Why fingernails grow faster than toenails ?

In the current issue of Popular Science (Sept. 2007), there is a Q&A for this question. (I sometime ask myself the same when cutting nails). It turned out fingernails grow about 1 tenth of an inch per month, about 2 times as fast as toenails.
There are 2 theories for this disparity in growth rate. One theory suggests that hands benefits from better blood circulation - and thus, a better supply of oxygen and nutrients - because they are physically close to your heart than your feet.
Another theories the so-called trauma theory. The persistent minor traumas, such as typing, actually stimulate fingernails growth. Whereas our toes enjoys a virtually trauma-free existence inside socks and shoes.


YO said...

Interesting, I wouldn´t have imagined it. It would be nice if an experiemt could be conducted to prove these facts, but it would be difficult to do, right?

Bilbo said...

I think my wife, and many other dancers, would take issue with the "trauma-free" existence of toenails within shoes...she's had her toes mashed many times while giving dance lessons, and I've tromped on her more times than I like to remember. Her poor toenails ought to be seven inches long and three thick by this time.

Numeric Life said...

Interesting. I would guess for dancers, their toenails grow faster ?