The matrix contains blood vessels that supply the cells with the nutrients and oxygen they need to produce new nail cells. However, once the nail cells are produced, they no longer require oxygen to continue growing and hardening.
As the new nail cells are produced, they push the older, hardened cells forward toward the end of the nail. This is why nails appear to be growing from the base, even though the actual growth is occurring in the matrix.
While nails do not require oxygen to grow, they can become damaged if they are deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time. This can happen if there is a lack of blood flow to the fingertips, which can occur in conditions such as Raynaud's disease or frostbite. In these cases, the nail may become discolored or deformed, and it may take some time for it to grow back normally once the blood flow is restored.
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