Today we’re discussing the Lunula (little moon in Latin), the whitish half-circle of tissue that appears in the nail bed. It’s usually most visible in the thumb, but may not be visible in any of the fingernails.
Its function is to define the free edge of the distal (outward) nail plate, and in humans appears as early as 14 weeks of gestation.
So as embryos, we develop fingernails before we develop alveoli in the lungs – the little air sacs that allow us to breathe!
The lunulae are extremely delicate, and damage to them will cause permanent deformities of the fingernails.