger length affects nail growth, as does hand dominance (due to increased blood flow). 

 

However, I found one scientific study that Godwin performed on rats.  He experimented on a number of rats (since as we discussed in class this was a practical, economic approach), looking into nail growth based on nutrition and environmental factors.  Of particular interest to this blog post are the environmental conditions that Godwin manipulated and measured.  As you can read, Godwin notes that cold environments cease nail growth.  The article goes on to provide examples of previous researchers commenting that nail growth slowed when studied in cold temperatures.  As stated, this may be due to less movement and circulation (125-126).

 

Another source at Discovery says, "Fingernails also grow more quickly in the summer than in the winter -- scientists aren't sure why, but one theory is that nails that are used more often and exposed to the elements grow faster." 

 

Although not too much research has been done on the environment's influences on nail growth, the speculations are interesting nonetheless.

 

So, fellow SC200 bloggers, help me out here.  Why do our nails grow faster in the summer?  The world may never know.

 

PS - Just for fun, check out this snapshot of the world record holder for the longest fingernails from Vegas.  Photo credit.

The Dutchess main.jpg

2 Comments

I do not know the answer to this question nor did I ever really notice the length of my nails depending on the seasons. One thing I do notice though is my nails chip and break more often in the wintertime when I am taking gloves on and off, zipping jackets, and things of that nature. After one nail chips the rest end up getting cut so maybe it is not a matter of growth but breakage? If nails break more in the winter than they will be shorter and if they do not break as much in the summer they can grow longer.

"Fingernails also grow more quickly in the summer than in the winter -- scientists aren't sure why, but one theory is that nails that are used more often and exposed to the elements grow faster." oh, is that?? I just realized I should cut my fingernails more often in summertime, then that is because of this .....?thanks for your article ...

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