The lunula literally means little moon in Latin or lunulae. Lunula is the crescent shaped whitish area of the bed of a fingernail or toenail. The lunula is the visible part of the nail matrix.
It is located at the end of the nail (that is closest to the skin of the finger), but it still lies under the nail. It is not actually white but only appears so when it is seen through the nail.
Lunula is a very delicate part of the nail structure. Damage to lunula would result in permanent deformation of the nail.
The lunula is most noticeable on the thumb and it is not visible in every person.« Back to Glossary Index