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Half-Moon On Fingernail Might Save Your Life

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The half-moon at the base of your fingernails could reveal much more about your health than you think.

The lunula is the half-moon shape on your fingernail that appears white but is actually flesh-colored and is located underneath the fingernail. If exposed, AWM America reported, the lunula would be extremely sensitive.

The most interesting thing about the lunula is that it can indicate severe health problems and ultimately save your life in certain instances. For example, if you have a smaller lunula it can indicate malnutrition or anemia. A smaller lunula also points toward the potential of a slow metabolism.

Even more seriously, a blue-colored lunula indicates diabetes, while one with a red tint alerts the possibility of heart disease. A healthy lunula, AWM America reported, takes up around a fifth of the fingernail and is an ivory color.

Always look at your lunula to make sure that there isn't any discoloration, and check with your doctor immediately if you do notice that something's off.

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Meanwhile, a new wearable for your fingernail that can indicate when you've had too much sun is about to hit the market. The product, developed by engineers at Northwestern University alongside cosmetics company L'Oreal, sticks right on your nail and works without batteries to sense and report UV exposure. The solar-powered device can simply be swiped over your phone, recording the data and saving it in an app.

The wearable, called UV Sense, is aimed at helping people avoid skin cancer -- which most recently affected nearly 77,000 people in the U.S. alone, Digital Trends reported.

"UV exposure is so key to skin health and appearance," Northwestern engineer John Rogers, who led the technical development of the product, told Digital Trends.

"From a user standpoint, it’s hard to imagine anything simpler, in the sense that you never have to worry if your battery is charged up, since it doesn’t need one. There are no moving parts or buttons, and no physical interfaces to the device. It all happens wirelessly to the phone."

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Rogers said that the biggest struggle in the development of UV Sense was designing the circuit and antenna small enough to be able to fit on your fingernail but still interact with your phone. When that problem was solved, Rogers said, it "opened up the ability to mount technology in places that were previously not considered."

Rogers said the development of UV Sense also opened him and his team up to experimenting with other miniature sensors for monitoring respiration rate, heart rate and blood oxygen levels.

"You can do all of that from the nail," he said.

UV Sense, Digital Trends reported, is set to be available in the summer of 2018 and will retail for under $50.

Sources: AWM America, Digital Trends / Featured Image: Bierenard/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Kommissar/Wikimedia Commons, Alexander Smith/AWM America

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