Vivinal And Fingernail Absorption

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The Nail Plate's Lack Of Absorptive Capability

Nail and Nail Bed Structure The nail is composed of the nail plate, made up of layers of dead, keratinized epithelial cells with a relatively high percentage of the amino acid cysteine, which forms strong covalent disulfide bonds with other cysteines. Underneath the nail plate is the nail bed, composed of soft tissue. At the proximal end of the nail, underneath the nail plate, is the nail matrix, a zone of highly proliferative cells from which the nail plate grows. The cuticle lies above the nail matrix. See diagram 1.

Finger nails grow about 3mm per month, and take about 160 days to regenerate, so any treatment plan should allow about 5-6 months for full effect.

According to "Nails - Review of Structure, Function and Strategies to Treat Disorders," published by Linda D. Rhein, Ph.D., the nail plate has little absorptive capability because of its high disulfide bond content and its relatively low lipid and lipid bi-layer content. Disulfide bonds create a tight structure, which is almost impermeable to topical therapeutic agents. Also, the disulfide bonds shield the hydrogen bonds from chemicals like urea, included in some topical treatments, which could disrupt H-bonding and make penetration easier. The lack of lipid elements in the nail plate impedes the penetration of lipid-based therapeutic agents.

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