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Stimulation of Fingernail Growth

During prolonged rainy periods in Washington State, horses often develop severe irritations in their lower extremities – especially where the hair covered skin joins to the hooves. This skin area can develop irritations, infections and bleeding. During experiments to heal such irritated skin with creams containing copper peptides, the application of the copper-peptide cream was often imprecise due to movements of the horses and the cream were generously applied to the lower skin of the leg and part of the upper hooves. While the creams were observed to rapidly heal the skin areas, we also unexpectedly observed that damaged hooves appeared to improve markedly in health. Later, we experimented with more controlled application of the copper peptide creams into cracks in badly damaged hooves. We found that the copper peptide cream usually produced a remarkable healing of the hooves and closure of the cracks.       

Since the hooves of horses and the nails of humans are similar in terms of their biochemistry and cellular biology, we tested the application of such copper peptide creams to damaged human fingernails and toenails. We observed that such treatment produced in humans, as in the horses, a remarkable improvement in nail health and growth. Such types of copper-peptides, when applied to the nail matrix and nail bed area, enhance the process of nail growth resulting in stronger, thicker and smoother nails. Such types of copper-peptides have previously been found to strongly enhance the production of the protein collagen and also accelerate the repair of damaged skin. However, since nails are primarily composed of the hard protein keratin, it was not expected that copper-peptides would increase the production of keratin and nail growth.       

We then studied the actions of a copper-peptide cream in an informal pilot study on nail growth in humans. The Placebo Control nails were treated with a similar cream that contained no copper-peptide. For testing experiments, the fingernail growth rates of the index finger were used as a measurement. In the first set of experiments, the cream was applied to the index fingernail and cuticle on the right hand while the left hand nail was untreated and used as a control. In the second set of experiments with different volunteers, the cream was applied to the index fingernail and cuticle on the left hand while the right hand nail was treated with the placebo cream and used as a control. Nails were treated for four weeks. Nail length was measured from the end of the nail bed to the tip of the nail at its center by pushing a small plastic ruler under the nail and firmly against the nail bed. The nails were also visually inspected to determine that the treated nails appeared to be longer on the treated hand and this was readily apparent in all cases. The effect of nail growth stimulation was approximately similar if either the right hand treated group or the left hand treated group was used. As seen in Table 1, Nails treated with the copper-peptide complex had better nail growth. However, it must be emphasized this was not a blinded study.
 

Table 1 - Effect of Copper Peptides on Nail Growth
First Experiment (Sex)
Finger Nail Growth with Copper Peptide Cream
(Millimeters in four weeks)
Finger Nail Growth with Placebo cream 
(Millimeters in four weeks)
Right Hand
Left Hand
Person 1M
4.2
2.7
Person 2M
3.2
2.1
Person 3F
4.3
3.2
Person 4F
3.8
2.9
Person 5F
3.9
2.6
 
Second Experiment 
Left Hand
Right Hand
Person 6M
2.8
1.5
Person 7M
3.7
2.6
Person 8F
4.1
3.0
Person 9F
4.1
2.6
Person 10F
3.5
2.2

Questions or Advice?

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