Lunula – Little Moon

After we have already mentioned the lunate bone, one of the eight human carpal bones, which has been named after the Moon, due to its sickle shape, we would like to take another look at the human hand – this time at the fingernails. Lo and behold: here too, the name was inspired by the Moon. The white area of the nail, shaped like a half-moon is called »lunula« (lat. little moon) and incidentally, can be found on toenails as well. The lunula is differently pronounced with every human being, with some you may only see it on the thumb, with others you can see it on all fingers and toes.

Fingernails and toenails are dead skin cells of the epidermis, which have formed into hard plates. Up to 150 layers create one nail that is transparent and hence, receives its pink coloration. You can see the tissue of the nail matrix with good blood supply, shimmer through the nail. Merely in the area of the lunula, you will find the nail not to be transparent and therefore it appears white.

Incidentally, if the nails change color because of illness, this will most likely be visible in the area of the little moon (because this is where the pure color of the nail can be seen), thus, this part is also used for medical diagnosis.

Quite helpful the lunula and beautiful to look at as well …


  1. NoNoNo | 24 February 2016

    FFS you get them if your diet is deficient

  2. David | 14 August 2014

    In my culture it is believed that people with white areas of the nails shaped like the moon- Lunula, is characterized by the movement of the moon, if it is full moon the shape appear if it is dark periods the shapes dont

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