Free Nail Technician Practice Test

1. What protein makes up the majority of the nail?

a. Ostin.
b. Oxyn.
c. Keratin.
d. Collagen.

2. Which of the following structures refers to the dead tissue on the nail plate?

a. Eponychium.
b. Cuticle.
c. Ligament.
d. Hyponychium.

3. Which of the following will not affect the rate of growth of a woman's nail?

a. Diet.
b. Prenatal vitamins.
c. Exercise.
d. General health.

4. An individual with onychocryptosis has which of the following conditions?

a. Fungus.
b. Separation of the nail from the nail plate.
c. Ingrown nail.
d. Tiny pits on the nail plate.

5. What type of nail is thin with white nail plates?

a. Beau's.
b. Bruised.
c. Ridge.
d. Eggshell.

Answers & Explanations

1. C: Keratin is the protein that is found in the natural nail. This protein is also found in the hair and the skin, but in the nails, it is harder than in the hair and skin. A healthy nail will be white, and the nail section over the nail bed will be pink in color. Nails are more porous than skin. Because of its porous nature, a healthy nail contains approximately 15% to 20% water, even if the nail looks dry. A nail that does not have sufficient water will be brittle and will be easy to break. Treatment for this condition is the use of an oil-based polish, which will help hold in water and increase the health of the nail.

2. B: The cuticle is the dead tissue that is attached to the nail plate. This tissue is colorless and comes from below the nail plate. The function of the cuticle is to protect the nail plate by creating a seal between the natural nail and the skin above the nail. Other segments of the nail include the eponychium, which is living cells attached to the nail plate. Finally, the free edge of the nail is the part of the nail that has grown past the end of the finger, and the hyponychium is the section of the nail just below the free edge. This underlayer is thick and serves as protection for the nail bed.

3. B: Prenatal vitamins do not affect the growth rate of the nails. While many believe this to be the case, what changes the rate of growth during pregnancy is the change in hormone levels. Other factors that do affect the growth rate of nails include diet, health, and exercise. Factors such as age and time of the year also affect growth rate. For example, a child's nails will grow quicker than an elderly individual's nails will grow. Nails will also grow quicker in the summer months compared to the winter months. On average, nails grow a tenth of an inch each month.

4. C: Onychocryptosis is the formal term for an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails occur when the nail grows into the skin around the nail. In cases when the area is not infected, the nail can be trimmed and rounded so the nail is no longer under the skin. Any time a client comes in with an ingrown nail that is infected, he or she should be referred to a physician. A few other nail diseases include onychomadesis, separation of the nail from the nail plate; nail psoriasis, tiny pits on the nail plate; and fungus, such as tinea pedis and onychomycosis.

5. D: Eggshell nails are thin with white nail plates. This type of nail is also typically more flexible and weaker than normal, healthy nails. Eggshell nails also will tend to curve over the finger rather than grow straight out. There are various causes for eggshell nails; however, the most common causes include diet and hereditary factors. Caution must be taken with manicuring eggshell nails, specifically with pushing the cuticle back and filing. Gentle pressure and only fine nail files should be used throughout the manicure, so the nail is not damaged. Note that the base of the nail plate is the thinnest.

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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