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Do Nails Need to Breathe?

No, nails do not need to breathe. Nails are made of a protein called keratin, which is a non-living material. Unlike human skin, nails do not have blood vessels or cells that require oxygen for respiration. Nails receive their nutrients and oxygen from the blood supply to the nail matrix, the area at the base of the nail where new nail cells are produced. Once the nail cells are formed, they are pushed forward and harden as they grow out, creating the visible part of the nail. So, while nails are connected to the bloodstream, they do not require direct exposure to air in order to survive or grow.