Nail treatments are defined as the deliberate altering of the appearance or shape of the nails, typically for the purpose of cosmetic enhancement.
Nails are the hard, horn like piece at the end of human fingers and toes. Deliberate alteration of the touch, feel, or appearance of the nail is called a treatment. Nails are often the subject of many types of treatments, including coloring, reshaping, dipping, and moisturizing. An individual who performs nail treatments is called a manicurist.
The word manicure, defined as a treatment to improve the appearance of fingernails, derives from the Latin word manus, meaning hand, and cura, meaning care. Centuries ago in India, henna (a type of dye) was used for manicures. The word pedicure comes from the Latin words pes, which means foot, and cura, which means care. Pedicures -- treatments to improve the appearance of toenails -- have been traced back to ancient Egypt, where a carving of a pharaoh's official was noted as representing pedicures and manicures.
Other services for nails include the application of artificial nails, such as nail tips, acrylics and artificial nail gels. A manicurist may also apply treatments to real nails, such as filing, polishing and painting. Nail treatment sometimes may involve cutting the cuticle, the small line of raised skin surrounding three of the nail's edges.
Nail treatments do not appear to affect the physiological functioning of the people receiving treatment. However, nail treatments remain popular because of their cosmetic appeal.
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