Hair and Nail

  • R. P. R. Dawber
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


Since hair and nail are derived embryologically from the same tissue — the primitive epidermis — it is logical to consider them together. The definitive hair follicle complement and the nail apparatus are both fully developed by 20 weeks in utero. It is of interest that in many congenital and acquired ectodermal and integumentary diseases hair and nail changes are commonly seen though in acquired diseases predominantly affecting the epidermis, nail changes are frequently present whereas the hair follicle may remain normal. This may in part reflect greater evolutionary and embryological development away from the epidermis:as will be discussed later, the epidermis and nail apparatus grow continuously throughout life whilst hair is produced intermittently in the hair cycle.


Hair Follicle Dermal Papilla Hair Shaft Nail Plate Outer Root Sheath 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • R. P. R. Dawber

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