The lunula, originating from the Latin word for “little moon”, is the white area around the nails. This tiny part of the nail is very sensitive and highly prone to damage.
The white color of this structure is visible as it is the fifth basal layer of the epidermis. It is actually hides the blood vessels situated below and it is most visible on the thumb. However, the “white moon” is not visible in everyone. Sometimes the thickened layer of skin which surrounds the fingernails and toenails may cover the lunula, making it less or almost not visible at all.
In case the lunula, the visible part of the nail root, gets damaged, it is very likely that the entire nail will be deformed.
According to alternative medicine, the lunula can tell a lot about your health. In fact, Chinese medicine suggests that the lack of lunula may be a sign of diabetes or anemia. If the lunula is red-colored, it may indicate cardiovascular issues.
Lack of lunula or having very small lunula often indicates indigestion, which is caused by accumulation of toxins and slow metabolism.
Medical experts believe that healthy individuals have 7 or 8 lunula on their nails. In case you such structure on your thumb only, it can be a sign of a kidney failure.
To sum up, the lunula is considered a sign of how healthy you are. Therefore, any change should be taken seriously and get checked.